The desire to travel, the great hope of the industry

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The desire to travel, the great hope of the industry
Wed October 14, 2020

Beyond that returning to levels prior to the Covid-19 pandemic will take a long time and restrictions persist, the industry is beginning to be hopeful with very encouraging data


After many months of anguish and bad news, this week there have been two reports made in fundamental source markets for the Americas that are really encouraging.
An overwhelming majority of American and Canadian travelers (99 percent) are eager to travel again, and 70 percent say they plan to take a vacation in 2021, according to a Travel Leaders Group survey of nearly 3,000 frequent travelers. The survey was conducted in September in conjunction with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector.
The results indicate that 45 percent of respondents have already made plans or are beginning to make finite plans for their next vacation, while 54 percent say they dream about when they can travel again.

“These are really strong numbers. The fact that 99 percent of surveyed travelers said they are planning a trip or looking forward to the time when they can travel again indicates that as concerns about COVID-19 are addressed, leisure travelers will lead. recovery, ”said John Lovell, President of Travel. Group of leaders.
In the survey, 23 percent of respondents said they plan to travel by the end of 2020, 70 percent said they will travel in 2021, and only 18 percent said they will travel again in 2022.

"Consumer uncertainty about exposure risk or quarantine concerns is a fundamental problem," said Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of WTTC. "With rapid tests to replace quarantine requirements, improved contact tracing, and industry-by-sector standards that can be clearly communicated to the public, we can help alleviate many of those concerns."

The willingness of Americans to travel can be seen in the slow, but steady, increase in the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) daily review numbers, which fell below 90,000 a day in April and are now approaching the million per day in peak periods. In 2019, TSA daily commuter counts averaged between 2.3 and 2.7 million passengers per day.

More than half of the travelers surveyed say they are concerned about the risk of becoming infected when traveling on a plane or cruise ship, getting stuck while away from home, or being quarantined on a cruise ship or hotel. A smaller number cited concerns about them or a family member contracting the virus while traveling, concerns about getting a refund if the trip is canceled, and concerns about family members with higher-risk health conditions.

Most respondents said the following health and safety initiatives at airports, on board airplanes, and in resorts will make a big difference in their decision to travel in the future: mandatory masks, social distancing, improved cleanliness, screening temperature and access to disinfectant gel. . For resorts, contactless services and customizable room cleaning were also mentioned.

"Our industry needs to do more to inform potential travelers of all the health and safety protocols that have been implemented across the industry and continue to standardize those protocols to restore consumer confidence in travel," Lovell said. “Airlines, airports, and cruise lines have made great strides in health and hygiene measures taken in close consultation with the world's leading medical experts. We need to share that story with the traveling public".

Almost 60 percent of those surveyed said that the requirement for a negative PCR test before reaching a destination would make no difference or would be considered positive, while about 40 percent said that such a requirement would be an impediment. Those concerns can be addressed with rapid tests, Lovell said. "We believe that the wide availability of rapid tests will result in greater acceptance of pre-trip tests and will encourage more people to travel," he said.

Most of the respondents who said they plan to take a vacation said they will fly to their next vacation destination (47 percent), 21 percent will drive, 17 percent said they plan to take an ocean cruise, and 5 percent. hundred will opt for a river cruise.

Europe (38 percent), the Caribbean (34 percent) and Mexico (15 percent) are the top-ranked international destinations of interest, followed by Canada (for US travelers), Central and South America.

For American travelers, uncrowded, outdoor and beach experiences topped the wish list.

For Canadians, any uncrowded places and National Parks topped the list.

Restrictions a barrier to overcome
Airports Council International (ACI) World and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) today reinforced the urgent call for governments to use testing as a means to reopen borders safely and restore global connectivity and to prevent systemic collapse. of the aviation industry with non-debt generating financial support.
Safe reopening of borders without quarantine using a coordinated approach to testing would boost the entire economy and be a lifeline for airline and airport revenue.

Connectivity, still a mystery
IATA estimates that airline revenues will be reduced by at least 50% and therefore it is still premature to ascertain whether the number of flights prior to the pandemic will be available to the industry in future years.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO, said: “We need to act quickly. Much of the world's airline network has been severely broken for more than half a year. Job losses, inside and outside the industry, increase with each day that borders are closed. And with every job lost, recovery and the impact on the overall economy becomes even more difficult. Momentum is building in support of trials to reopen borders. It is the top operational priority. And to make sure we have a viable aviation sector at the end of this crisis, a second round of financial relief is inevitable. "

According to the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization (WHO), ICA and IATA are united in the belief that the costs associated with public health measures aimed at mitigating the spread of communicable diseases, including the introduction of a coordinated approach to testing, must be assumed. by national governments.

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