- The travel and tourism sector has massively suffered during the crisis.
- Not only airlines but almost all major tourist attractions and cruise lines have also been shut down during the pandemic.
- What still remains unclear is when everything returns to normal.
Gone are the days when we used to book flights and buy tickets without thinking about travel bans and restrictions. Unfortunately, everything has changed in the past few months – be it businesses, the education sector, or travel. The travel and tourism sector has massively suffered during the crisis. Not only airlines but almost all major tourist attractions and cruise lines have also been shut down during the pandemic.
In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the sectors that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Travel & Tourism Sector After Covid-19
According to research conducted by UNWTO, 100% of travel destinations around the world have imposed travel restrictions and border closures.
This decline is specifically harsh on sectors that depend mainly on the tourism industry. Tourist destinations, such as Nevada and Greece, where hotels and landmarks fuel the economy, have turned into ghost towns.
A few travel and tourism sectors mainly hit by pandemic include:
The Decline of International Tourists During the Crisis
The total number of international tourist arrivals have been elevated in the past decade. After the pandemic, a sharp 22% decline in the total number of arrivals have been recorded.
According to UNWTO’s forecast, the travel and tourism industry is expected to regain demand in 2021. The September update also predicts that the recovery in the domestic sector will be faster than international.
The Hotel Industry
Another travel and tourism sector that has significantly been impacted by the pandemic is hotels.
A massive 96%, 68%, and 56% decline in hotel stays have been observed in Italy, China, and the United States of America respectively.
On the other hand, high vacancies have also been reported as countries reopen borders and lift restrictions and travel bans.
Spain is one of the biggest examples where tourists spend roughly 300 million nights annually in hotels and public accommodations.
But that figure is also expected to drop massively due to the crisis as hotels across Spain have been shut down from mid-March.
Airlines and the Pandemic
Airlines all over the world have also faced a challenging time during a pandemic.
The IITAs financial projection released back in June illustrated that airlines internationally are expected to lose up to $84.3 billion in 2020 with a noticeable 50% decline in revenues and net profit margins.
“Financially, 2020 will go down as the worst year in the history of aviation. On average, every day of this year will add $230 million to industry losses. In total that’s a loss of $84.3 billion,” Director General and CEO IITA said.
Many airlines have seized their operations during the crisis. Despite the fact that many airlines have resumed now, most of them are still confronting a difficult situation.
The Timeshare Industry
The need for consumers to cancel their timeshare contracts is more relevant than ever before.
Sadly, many prominent timeshare companies, including Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Wyndham, and Hilton Grand Vacations, have found new deceptive ways of earning money.
The way these companies are treating their valuable customers during these challenging times is downright strange and cruel.
In a situation, where many businesses are putting their revenues aside just to help out those who need financial help, it’s sad to see how these timeshare companies have refused to reimburse consumers who’re not able to travel and utilize accommodations because of the pandemic.
The comments of the chair of the American Resort Development Association-resort Owners Coalition have been highlighted in the recently -issued Forbes article in which he said, “The best thing we can do with exit (is) judicial foreclosure, ruin the credit and enforce the contract.”
“Each developer should have an exit strategy office with (their) call center, also can be an opportunity to upsell. Only 40-50% (of owners) actually exit after reaching the office of exit.”
But most of these companies have failed to keep their promises, and consumers have suffered massively because of this irresponsible behavior during the pandemic.
The Return of Safe Travel and Tourism Globally
Enabling the travel and tourism sectors once again would be a challenging and time-consuming endeavor.
WTTC has also introduced the Safe Travels stamp that will help consumers identify companies that are following the health and hygiene practices so that they can enjoy safe travel.
Apart from that, airlines and airport authorities have also started following strict SOP measures to ensure safe travel.
As more and more counties have started to ease travel restrictions and reopen for tourists around the world, avid travelers are now again showing interest in taking flights and visiting their favorite international tourist destinations around the world.
The EU Commission has also issued guidelines for its member states to lift travel restrictions and promote international travel.
Newzealand and Australia have also planned to introduce a COVID-safe travel zone soon.
Other counties, such as Dubai, Lebanon, Croatia, and Kenya, have already lifted restrictions and reopened their doors for international travelers.
All in all, it’s still uncertain how many travel-related businesses will survive this deadly pandemic.
It’s not just about airlines only as many small-scale businesses, such as bars, travel agencies, and restaurants, have been impacted by the decline in international travel and tourism.
What still remains unclear is when everything returns to normal. Also, the concerns over the ongoing second wave have also forced travelers to consider their upcoming travel plans.
How COVID-19 has impacted your travel plans? Please let us know in the comments section below as we’d love to hear back.