Industry Update
External Article 7 May 2020

Who Will Come Last in Global Travel’s Staged Recovery?

Everyone wants to know when global travel will recover, but that is perhaps the wrong question. With the rise of the “travel bubble,” the prospect of recovery is looking a lot more uneven. Who gets to welcome visitors first?

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The travel and tourism industry desperately needs a source of hope, and in recent days, so-called "travel bubbles" seem to be it.


The idea, in the works for New Zealand and Australia, is that countries and regions that have done a good job of reducing and maintaining low coronavirus case counts — or didn't have high case counts to begin with — could open up cross-border travel with one another after opening up domestic travel. Citizens can move freely without quarantine between countries with such an agreement.

In addition to the "trans-Tasman bubble," countries including Austria, Israel, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Greece have been in talks to create a similar bloc. The Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia announced their bubble will launch on May 15.

It's a logical — if logistically nightmarish — idea. And it's also inherently political. That's because in order to work, countries have to have a high level of trust between themselves that each has done their jobs properly, and will continue to stay vigilant. Otherwise, reopening cross-border tourism becomes more of a liability leading to a second lockdown, rather than a needed source of economic recovery.


Read the full article at skift Inc.

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