Covid-19 Update: February Round-Up

Bannikin | March 5, 2021

Vaccines driving conversations & travel intentions

Welcome to our March media and communications newsletter, a comprehensive roundup of travel- and coronavirus-related developments affecting our industry at large from the previous month.

Vaccinations dominated the news this past month as increasingly more countries begin rolling out their respective inoculation programs. While vaccinations are great news, the differing levels of immunization attainment from destination to destination are creating complications.

Meanwhile, one year ago cruises were the canary in the Covid-19 coal mine for the travel industry. In February 2021, cruising has once again taken centre stage in many of the discussions about the global return of travel.

Thank you for your continued support and readership, and as always, if you can’t access an article due to a paywall, let us know and we may be able to send it through to you.

Keep well,

Your friends at Bannikin


The month at a glance

Feb 1-7

Feb 8-14

Feb 15-21

Feb 22-28


What the media is saying…

The Globe & Mail Global Covid-19 cases have dropped by half, and experts are looking for explanations
Snippet: Stronger public-health measures, stricter adherence to the rules borne out of fear of faster-spreading variants, and the natural seasonality of coronaviruses could all be playing a part, observers say. In countries with relatively high rates of vaccination and infection, such as the United States and Britain, immunity could also be starting to slow the spread.

The Atlantic — US Covid-19 cases are dropping fast. Why? Four reasons: social distancing, seasonality, seroprevalence, and shots
Snippet: One month ago, the CDC published the results of more than 20 pandemic forecasting models. Most projected that COVID-19 cases would continue to grow through February, or at least plateau. Instead, COVID-19 is in retreat in America.

Travel Weekly — Operators train their sights on some slow-travel options
Snippet: With travelers expected to embrace more immersive and so-called “slow travel” experiences post-pandemic, luxury operators continue to add more options for exploring Europe and North America by rail.

CTV – ‘Regenerative tourism’ takes centre stage as pandemic forces travel industry to re-evaluate
Snippet:  As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to decimate the global travel sector, the tourism industry has been forced to re-evaluate many aspects of its operations – with many looking for ways to re-frame the entire experience of tourism post-pandemic.

Canadian Travel News— Homebound Canadians looking to spend when they can finally hit the road
Snippet: Destination Counsellors International (DCI) did a study of Canadian consumers and found that Canadians are gearing up for what DCI calls “revenge travel,” a chance to explore the world after being pretty much locked up at home for a year or more.

Travel Weekly— The biggest post-pandemic challenge in travel
Snippet: How is travel changing? That question is really two questions, with two completely different answers, one for the traveling public and one for the travel industry.

National Geographic— How luxury travel will change for 2021
Snippet: From the desire for extreme isolation to a renewed focus on wellness, here are some of the emerging trends in the world of luxury travel as it adjusts to the new normal.

CNBC— Tahiti’s sudden tourism restrictions provide a lesson to people who can’t wait to travel
Snippet: As vaccinations are opening borders to some countries, Covid mutations are causing others to close. The volatile nature of the pandemic’s current stage is a reminder to travel-starved holidaymakers that the risks of traveling right now extend beyond contracting Covid-19.

Travel Weekly — Virtual tours become reality
Snippet: Born of necessity as a way to keep clients engaged when the pandemic shut down travel, guided video tours are now a viable product for tour operators and advisors — and Amazon sees an opportunity.

Los Angeles Times — In interest of safety, Summer Olympics in Tokyo should be cancelled
Snippet: As much money is at stake, as frightening as it is to resort to a measure that was last taken in World War II, the Olympics have to be canceled, says Dylan Hernández. Close to 80% of Japanese residents either agree or think the Olympics should be postponed again, according to a poll conducted  by public broadcaster NHK.


What experts are saying…

Wunderman Thompson— Tourism is undergoing a fundamental shift as travellers rethink where they want to go and why
Snippet: With a return to travel on the distant horizon as vaccinations slowly begin rolling out, travelers are reconsidering what they want out of a trip. After a year of heightened isolation and loneliness, they’re not just looking to get away; they’re looking for meaningful connection and opportunities for self-reflection.

Skift — Digital health passports explained in 5 questions
Snippet: Digital health passports are taking off as technology companies and even governments start developing them, but too many of these passports could complicate things.

Condé Nast Traveler— What does a safe return to cruising look like?
Snippet: Behind the scenes, industry executives perform a delicate dance: crafting a strategy to resume cruise operations safely while adhering to the CDC’s no-sail advisory, which has been in place since March and was recently extended through September. Experts weigh in on pandemic-era learnings, and what’s ahead.

Travelweek— Is proof of vaccination coming for all cruise lines?
Snippet:  CLIA tells Travelweek that vaccines are “restoring confidence that the world will overcome Covid-19.” But this doesn’t mean that cruise lines will necessarily jump at the chance to implement a blanket-wide approach to vaccinations.

Skift — Lessons from Mallorca’s rushed reopening
Snippet: Mallorca’s slammed tourism industry could see recovery begin this summer, but there are huge “ifs” — vaccine rollouts, source markets reopening, and the ability to move away from mass tourism. Did moving too quickly add to these uncertainties?

Agility PR— As Covid rages, women seek positive messaging from brands
Snippet: The pandemic will have a lasting effect on the outlook, behaviour and psychology of women, with more than half  of US women reporting that the pandemic has made them realize what is really important, namely family relationships and health—and a desire for positive messaging from brands, new research from multi-platform media company Meredith Corporation finds.

Bloomberg— Travel’s biggest problem isn’t Covid, says Virtuoso CEO
Snippet: While other executives have called summer 2021 the breaking point for recovery,  Virtuoso Chief Executive Officer Matthew Upchurch sees the race being slower and steadier, with the messy economics that predated the pandemic having a lot to do with the industry’s survival.


What made us smile this month…

Meet the woman working to save a piece of Black history on Cape Cod
– Condé Nast Traveler

The future of luxury tourism in Africa is sustainable
– Travel Weekly

How a viral TikTok video booked out an Ontario Airbnb until 2022
– WanderEater


For questions or comments, email us:
Visit Bannikin’s dedicated Covid-19 page for our library of updates.