Covid-19 Update: June 24

Bannikin | June 24, 2020

money & mixed messages

Welcome to our 14th media and communications newsletter, designed to help you track travel- and coronavirus-related developments that continue to affect our industry at large.

This week, we’ve continued to see relief money poured into the travel industry: Saudi Arabia is investing $4 billion into tourism development, Spain reopened its borders as it announced $5 billion in tourism support, and American Airlines is seeking $3.5 billion in new financing.

Meanwhile, the questions remain around consumer demand: Turkish Airlines is resuming flights to the U.S.; KLM is increasing its flight operations; and JetBlue has even launched new flight paths. But another budget airline has filed for insolvency; Turkey is struggling to salvage a summer of tourismCarnival Corp. has reduced its fleet as it cancels operations through the end of September; and Disneyland workers say the park’s proposed reopening date of July 17 is too early.

And just as the UNWTO called for the responsible restart of tourism, we’re also learning that travel spending is likely not to bounce back fully until 2024 – that is, if it even should at all.

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 23

Monday, June 22

Sunday, June 21

Saturday, June 20

Friday, June 19 

Thursday, June 18

Wednesday, June 17 

Tuesday, June 16


What the media is saying…

The Guardian – The end of tourism?
Snippet: The virus has given us a picture, at once frightening and beautiful, of a world without tourism. We see now what happens to our public goods when tourists aren’t clustering to exploit them. Shorelines enjoy a respite from the erosion caused by cruise ships the size of canyons. Walkers stuck at home cannot litter mountainsides. Intricate culinary cultures are no longer menaced by triangles of defrosted pizza. It is hard to imagine a better illustration of tourism’s effects than our current holiday away from it. … As tourism’s impact on the world has deepened, so the global economy has come to depend on it. Now, after the freeze forced upon foreign travel – unimaginable even six months ago – we have a rare opportunity to extract ourselves from this destructive cycle, and do things differently.

The New York Times – Travel insurance: is it worth it?
Snippet: Americans spent nearly $3.8 billion on travel protection in 2018, the latest figure available, up about 41 percent from 2016, according to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association. Now, for those contemplating traveling in an increasingly uncertain world, the question of whether travel insurance is worth buying looms large. If insurance couldn’t help with that first wave of Covid-related travel cancellations, many irate travelers ask, what exactly were they paying for?

The Washington Post – How do you practice social distancing on a plane?
Snippet: Finding adequate personal space on a flight — especially in economy class — hasn’t been easy since the late 1970s, when the government deregulated airlines. Over time, airlines moved the seats closer together to accommodate more passengers and make more money. Now, at a time when social distancing is necessary, personal space is a scarce but vital commodity. Some airlines have pledged to block middle seats, but how long will that last?


What experts are saying…

SkiftU.S. travel spending not expected to recover to pre-covid numbers until 2024
Snippet: Overall travel spending is expected to drop from a record $1.12 trillion in 2019 — a combination of domestic and international traveler spend — to $622 billion by the end of 2020. In addition, trips taken by American domestic travelers are expected to fall to 1.6 billion, a 30 percent drop and the lowest level in nearly 30 years.

PhocusWireSounding off: Travel retailing’s time has come
Snippet: Travel providers need to gauge how they can act in a way that is reassuring to customers but also help their own businesses get back on their feet. Personalization and retailing are vital components of that strategy. Retailing, at its core, allows for partnerships that – in theory – should both benefit the customer and their experience of a brand and foster new revenue opportunities. The important part here is coronavirus has illustrated that this is a time, as brands attempt to recover, for collaboration between service providers that instils trust (and eventually, they hope, loyalty) in the process and the experience.

Travelweek – New interactive site has continually updated travel info and regulations for Europe
Snippet: Europe is still closed to travellers from outside of Europe until at least July – and Canadians are still dealing with the travel advisory for travel outside Canada – but anticipating an eventual ramping up of inbound visitors, Europe has launched a new website with all the latest travel info and regulations in the wake of COVID-19. The EU says the new interactive site, called ‘Re-open EU’, “supports a safe relaunch of travelling and tourism across Europe.”

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Visit Bannikin’s dedicated COVID-19 page for our library of weekly updates.