Where are we going?
Welcome to our 12th media and communications newsletter, designed to help you track travel- and coronavirus-related developments that continue to affect our industry at large.
The world this week has continued to focus on protests calling for police reform across the United States and around the world. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, as the global death toll surpassed 400,000 and the World Health Organization walked back its own assertion that asymptomatic transmission is “very rare”.
Countries around the world continue to have varying responses to reopening to tourism: Turkey is opening up, South Africa is staying shut, New Zealand has declared itself COVID free and countries in the European Union are all over the map.
And within the industry, amid frequent announcements of upgraded hospitality cleanliness standards and reassurances from airlines, experts are commenting on yet another impact of this pandemic: a shift in the global hierarchy of who can travel where, of which passports are the most valuable.
Below is our weekly roundup of news, expert insights and food for thought about what has been happening in the travel industry this week. 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, June 9
- New Zealand lifts lockdown as it declares virus eliminated, for now
- Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is ‘very rare,’ WHO says
- The W.H.O. walked back an earlier assertion that asymptomatic transmission is ‘very rare.’
- Ottawa loosens COVID-19 border restrictions to allow some families to reunite
Monday, June 8
- South Africa likely to remain closed to tourists until 2021
- What do the UK’s new quarantine rules mean for travellers?
- Ryanair CEO boasts airlines will fill 1,000 flights a day because Brits will ignore quarantine
- Egypt’s hotels attract domestic tourists with on-site health clinics
Sunday, June 7
- As theme parks reopen, advisors strive to set expectations
- Malaysia will allow travel within the country starting June 10
- Economic pain from cruise industry shutdown is far-reaching
- Australia will continue to underwrite domestic flights through September
- British Airways, Ryanair and EasyJet could sue to overturn UK quarantine rules
- Lufthansa CEO reassures German flyers airline would bring them home if stranded
- Emirates, Etihad Airlines will keep pay cuts in place until September
- Stays in Portugal plummeted 98 percent in April
Saturday, June 6
- Thailand to launch tourism marketing campaign with a theme of trust
- Italy asks fellow European Union nations to welcome Italian visitors soon
- India set to reopen hotels and temples from June 8
Friday, June 5
- A Black travel agent’s message for her industry
- What’s it like to go on vacation during a pandemic?
- European Union plans to reopen most borders in July
- How will escorted tour specialists navigate post-pandemic travel? 5 companies weigh in
- Tourist guides will be the earliest enforcers of safety measures in travel
- U.S. airlines plan to increase flights to places that boast the great outdoors
- Cruise bookings rise as industry appears to turn a corner
- What South Africa’s virus protocols tell us about balancing a travel economy with a nation’s health
- Travel sector remains thorn in a falling U.S. unemployment rate defying expectations
Thursday, June 4
- Airlines say everybody onboard must wear a mask. So why aren’t they?
- Travel insurance spending up 40 percent for vacations booked later this year
- American Airlines expands its US flight schedule for July
- Turkey plans to resume flights with 40 countries in June
- Sweden to ease travel curbs as it pursues different approach to the pandemic
- Emirates and Etihad will resume transit flights
- American and United diverge on summer recovery expectations
- Where are travel prices headed? Get ready for twists and turns
Wednesday, June 3
- Lufthansa will resume flying to more cities but with fewer flights
- Air Canada’s billion dollar fundraising gives it flexibility
- Adventure operators forge ahead with June departures
- U.S. retaliates against China with airline ban
- Flights to Portugal from the U.S. will resume June 4
- You could get paid to hike the Appalachian Trail and drink beer next year
- Italians rediscover their museums, with no tourists in sight
- Everything you need to know about the Bahamas’ tourism reopening plan
- Caribbean Islands reopen to international tourism
- Austria to lift coronavirus travel restrictions with its neighbors — except Italy
Tuesday, June 2
- How the travel industry can do its part in the fight against racism
- Spain’s tourist economy begins to reopen with guarantee of good bill of health
- Hong Kong Tourism braces for blowback from new security bill that threatens autonomy
- Czech Republic to open borders based on color-coded coronavirus country risk scale
- Southwest says buyout and paid leave packages boost survival chance
- Germany pushes to downgrade European travel alerts from warnings to guidelines
- Parisians return to cafe terraces as government lifts restrictions
- What will it take for all-inclusives to recover after COVID-19?
What the media is saying…
The New York Times – Europe’s patchwork reopening
Snippet: As the summer tourist season approaches and Western Europe’s Covid-19 crisis continues to subside, leaders across the continent are deciding whether and how to lift the border restrictions that they imposed amid a flurry of emergency measures in March. The European Commission has urged its members to coordinate their reopening, but a patchwork of strategies has emerged. Some countries — Italy and Germany among them — are reopening earlier and more widely. Others — like Switzerland, Denmark and the Baltic States — are proceeding more slowly, opting for “travel bubbles” or bespoke lists of countries whose citizens will be allowed entry.
The Washington Post – The coronavirus is reshaping an old hierarchy: Who can travel where
Snippet: At least through the summer months, and maybe beyond, the virus has redistributed who can go where, under what conditions. In the short term, holding a particular passport no longer necessarily ensures the level of mobility that it used to — the hierarchy has been reshuffled. Rather than the economic and diplomatic considerations that typically determine international travel privileges, a different, often superseding factor has emerged: how well a country has avoided or contained the coronavirus.
The Atlantic – The Costs of Europe’s Soon-to-Be-Lost Summer
Snippet: With millions of tourism jobs at stake, many European countries have decided to open up again—if not yet to international visitors, then at least to fellow Europeans. Their proposals are partly rooted in a desire to spare the tourism sector, but they also stem from something deeper—a longing to retain a fundamental part of European life. Unlike the United States, and its notorious work-life imbalance, Europe savors the summer: a sacred time in July and August when vacations are planned, shops are closed, and the continent agrees to go on a collective pause.
What experts are saying…
PhocusWire – When will corporate airline travel spend return to normal?
Snippet: Getting back to “normal” – that is, the level of travel bookings we saw in early 2020 – may be years away. After 9/11, it took three and a half years for travel volume to return to normal, and another year for pre-9/11 pricing to return. We estimate that in 2021, we’ll see business travel bookings around 2016 levels, or approximately 15% below 2019.
Skift – Contactless tech promises to be travel’s next big thing: what’s real and what’s hype?
Snippet: Data from consulting firm McKinsey suggests that consumers will embrace contactless tech, with some consumers, faced with uncertainty, saying they will seek out brands that make visible, dramatic efforts at disinfection.
NBC News – A majority of voters are uncomfortable attending large gatherings, dining out
Snippet: Two-thirds of American voters say they would not feel comfortable flying on a plane or attending a large gathering due to continued worry about the spread of the coronavirus, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds. Half of all voters are also uneasy about dining at restaurants, and half of parents say they are uncomfortable sending their children back to school or daycare in August.
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