More and more countries are announcing plans to reopen. Most recently, Morocco and Australia announced reopening for international tourists on February 7 and 21.
Even New Zealand, which has long pursued a Zero COVID strategy, is gradually opening up. The global travel industry in 2022 is expected to return to near pre-COVID-19 levels.
1. Passing the dangerous stage
The call to remove restrictions on COVID-19 comes as health experts globally have determined that although the Omicron variant is highly contagious, it is less likely to cause serious illness, especially in people who have been vaccinated 2-3 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Leaders of many countries and leading epidemiologists worldwide have called for a change in the approach to the virus, seeing COVID-19 as part of everyday life. This is also the wish of many people.
On February 1, Denmark was the first country in the European Union (EU) to lift all restrictions and no longer consider COVID-19 a “serious social disease.”
Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe, predicts Europe will have “a long period of peace” with the epidemic. Cases of the Omicron variant are also cooling down in many states in the US.
According to the New York Times, in the UK and Denmark, most of the restrictive measures with COVID-19 have been lifted, including the mandatory requirement to wear a mask. From February 11, the UK does not require people who have been vaccinated to undergo testing before entering the country. Austria and the Netherlands eased their blockade, although infections still increased.
In mid-January 2022, the travel market research company Longwoods International surveyed 1,000 Americans who had traveled or worked before the pandemic. 91% said they plan to travel within the next six months.
According to data updated last week and expected to be released today (February 8), Longwoods International said that 31% of people surveyed confirmed that COVID-19 no longer influences their travel decisions.
This is the highest rate since the company started surveying customers’ travel needs in March 2020 and is an indicator that people’s thinking has changed.
Many Americans who want to travel abroad this year are not worried about the virus; they are just concerned about the possibility of being stranded abroad if they accidentally catch COVID-19 because then it will be more expensive and less fun.
2. Optimism about the future
After many times of “poking in and out” due to COVID-19, many travel businesses hope that this time they will reopen stably, long-term, more cohesively, and cooperatively to accelerate the recovery of the industry. In the coming years.
According to the New York Times, many companies have prepared to invest in new infrastructure and marketing campaigns.
Chris Heywood, executive vice president of global travel communications at NYC & Company Travel, said that “the pent-up demand for travel is huge” and as such, the company is “very optimistic about the future.” future.”
The company plans to promote in 12 international markets in the coming months and reopen 14 offices.
British travel agency Visit Britain also recently launched an international marketing campaign and invested more than $13 million to promote customers in the US and Europe. Companies like Expedia, Booking.com have also invested in marketing this year, starting with advertising.
The Thai government intends to discuss with China, Malaysia, and neighboring countries to open a safe travel bubble in Southeast Asia.
The Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports plans to send people to Beijing to attend the Winter Olympic Games and use the opportunity to seek a tourism agreement with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China.
From February 1, Thailand will restore the regulations for visitors to be exempt from quarantine and free to travel if they test negative for COVID-19 after entering Thailand.
Meanwhile, from February 4, Indonesia will shorten the mandatory quarantine period for vaccinated immigrants from 7 days to 5 days to promote international tourism, especially on the island of Bali.