What We’re Reading in July: Recovering From a Pandemic
Stay up to date with the latest travel and tourism industry news with the help of our monthly round up. Here are some of the articles we found to be the most insightful on the future of travel and tourism during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Please scream inside your heart.”
While the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak have been grave – both in terms of loss of life and the virus’ sudden spread meaning quick adjustments that both economies and people weren’t ready for – things are on the mend.
Attractions and museums are opening up again with renewed safety measures. In some cases measures are being taken to extremes, for Japan’s Fuji-Q Highland amusement park that meant urging theme park guests not to scream on rollercoasters. Thankfully most attractions have stuck to one-way systems and hand sanitizing stations, but the theme park’s motto of “scream inside your heart” does seem to hold true for 2020.
It goes without saying, or screaming, that this new normal will take some getting used to. Check out Vox’s article on the mental health implications it might have. With reassurances of safety measures in place, we hope that people will begin to tap back into culture outside of their homes.
“Americans dropped $144 billion on tourism in 2018, making them the world’s biggest travel spenders after the Chinese. When they decide to go abroad, some 15 million of them choose Europe, mostly in the sunny summer. This means those new restrictions may protect European lives, but they will also severely affect the tourism industry across the continent.”
European venues may have reopened their doors, but they’ll likely be seeing less foot traffic than usual this summer. With an American travel ban in place, it’s expected that attractions across the Continent will see significantly fewer visitors – some 15 million Americans make Europe their desired vacation destination, and that’s largely in the summer.
While New Zealand sits pretty with zero cases after more than a month, coronavirus cases in Trump’s America have now surpassed three million. Domestic tourism in the United States is still going strong, but there’s little doubt that the tourism industry overall will suffer.
A number of countries still remain open to US travelers – under the proviso that they have proof of testing negative – including the Bahamas, St. Lucia, French Polynesia, and Jamaica.
“Some 58% of those surveyed said that they have avoided air travel, with 33% suggesting that they will avoid travel in future as a continued measure to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.”
A mindset of putting safety first is a clear worry for tourists. A survey conducted by the IATA of 4,700 air travelers from 11 countries found that once the pandemic has subsided only 12% of people would be willing to immediately return to air travel, 33% would wait a month or two, while 36% would wait up to 6 months.
Instability is an obvious buzzword right now. Life is in a trial phase and lockdown measures are being eased, but the odds of things returning to the way they were before March are hard to bet on.
“… all this thinking and talking about COVID-securing a visit, one may easily forget what people are coming for! The fun of an attraction, beauty of a garden, splendour of a historical venue, art and reflection at a museum. The shared experience of being away with their family.”
With the UK set to reopen museums and attractions, Museumnext has offered 10 tips on how to make your site coronavirus secure, that is to prepare customers for what to expect.
Along with suggestions to be flexible regarding rescheduling and to make safety guidelines visual, they’ve also reminded sites not to forget to show what makes a place worth visiting.
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