It’s no surprise that the pandemic has wrecked the world of tourism. As of July, it was estimated that the world tourism sect would be slashed at least $1.2 trillion due to the Coronavirus. According to Statista and World Economic Forum, this will set the travel industry back 20 years. With photos of vacant places like Times Square and The Colosseum circulating early on in the pandemic, it’s not hard to imagine that tourism will be hit hard due to the virus. With so much uncertainty, it’s hard to know what the mood will be when travel is commonplace again. Will people have a pent up desire to travel? Or will the fear of another outbreak keep them in place? This study gives hope for the former. Massive improvement in tourism come 2021 may be in the cards.
According to the latest survey done by the World Travel & Tourism Council, tourism may have hope in 2021. The study revealed that a staggering 99 percent of US and Canadian travelers are chomping at the bit to travel again. Additionally, 70 percent of participants noted that they strongly plan to take a vacation in 2021. Of these participants, 45% of them have already made plans or are beginning to make plans for travel in 2021. This brings great hope to an industry that has been completely ravaged by the outbreak of COVID 19.
Fear vs. Eagerness
As reported by this study, travelers do still have apprehensions about traveling. Over half of those surveyed stated that they are concerned about the risk of infection and the hassle of quarantine on arrival. However, health and safety measures such as masks and distancing help to ease these fears and make travel safer for all involved. John Lovell, president of Travel Leaders Group, had this to say: “Airlines, airports, and cruise lines have made major strides in the health and hygiene measures they have taken in close consultation with the world’s leading medical experts. We need to share that story with the traveling public.”
The study also concluded that a vast majority of tourists would be willing to get tested for COVID-19 prior to travel. Almost 60% of applicants felt that a negative test requirement before traveling would make no difference to them or be viewed as positive. This is a huge stride in the right direction as we move toward a vaccine and learn to work more in sync with combating the pandemic.
Where are people itching to go?
Most sought-after destination spots include Europe at 38% and the Caribbean at 34% followed by Mexico at 15%. Travelers, while eager, still plan on visiting places with fewer crowds to curb the risk of exposure. This means nature destinations like beaches and mountains are in high demand.
All in all, these things are good for global tourism. Coronavirus has changed all of our worlds in more ways than one, and the best we can do is work together to be more mindful, responsible, and sustainable travelers.