An uncertain start to summer
Welcome to our tenth media and communications newsletter, designed to help you track travel- and coronavirus-related developments that continue to affect our industry at large.
With summer around the corner – and, in some places, like Lake of the Ozarks, apparently in full swing – this past week saw the announcement of many reopenings for international tourism, from Greece (June 15) to Spain (July 1) to Italy (July 3). At the same time, organizations like TSA and IATA have released their plans for safe and secure reopenings in anticipation of a season of revived travel.
But while operators are starting to see the signs of awakened domestic tourism, experts are still advising against it, citing concerns ranging from upticks in new cases of COVID-19 to an inability to secure travel insurance coverage.
Behind the scenes, the travel industry continues to struggle to weather this storm, with an unemployment rate of 51% that has the U.S. Travel Association coining this pandemic the “Great Travel Depression” and industry pioneers like Lonely Planet shutting down some of its operations.
Below is our weekly roundup of news, expert insights and food for thought…. If you can’t access an article due to a pay wall, let us know and we may be able to send it through to you.
Stay safe and healthy,
Your friends at Bannikin
The week at a glance
Tuesday, May 26
- Americans desperate to travel are buying up ‘Covid Campers’
- Latin American airline Latam files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
- Dubai pushes the restart button with transit flights allowed from Wednesday
Monday, May 25
- Boosting tourism: Japan, Sicily will pay for part of your trip
- Japan lifts coronavirus emergency in Tokyo, all other remaining areas
- U.S. travel ban on Brazil to start Tuesday, 2 days earlier than announced
- Spain to end quarantine for tourists on July 1
- Air Canada says it’s “ready for take-off”, new sked has close to 100 cities
- Australian Northern Territory launches intrastate tourism campaign, Victoria allows camping trips
Sunday, May 24
- Tour groups likely to be small during measured restart
- U.S. travel industry inching back
- Skiing in Colorado to resume amid coronavirus pandemic
- Crowds pack venues in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, ignoring social distancing
Saturday, May 23
- As New Jersey opens its beaches, the mantra is “safety first”
- Wondering when Canadians can start travelling again? Here’s what you need to know
Friday, May 22
- Travel’s reopening: a global timeline
- Lonely Planet Magazine ends publishing
- Riviera Nayarit releases new tourism guide in preparation of summer reopening
Thursday, May 21
- 7 countries reopening their borders to international visitors
- Wellness hospitality will see new models emerge in wake of pandemic
- IATA releases roadmap for restarting aviation
- TSA prepared for summer travelers with updated security procedures
- Mental health of cruise workers in spotlight after multiple deaths
- EasyJet to resume European flights on June 15 deciding to not block off middle seats
- India fixes price bands for airfares as flying resumes from May 25
Wednesday, May 20
- Travel-related unemployment hits 51%
- Trust in travel industry sinks to lowest level in at least seven years – survey
- International air travel may not return to normal until 2023: International Air Transport Association report
- Tour operators anticipate some international travel to return this year
- Trump mulls travel ban for Brazil as country’s coronavirus cases rise to 3rd in world
- Greece reopening to tourists
- These six countries are cautiously reopening for summer travel
- United and others are branding their health safety initiatives
- Atlantic beach towns brace for summer vacationers – but know it won’t be the same
- Airline trade group says 73% of flights are less than half full
- Vietnam’s tourism industry gets back to business with discount offers
- Cruise lines extend operations pause
Tuesday, May 19
- How hotels could change after coronavirus, from private spa time to DIY happy hour kits
- Tourism Authority of Thailand ‘trusted’ rebranding curates market
- Abu Dhabi’s Etihad cuts hundreds of jobs
- When can you travel to the Caribbean again?
- Programmatic ad spend down 9% since beginning of 2020, driven by travel and auto
- Canada-U.S. border to remain closed to non-essential travel for another month
What the media is saying…
Outside – What the future of Adventure Travel looks like
Snippet: What can we expect from the next few months and beyond? Our sources acknowledge that it’s impossible to be certain about anything as we experiment with a new normal, and they note that if a second wave of COVID-19 hits, travel rollbacks will occur. Our return to travel will depend on a variety of factors, including when economies and borders reopen, how businesses change their operations, whether airlines provide rapid COVID-19 testing, and, ultimately, when a vaccine may become available.
Skift – What is the future of vacations?
Snippet: For travel industry folks, it may be easy — and indeed comforting — to assume that beyond the short-to-medium term upset, consumer demand will bounce back once safety and economic conditions improve. While there is plenty of evidence to suggest that pent-up demand exists, operating on that rosy assumption alone overlooks something rather unique about the Covid-19 crisis.
USA Today – Weighing whether to travel this summer during the coronavirus pandemic? What to consider
Snippet: The short answer? Travel still isn’t recommended, at least according to federal guidelines. But as some states are pulling back stay-at-home orders put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, travelers must grapple with the choice to venture out… Tourism experts say outdoor landmarks will be popular this summer. But they urge people to avoid destinations with large crowds.
TravelAge West: What COVID-19 can teach the travel industry about sustainability and climate change
Snippet: The ramifications of COVID-19 are roughly an accelerated view of what humankind will face with climate change in the long run. Compressed into a small time frame, the pandemic’s impact on populations is enormous — especially for the vulnerable, such as those without a stable income or whose health is already at risk.
Given this glimpse into a plausible and less-than-ideal future, the question then arises: How can the tourism industry take lessons learned from the pandemic to retool travel to be more sustainable?
What experts are saying…
U.S. Travel Association – The great travel depression
Snippet: More than half of the 15.8 million travel-related jobs in the U.S. have disappeared since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic—driving an unemployment number (51%) that is more than twice the 25% rate the country as a whole experienced at the worst of the Great Depression, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Travel Association.
Travel Weekly – Advisors and suppliers, navigating the intersection of cash and trust
Snippet: In Abraham Maslow’s famous pyramid-shaped hierarchy of needs, the foundational level defines what’s necessary to live, e.g., food, shelter, water. The foundational level for the travel industry, both pre- and post-crisis, has only two components: cash and trust. Unfortunately, adaptation becomes seriously more complicated when these two come into conflict.
Pro Publica – States are reopening: see how coronavirus cases rise or fall
Snippet: Many states are lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions on social and business activity that were put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. Questions linger, however, about whether some states meet criteria set by public health experts and the federal government for doing so. Experts are keeping a close eye on whether states that have reopened are seeing an uptick in cases or a worsening in other key metrics.