BUT YOU KNOW: TOURISM
Welcome to our July media and communications newsletter, designed to help you track travel- and coronavirus-related developments that continue to affect our industry at large. We’ve decided to follow a monthly schedule with our newsletter moving forward, but rest assured—we’re tracking the news every day, so please reach out if you’re in need of insights.
It’s been roughly 20 weeks since the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic, and while a vaccine has now begun late-stage trials, the changes this crisis has brought upon the tourism industry—not to mention the world at large—continue to evolve each day.
A number of destinations are continuing to turn their interests inward, offering incentives to residents to explore—and spend—at home in lieu of international vacations. A domestic approach may be for the best, at least in the short-term; epidemiologists and the CDC have decried international travel this month, stating “it’s just not wise right now. We don’t have enough information, and we don’t have the provisions in place to be able to do that safely.”
Still, the tourism industry seems to be split into diametrically opposed viewpoints: those who believe international travel will contribute needlessly to the spread of the virus, and those who believe it to be necessary for economic recovery. Hotels and airlines tout their safety measures—a practice which has brought about the term “Hygiene Theatre“—and some destinations are welcoming travellers from the U.S., even as cases in the country surged past 4.3 million.
There’s no denying the drop in tourism has been especially devastating for many tourism-reliant, developing countries. In Bali, for instance, resort workers are turning to farming and fishing to earn a living.
That said, there is also a clear disparity between what science has taught us about this airborne virus and the industry’s desire to kick travel back into gear—and ignoring that science is taking its toll on the most vulnerable in the sector. Travel professionals around the world report being forced to balance their understanding of public health with their need to pay their bills. As Jalayne Jones, a bartender from the U.S. Virgin Islands with a majority Black population put it:
“I feel like opening back up is incredibly detrimental to the community, but you know: tourism.
…Our jobs are in this industry that, at the same time, is killing us.”
Below is our now-monthly roundup of news, expert insights and food for thought about what has been happening in the travel industry. 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.
Your friends at Bannikin
The week at a glance
June 28-July 4
- Air bridges shelved as holidaymakers cleared for take-off to 75 countries
- U.S. Travel Association strongly encourages mask-wearing
- UK scraps travel restrictions for 50 nations, U.S. will need to quarantine
- Report: Tourism to Latin America hammered by COVID
- International destinations reopening to tourists
- EU issues guidance for cruising’s return
- Pandemic costs Africa tourism almost $55 billion
- CDC director says airlines shouldn’t allow full planes
- Agents refuse to book holidays for July and August
- Health safety protocols build on tour operators’ strengths
- Rio de Janeiro beaches will remain closed until there’s a vaccine
- Disney World opens its gates, with virus numbers rising
- Many countries hope for a domestic tourism boost due to the pandemic
- Japan’s domestic tourism campaign already drawing criticism
- Travel lures Americans can’t take advantage of right now
- Here’s where Americans can travel now. But should they?
