Covid-19 Update: May 26

Bannikin | May 26, 2020

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

Monday, May 25

Sunday, May 24

Saturday, May 23

Friday, May 22

Thursday, May 21

Wednesday, May 20

Tuesday, May 19


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.

SkiftWhat 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 WestWhat 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
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.