Pfizer boosts travel

By | Category: Travel news

The World Travel Market has opened in London this week.

There is always optimism at these events even in days of COVID but the news from Pfizer that a 90% effective vaccine has been developed added to that optimism.

For those pundits who have developed forecasts on how travel might look like over the next three to four years, they are probably going back to their drawing boards and recalculating their figures.

Market research companies will be quizzing their panels on what the actions of people might be in post-Pfizer times.

Destinations seem to falling over themselves to say that they will welcome international visitors with open arms once they are allowed to do so and that secondly, their safety and health protocols are the toughest so that visitors will be as safe as possible.

Three issues cropped up time-and-time again.

The first is about the requirements to visit a country. Indonesia, for example, wants a negative PCR test (not an antigen one) that has been carried out within seven days of your arrival. And it can take about three days between applying for a visa and it trundling through official channels before an electronic one is issued.

In the case of the Philippines, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours is required.

Most destinations also require a health form to be uploaded before travel.

The second issue is what measures are in place to protect us whilst we are there. All seem to involve some form of checking on arrival or at where we are saying and some of these can be quite stringent such as those reported by Just about Travel last week that relate to St Kitts and Nevis.  Many are making a point of thanking their health professionals just like the UK has done.

The third issue is when destinations will open for international visitors. Domestic tourism has opened in many places but international travel depends on whether travel corridors or bubbles are being negotiated. The short answer to the question is that destinations don’t know when international visitors may visit again.

Up until yesterday they might have guessed that at some time in 2021 there would be a small increase but that it wouldn’t reach pre-2020 levels for a few years.  

After the Pfizer announcement they may be having a rethink but even then it will take a while to produce enough doses and to vaccinate enough people to show a substantial increase in tourism numbers.

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