May 20: Covid-19 Update

Bannikin | May 20, 2020

(Re)-open for business?

Welcome to our ninth media and communications newsletter, designed to help you track travel- and coronavirus-related developments that continue to affect our industry at large.

Over the past week, we’ve seen stark contrasts in what “reopening” looks like for tourism around the globe. Some countries are opening borders, while others are tightening restrictions. Select travel companies are reopening for business, though what that means for travellers – and ultimately, their bottom lines – has yet to be seen.

Some EU countries have started to welcome regional tourists, Delta, Emirates and Lufthansa are planning their return to international service, and cruise companies and theme parks alike are taking reservations for summer.

Conversely, Canadian officials have announced that the U.S.-Canada border will remain closed to non-essential travel until June 21. Hawaii officials are planning to tighten regulations for visitors, Norway is likely to remain closed to visitors until late August, and the Seychelles have banned cruise travel until 2022.

Meanwhile, the question “when will tourism recover?” lingers; New Orleans reported a slow start to its phased reopening, Mediterranean countries are debating how to keep safety measures in place without scaring away tourists before they have even returned, and a new survey has revealed most Americans will want to wait at least 60 days after restrictions lift to start travelling again.

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 19

  • Canada-U.S. border to remain closed to non-essential travel for another month
  • Robots and electrostatic sprayers: Air travel industry looks to technology to bring back wary passengers

Monday, May 18 

Sunday, May 17

Saturday, May 16

Friday, May 15

Thursday, May 14

Wednesday, May 13

Tuesday, May 12


What the media is saying…

The GuardianWhat is the future for travel and immigration in the age of Covid-19 
Mass international travel only emerged a couple of decades ago; it is possible that habits could change dramatically again. Its easy to forget that it was only around the turn of the century that levels of travel we now accept as normal started to emerge. So a reset that changes our presumption around travel is not as radical as it might appear.

AP News – Beaches, nightclubs? Europe mulls how to get tourists back
Snippet: Across southern Europe, in places where tourism drives much of the economy, officials are weighing how to entice travelers to come back, even while the pandemic remains a threat. Juggling the sometimes-competing needs of health and business, authorities are introducing measures to reassure visitors that taking a holiday is safe again.

Skift –  Learning to walk again: 20 hopeful signs for reopening the travel economy
As our world expands again bit by bit, we are relearning it all over again. Yes, there may be regression as we go along, we all have to be ready for that, but crawl forward we will from here until we start cruising, then walk the first tentative steps … well, you know the drill from here.


What experts are saying…

PhocusWirePossible futures for a post-pandemic travel industry, part 1
Snippet: Travel companies are fighting for their lives. Being at the bleeding edge of the storm has violently thrown us from a predictable risk environment into the deep uncertainty of uncharted waters. Nobody has a playbook, and only with a clean-sheet mindset and the proverbial “out-of-box” thinking will we manage to find our path out of this mess. We might not come out stronger from it, but hopefully faster, leaner and a little wiser.

Skift – Debate rages over empty middle seat as airlines take to the skies again
Snippet: Travelers, airlines and airports are grappling with a hodgepodge of rules put in place during the pandemic that will make flying different in almost every country.

EventMB – Event industry split on restarting business
Snippet: The latest data and research point to a very complex comeback for the event industry. Physical distancing, sanitation, and thermal scanning are just some of the items giving headaches to planners around the world. Yet a bigger question is looming over the industry: is reopening the right thing to do?