Unified practices crucial for quick revival of travel industry

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Common practices in the travel and tourism sector will help to restore the industry which is critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, experts opined at the Tourism Tomorrow webinar.

Governments around the globe must come together with a unified international travel protocol including systematic COVID-19 testing of passengers before boarding and avoid imposing mandatory quarantines upon arrival which is a main reason for the decline in demand.

Global airlines are facing a gloomy winter as a resurgence of COVID-19 infections and travel restrictions reduce demand.

Bringing unified travel protocol is beyond the cooperation between the government and private sector as it should be agreed between every government around the globe to ease the impact on economies and support the industry, Elie Tabchouri, Google’s head of Public Sector and Telco units, said.

Peter Brun
Peter Brun
Chief Communications Officer
VFS Global

“Quarantines don’t help, people won’t travel because the rules change every week, don’t bet on a vaccine, we need to create a new normal with a testing regime. What’s important is that governments work together to establish one key regime. To have common procedures and standards is the way forward to survive the winter.”

The International COVID-19 test protocols for departing international passengers at airports are expected to be rolled out within four weeks with a hope that it could ease the decline in air travel, says Gloria Manzo Guevara, chief of the World Travel & Tourism Council.

The aviation industry is expected to rebound by the second quarter of 2021 if the travel restrictions are eased and vaccines are introduced, but the sector won’t reach pre-pandemic stage until 2023 Mr. Brun stated.

It is estimated that the demand for leisure travel will recover sooner than business trips as most of the companies have relied on technology for remote meetings, says Jaki Ellenby, director of Marketing and Events at Global Village.

The COVID-19 crisis will force the tourism industry to embrace digitalization faster as it copes with new norms and the changing needs of travelers, Mr. Tabchouri said.