- Airlines refusing to provide refunds for Covid-19 may damage reputations
- EU travel unity unravels into confusion of border controls
- Heathrow aims to trial virus tests opening way to U.S. flights
- The Maldives is opening its doors to everyone from July 15
- Canada-U.S. border closure to be extended to Aug. 21
- CDC: More work to do before No Sail Order can be lifted
- As Puerto Rico prepares to reopen, residents are concerned
- Thailand tightens borders over fears of second wave of coronavirus
- Qantas pulls almost all international flights to March 2021
- American Airlines warns of potential furloughs
- U.S. Travel urges lawmakers to boost pandemic relief
- Skyscanner plans to cut 300 jobs, close offices
- Ireland may strengthen measures at airports after quarantine criticism
- Flights to and from Spain soar in July, still fraction of year-ago
- Two Caribbean destinations tap the brakes on reopening
- Germany tightens rules for travel; pushes for more proof of testing
- Study examines Covid crisis’s impact on Caribbean marketing, budgets
- Coronavirus: Oxford vaccine triggers immune response
- European hoteliers brace for loss of American travelers
- Nepal to restart international flights
- Greece’s tourist reopening brings more infections; no economic panacea
- US airlines brace for further volatility in second half of 2020
- Amsterdam wants nothing to do with Europe’s tourism revival
- Emirates now covering passengers for COVID-19 related expenses
- Marriott to enforce a mask mandate in public spaces
- New Adventure Travel Health & Safety Guidelines released
- Hawaii not ready to reopen – residents
- Ireland rolls out vouchers for domestic staycations
July 26 – July 31
- Air travel not expected to recover until 2024
- Moderna and Pfizer begin late-stage vaccine trials
- Puerto Rico puts tourism on hold
- Mysterious coronavirus outbreak catches Vietnam by surprise
- European tourism faces turbulence only weeks after restart
- WHO says travel bans aren’t the answer to Covid-19
- Travellers returning to UK from Spain required to isolate for two weeks
- Bahamas lifts ban on U.S. visitors but adds a mandatory quarantine
- ‘Revenge travel’ could bring back tourism with a bang
What the media is saying…
New York Times — Voices From Travel’s Front Lines: ‘We Walk in Fear, We Work in Fear’
Snippet: Workspaces in the tourism industry are now filled with restrictions and health measures, uncertainty and new procedures. With new coronavirus cases rising in many regions, those just returning to work wonder, yet again, how long they will be employed and if they are safe.
TravelWeekly — The travel industry begins to split on health vs. economics
Snippet: I worry that criticizing Europe for extending a not-unreasonable travel ban could undermine the credibility of the industry and its focused messaging that “your safety comes first.” Perhaps consumers’ pent-up demand for travel overseas is rising in parallel with industry impatience to meet that demand, and health considerations are secondary. But perhaps not.
The Atlantic — Hygiene theater is a huge waste of time
Snippet: Hygiene theater builds a false sense of security, which can ironically lead to more infections. Many bars, indoor restaurants, and gyms, where patrons are huffing and puffing one another’s stale air, shouldn’t be open at all. They should be shut down and bailed out by the government until the pandemic is under control. No amount of soap and bleach changes this calculation.
New York Times — With tourists gone, Bali workers return to farms; fishing
Snippet: “People are depending on it like opium. Tourism is fragile, and we have gone too far. We have been abandoning the fundamental things that mobilize the economy.”
Washington Post — Need some good news about Covid-19? Here are six reasons for optimism.
Snippet: For the first time in history, nearly every scientist in the world is focused on the same problem. This is starting to pay real dividends.
Reuters — Touchless: How the world’s busiest airport envisions post-Covid travel
Snippet: With Covid-19 ravaging the aviation industry, airlines and airports worldwide are reining in costs and halting new spending, except in one area: reassuring pandemic-wary passengers about travel.
What experts are saying…
Longwoods Intl — Travelers prefer destinations which require face masks
Snippet: According to the survey, the percentage of American travelers who now feel safe traveling outside their community has fallen to 38%, the lowest level since mid-May.
TravelWeekly — Epidemiologist says time isn’t right for travel’s restart
Snippet: We are not ready, and all of the provisions that people are trying to put in place and these recommendations that are being made are not fueled by science or public health, they’re fueled by people’s desires to get back to business and get back to the lives they had before this.
Skift — Cruise lines’ pandemic booking practices are ‘astonishing’: CDC official
Snippet: Only they can tell you what they’re thinking about. Or maybe there is a level of denial of the magnitude of the problem and there’s a certain amount of wishful thinking in recovery.
Agility PR — Beyond Covid: 5 consumer segments that will shape demand beyond the pandemic
Snippet: New research from tax, transaction and advisory services firm EY helps shed some light on life beyond the clutch of COVID. The firm’s new study identifies five new consumer segments (Affordability; Health; Planet; Society; Experience) that will emerge in the post-COVID world.
What made us smile this month…
For questions or comments, email us:
Visit Bannikin’s dedicated COVID-19 page for our library of updates.