Recovery is a lot of things
Welcome to our 15th media and communications newsletter, designed to help you track travel- and coronavirus-related developments that continue to affect our industry at large.
In the same week where the global death toll from Covid-19 surpassed half a million people, the worldwide travel industry is grappling with recovery in fits and starts.
On June 30, the European Union finalized its list of “safe” nations permitted entry in an attempt to generate much-needed tourism revenue — but the U.S., Brazil and Russia were not included among the 15 approved countries.
It’s not hard to see why: the U.S. is seeing an alarming surge in case numbers, including in several states that were among the first to reopen; Brazil registered its highest number of infections in seven days on June 28, and Russia — where 640,245 confirmed cases represent the third-largest caseload after the U.S. and Brazil — seems embroiled in mixed messages and infighting.
Meanwhile, Canada has extended its international travel ban for at least another month, while the UK is expected to suspend its 14-day quarantine period and allow Britons to travel overseas beginning July 6. Saudi Arabia is barring international visitors from attending the hajj, while virus-free Vietnam is not welcoming international tourists anytime soon. Chile, which planned for a world’s first “immunity passport” in April, is now battling a soaring infection rate, representing the devastating effects Covid-19 is having on South America.
Airlines only contribute to the confusion of where travel stands. While seven airlines in the U.S. will require flyers to make health declarations ahead of travelling, American Airlines will begin booking to full capacity starting July 1, and Air Canada and WestJet have announced they will drop physical distancing policies.
Yet, some still see Covid-19 as an opportunity to improve the travel industry at large. In certain cases, that means addressing glaring issues like destination management, overtourism and carrying capacity. In the case of The Black Travel Alliance, it’s about looking ahead to ensure that whatever happens with the travel industry, its systemic shortcomings with regards to diversity, representation, and inclusion won’t continue to be accepted as the status quo.
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 30
- E.U. formalizes reopening, bars travelers from U.S.
- A growing number of U.S. states are pausing plans to reopen amid rising case counts.
- Canada extends ban on most foreign travellers to at least July 31
- Spain to open border with Morocco only in case of reciprocity
- Isreal’s tourism industry protests lack of support amid coronavirus crisis
- Air Canada cutting 30 domestic routes ‘indefinitely’
Monday, June 29
- U.S. air bookings dip amid a spike in new Covid-19 cases
- Major U.S. airlines to require health declaration
- China reports another plunge in tourism revenue; restrictions tighten in Beijing
- Canadian government plans to extend quarantine rules for travellers
Sunday, June 28
- Foreign travel boost as UK gives green light to “air bridges”; overseas trips
- Coronavirus upends tourism marketing, sparks idea of ‘safecations’
Saturday, June 27
- EU narrows down border list, U.S. unlikely to make the cut
- Air Canada, WestJet to drop physical distancing policies as air travel picks up
- Delta to warn pilots about possible furloughs, offers early retirement
Friday, June 26
- UK ditches quarantine for arrivals from low COVID-19 risk countries
- Air travel is about to go through its biggest transformation since 9/11 — and passengers will pay for it
- Virus-free Vietnam and New Zealand see different domestic tourism rebounds
- American Airlines will book flights to full capacity
- Alaska tourism scrambles to adjust to summer season without big ships
- Arizona senator proposes tax credit for domestic travel
Thursday, June 25
- Hawaii visitors can bypass quarantine with negative COVID-19 test in August
- Disney delays California park reopenings after surge of coronavirus cases in the state
- Indonesia eyes travel bubble with Australia, Japan, South Korea, and China
- Thousands of job losses, up to 100 aircraft grounded: Quantas announces massive post-COVID shake-up
- Eiffel Tower reopens, ending 104-day coronavirus shutdown
- Major cruise lines are paused, but small ships are revving up
- UK tourism sector releases ‘Good to Go’ campaign to spur staycations
- Virus-free Vietnam would like to stay that way and won’t welcome tourists yet
Wednesday, June 24
- WestJet lays off 3,333 workers as pandemic continues to wipe out demand for air travel
- Key Lufthansa shareholder endorses German state bailout
- New Jersey, New York and Connecticut to ask visitors from several states to self-quarantine
Tuesday, June 23
- Saudi Arabia won’t allow overseas visitors to attend Hajj
- U.S. travelers likely won’t be allowed into EU anytime soon
- Chile celebrated success against the coronavirus — and began to open up. Infections have soared.
- Spanish Royals launch ‘Spain for Sure’ tourism campaign
- U.N. report shows Europe leading tourism comeback
- Thailand’s social enterprises help small tourism businesses hit by crisis
- Delta CEO on masks: ‘We will not forcibly remove you from the plane’
What the media is saying…
Skift – Who wants an American tourist now?
Snippet: As America continues to be the global hub of coronavirus infections and deaths, it is about to become a pariah state of tourism, both inbound and outbound. In fact, The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the European Union is looking to make official its already widely-known unofficial stance that Americans (and other high-infection nations) won’t be welcome this summer. … The result is a stunning reversal: Americans were traveling out of the country in bigger and bigger numbers in recent years – taking 93 million international trips in 2018, up 6.3 percent, and an estimated 100 million in 2019, up 7.6 percent, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and Skift estimates.
NPR: Countries balancing tourism with COVID-19 concerns (7-minute listen)
Snippet: Nations that are heavily dependent on tourism are trying to walk a fine line between the need to reopen their beaches and resorts – and the risk of importing more cases of the coronavirus. Opening up could help the economy, but it could also plunge countries into another health crisis.
The Economist – Pandemic-proofing the planet
Snippet: To see Disease X simply as a warning about covid-19 that the world ignored is, though, to miss the point that the who panel was making…It was a warning about aspects of modern life that encourage the spread of previously unknown pathogens like SARS-COV-2. As long as these matters are not addressed, the risk will remain of further zoonotic outbreaks, in which a pathogen passes from animals to human beings, and then from human to human in the exponential way now sadly familiar.
What experts are saying…
Agility – Second wave of COVID-19 pandemic feared as leading threat to business continuity
Snippet: New research from International SOS reveals that over 70 percent of companies’ primary business continuity concern is further disruption from a second wave of the pandemic. While there is a keen focus on return to work measures, over 21 percent of the respondents still don’t have a pandemic plan and process in place. Furthermore, over 20 percent expect mental health issues to also pose a major threat in the coming year.
Longwoods: Travel Sentiment Study (Updated)
Snippet: 69% of American travelers say they are changing their travel plans because of the coronavirus pandemic. travelers are more likely to support tourism businesses that demonstrate a clear, thorough cleaning and hygiene plan (43%), which test staff and the use of PPE by staff (34%), and those that have controls on social distancing at the business (34%).
TravelPulse – AAA predicts around 700 million trips this summer
Snippet: According to the 2020 AAA Summer Travel Forecast, Americans are once again making travel plans, but most are being cautious, which has resulted in a 15-percent decline in journeys as compared to last July through September. The study found that 97 percent of respondents would be traveling this summer via road trip, while air travel is expected to drop by an astounding 73 percent. Rail, cruise ship and bus travel are also expected to fall by 86 percent.
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