First steps forward
Welcome to our seventh media and communications newsletter, designed to help you track travel- and coronavirus-related developments that continue to affect our industry at large.
The past week has given us a glimpse into a reality that we’ve been anticipating for months: what recovery looks like in different countries and regions.
This week, New Zealand and Australia are talking about creating a “travel bubble”, which would benefit both destinations’ economies but still limit their exposure to the rest of the world. The term comes at a time where more and more destinations are beginning to cautiously—or carelessly, depending on whom you ask—reopen and lift restrictions, and are looking for a clear way forward in the face of some pretty dire realities.
The question of what summer will look like as a vacation season is coming front and centre in the media right now, both for Europe as well as North America. For the most part, the jury is still out on a unified reality, especially where the U.S. and Europe is concerned, but that’s not stopping some destinations from already getting creative with outreach.
With enough road in the rearview mirror, some travel brands have begun the process of doing damage control while others feel comfortable adjusting to a “new normal;” many are investing in domestic tourism as the immediate way forward, then there are those who are not taking any chances.
In the absence of true clarity, however, there are still plenty of think pieces exploring how COVID-19 can be an opportunity for touristic rebirth, dissecting the consumer mindset, and questioning the applicability of the newest ideas du jour. Suffice to say, there remain plenty of questions.
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 5
- US Travel releases guidance for reopening travel businesses
- Tour operator Intrepid cancels all trips through September
- ‘Safe’ becomes rural tourism pitch to a distancing public
- Czechs ease more travel bans, add help for coronavirus-hit firms
- When will tourists be welcomed back [to Hawaii]? The best-case scenario is predicting the end of July
- ‘Devastated’ California tourism industry losing $72 billion, report says
- “Revenge travellers” in China give tourism a Labour Day holiday boost
- Responsibility for coronavirus precautions at airports is a “game of hot potato”
- France’s Macron says major foreign travel to be limited this summer
- Virgin Atlantic to slash more than 3,000 jobs as air travel collapses
- Helsinki’s huge VR gig hints at the potential of virtual tourism
- Experts warn companies to prepare for security breaches when travel restrictions lift
- Mnuchin says international travel may have to wait until 2021
- Domestic river cruise lines plan June return
Monday, May 4
- A ‘travel bubble’ between New Zealand and Australia could be a model for the future
- Battered global tourism industry makes plans for a recovery that may last years
- A European Summer Without Tourists? The New Reality Sinks In
- Domestic travel set to kick-start Vietnam’s tourism recovery
- Carnival Cruise Line announces plan to phase-in service
- Croatia after the crisis, hopes for the arrival of tourists from neighbouring countries
- ‘A second sense of grief’: coronavirus hits cultural travel boom for black Americans
- “We could’ve handled some things better”: Intrepid CEO apologises to customers
- Paris-based body says Dubai’s Expo 2020 world’s fair will be delayed to October 1, 2021
Sunday, May 3
- Colorado Tourism recommends planning out post-“safer-at-home” trips
- ‘We just want to go home’: More than 300 Canadian crew members still stranded at sea aboard cruise ships
- Lindblad Expeditions has returned Cares Act funds
- TUI China restarts domestic vacations after 3-month hiatus
- Vienna Airport to offer $200 Coronavirus tests to bypass quarantines
- Minister urges travel industry to adapt to ‘new normal’ post-COVID19
- Italian mountain retreat banks on summer recovery
Friday, May 1
- United sees ‘zero’ travel demand, says major layoffs loom if bookings don’t pick up by fall
- Carnival faces U.S. congressional investigation into its coronavirus response
- Hawaii travel paradise is deserted, with recovery further off
- Airbnb’s extenuating circumstances policy update
Thursday, April 30
- WTTC outlines what “the new normal” will look like as we start to travel
- Tourism council expects young travelers to lead rebound
- China’s beleaguered hotels use live-streaming, steep discounts to tempt Labour Day holiday travellers wary of coronavirus
- Six Flags rolls out plan for post-COVID-19 ‘new normal’
- Travelers suffering cabin fever might flock to national parks
- American Airlines loses $2.2 billion in first quarter as coronavirus roiled air travel
- Tour operators seeing uptick in bookings
Wednesday, April 29
- The Italian island of Sicily is offering to pay for half your flights and a third of your hotel costs if you visit later this year
- Spain and Germany deal blow to hopes of tourism revival
- Airlines pressured to require passengers to wear masks
- Cruise lines suspend operations through start of summer
- Lyft lays off 17% of workforce, furloughs hundreds more
- Hotel operators prepare for a peak summer travel season that may never check in
Tuesday, April 28
- Tripadvisor lays off 25 percent of global workforce, closes some offices
- Argentina imposes toughest travel ban in Americas, banning flights until Sept. 1
- JetBlue is the first major U.S. airline to require masks for passengers
- Japan’s state of emergency period to be extended as Covid-19 cases increase
- Spain plans return to ‘new normal’ by end of June
What the media is saying…
Fodors – 7 ways travel MUST change after coronavirus
Snippet: While the pandemic has brought the tourism industry to its knees, it also presents a unique opportunity. For the first time, the wheel has stopped spinning. The tourism industry that existed before the pandemic is gone. Now is the chance for destinations and travelers alike to decide if we really want things to go back to how they were before.
Forbes – Obama’s healthcare guru: what it will take for Americans to travel again
Snippet: We don’t yet know what it’s going to take for the public to feel safe. We do know that they don’t feel safe in the current climate… Introducing enhanced cleaning protocols is essentially the bare minimum and not necessarily enough.
Travel Weekly – Destination marketers feel squeeze as funding dries up
Snippet: Recent surveys from MMGY Travel Intelligence and groups like the USTOA and the National Tour Association show DMOs currently are focused almost solely on nonpaid campaigns such as inspirational social media. While many say they hope to resume paid advertising and partnerships in the next few months, when they actually will be able to launch is a bit of a wild card.
What experts are saying…
U.S. Travel Association – Travel in the new normal: Industry guidance for promoting the health and safety of all travelers
Snippet: …The travel industry—hotels, resorts, airports, airlines, attractions, restaurants, retail, rental cars, meeting venues, event producers, travel advisors, cruise lines, vacation rentals etc.— has come together, working with health and medical experts, to reach collective agreement on a core set of health and safety guidance that the industry may adapt to their businesses. They build upon and align with the White House and CDC evidence-based guidelines for “Opening Up America Again.” This guidance provides our customers with an understanding of the key practices across America’s travel industry.
Snippet: Just because travel restrictions are eased and destinations start opening up again doesn’t mean everyone’s going to be ready to go, and it doesn’t mean locals are going to want travelers there at the moment. It’s not just about what can I do once I’m there, but it’s about how do I get there? What safety precautions am I going to take? That first-person experience that an influencer can provide of what it’s like in this ‘new normal’ is going to help ease [travelers’] fear and anxiety.
Snippet: These are the questions whose answers one way or the other will define how travel moves on from here and what the coming future would look like. These broad lines of enquiry will define our coverage of the global travel recovery in coming months and years.