A bigger conversation
Welcome to our 13th media and communications newsletter, designed to help you track travel- and coronavirus-related developments that continue to affect our industry at large.
This week, the global movement against systemic racism and inequity called the travel industry to task, and various countries have continued to loosen their restrictions, ushering in a summer of travel that is anything but certain.
Across the globe, travellers are being required to wear face masks and undergo temperature checks, though rules change at each border – with a new outbreak in Beijing and a revival of the virus in New Zealand re-igniting fears of a second wave.
Meanwhile, Mexico, a country which relies heavily on tourism, is easing the lockdown in its capital city and welcoming visitors back to its famous resort areas despite swells in COVID-19 cases – harkening back to our concerns for an industry that prides itself on trust and expertise, yet is also often influenced by geopolitics.
COVID-19 has shed light on long-buried inequalities within the travel industry, from economies – and individuals – most affected by the pandemic to the systemic and unequal makeup of our companies. As the travel industry continues to push forward in the name of “resiliency” in a post-pandemic world, it’s unclear who is meant to be benefitting from the lauded “new normals” of tourism, and who has been left out of the conversation.
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 16
- New Zealand reports fresh COVID-19 cases eight days after declaring coronavirus eliminated
- Canada- U.S. border to remain closed to non-essential travel until July 21
- Beijing reimposes travel restrictions as Shanghai demands quarantines
- Beijing coronavirus outbreak: travel restricted to tackle ‘extremely severe’ situation
- For much of Europe, reopening day is here
- Thailand plans $722 million subsidy to spur domestic travel after virus crisis
- Future of Tourism Coalition formed
- Overseas trips by Aussie travellers fall a whopping 98.1 per cent
- Spain may quarantine British tourists, minister tells BBC
- Maldives’ touted July reopening shows complexities behind the hoopla
Monday, June 15
- U.S. airlines vow to more strictly enforce face mask wearing
- U.S., China to each allow four weekly flights for airlines; Delta to fly next week
- Europe’s borders reopen but long road for tourism to recover
- African tourism has been put on ice by coronavirus – here’s how some countries are reviving it
- Australia’s international travel ban extended to mid-September
- Why Prague is looking for a ‘different type of visitor’ after lockdown
- WestJet releases July schedule: “We’re ready to get Canadians flying”
- EasyJet resumes minimal service with safety measures in place
Sunday, June 14
- Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines expects to be 20 percent smaller by 2022
- Tourists begin to find their way back to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula
- China Southern Airlines suspends Dhaka to Guangzhou flights over coronavirus infections
- Spain speeds border opening to June 21 for Schengen tourists
- German Airline Condor to cut up to 25 percent of staff
- Uzbekistan to reopen borders to travelers on a country-by-country basis
- Sudan airports to stay closed until June 28
Saturday, June 13
- Traveling across Europe is extra complex during a pandemic
- Mexico City to emerge slowly from lockdown on Monday
- Canada will require phased-in temperature check for flyers
- Greek Prime Minister promises tourist safety as country reopens to foreign visitors
Friday, June 12
- Some luxury travel sellers have shifted their focus to domestic tours on well-appointed recreational vehicles
- Cuba keeps Havana off-limits for first wave of tourists
- As corporate travel budgets shrink, buyers and TMCs invest in tech for a new future
- U.S. hotel industry ended record-setting development streak in May
Thursday, June 11
- #TimeToTravel: Travel industry execs call on govt. to loosen travel restrictions
- Cruise industry focused on ‘working together’ after UK PM’s pledge of support
- Prolonged travel restrictions could result in loss of 197 million travel and tourism jobs
- Transat to resume service July 23, including domestic flights
Wednesday, June 10
- Destinations earn WTTC’s Safe Travels stamp
- Destinations, take note: Americans are more likely than Canadians and Brits to keep travel plans
- South Africa’s tourism industry eyes September return
- How South America became the new centre of the coronavirus pandemic
- Jamaica to reopen to tourists on June 15
- Air travel is up 400 percent from its record-low point in the pandemic, according to the TSA
- Germany extends travel warning outside Europe through August
Tuesday, June 9
- As cruise industry prepares to sail, choppy waters are ahead
- Canada and the U.S. slated to extend travel ban through July
- Airlines projected to lose $84 billion this year
- High-end vacation rentals are on the rebound
- 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
What the media is saying…
The New York Times – 2020 is the summer of the road trip. Unless you’re Black.
Snippet: With the country reopening, travel industry experts say people are planning short trips to destinations relatively close to home. By driving they can control the number of people they interact with, how many stops they make on the way and whether to take a detour or not — all things they can’t control on a plane. For many black travelers, however, the road trip has long conjured fear, not freedom.
The Washington Post – 11 ways the pandemic will change travel
Snippet: Despite covid-19 continuing to claim lives, locations around the world are beginning to open again. More travelers are getting on planes. Airlines are reinstating routes. Countries and states have begun to welcome visitors, despite the remaining risks. For now, travel may look different in a number of ways. People can expect to explore a world of face masks, physical distancing, closed businesses and two-week quarantines.
Lonely Planet – Why travelers need to rethink their attitude to travel
Snippet: As we adjust to our new reality of social distancing and hand sanitizer on tap, the travel industry has also had to make some major adjustments in order to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from airlines and hotels changing their practices, travellers are going to have to change a lot of their habits and expectations, too.
What experts are saying…
Skift – Don’t Confuse Travel’s Reopening With Recovery: A Long Slog Lies Ahead
Snippet: The big headline across NYTimes.com Monday is “New Threats of U.S. Lockdowns as Experts Warn Virus Will Persist.” With the infection numbers rising across lots of states in U.S., and the effects of passing more virus around because of group protests for racial justice and against police brutality still not accounted for, we will continue to see these headlines — and reality — for weeks and months to come, playing havoc with traveler sentiment and confidence to even gingerly start going out there beyond the local regions. A second shutdown is a real possibility in U.S. and is in fact happening in bits and pieces around the world already.
Travel Pulse – Black travel advisors on representation in the travel agent industry
Snippet: Although all travel agents felt the blow of the pandemic, we cannot ignore the fact that African Americans and people of color were the hardest-hit communities in the U.S., a result of systematic racism across various sectors. As destinations re-open, travelers of all backgrounds should support black travel agents by seeking out their services and supporting their business in the years to come. The travel agent industry cannot afford to lose a sector of professionals that are already minimal in number as is.
Agility PR – Influencer marketing is shifting in 2020, with YouTube and TikTok in a power struggle
Snippet: Just as it’s always been, today’s influencer marketing is about hard-wired details like platform domination, number of followers and level of engagement—but now it’s also about less tangible factors like authentic voice and consumer trust. New research from global influencer marketing firm TAKUMI explores the industry’s dynamics with a study of over 2,000 consumers, marketers and influencers across the UK, U.S., and Germany, on their perceptions of YouTube, TikTok and Instagram as influencer marketing channels, and how authenticity and trust are created.
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