When will travel return?

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 105 total)

  • Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    I’d be very interested to know your opinions (and also what you think it might look like when it does come back).

    I know some optimists think there will be a quick bounce back with everyone going on late Summer or Autumn holidays, while others point to the closed borders and quarantines as indicating a far longer hiatus.

    (If we could avoid criticising the policies of other countries, that would be helpful!)


    Woodpecker
    Participant

    Essential business travel will return as soon as the borders come down and/or lockdowns are lifted. It would also depend on travel advisories and visa restrictions. This may be sooner in Asia than elsewhere.

    Leisure travel I suspect may take much longer.


    ontherunhome
    Participant

    I work in the exhibition industry, and travel around Europe a lot. I do not see any resumption in my industry sector until end of June at the earliest, July and August are not the busiest of months, but may take up some re arraged dates. Realistically I am looking at September for my business.


    AFlyingDutchman
    Participant

    I’m in the hotel business, which like the airlines has been tremedously impacted by CoVid-19. Forward bookings seem to be picking up again from mid to late June with real business coming back from September. As already stated, this is of course all related to and dependant on the re-opening of borders, airports, and visa/foreigner restrictions being lifted. The current situation is devestating to our business like so many others.


    NorskSaint
    Participant

    I’d have to agree with what others have written here that Mid-August or September is likely. I’m also in the tourism business working for a multi-national and if you use China as a case it’s taken around 5 months since their lockdown to when we’d see a return of leisure travel. On that basis you see Europe in August or September and the US maybe slightly later – you can see a scenario where the EU bans US travellers, which I’m sure will not go down well with the current occupant in the White House!

    Norsk


    Montysaurus
    Participant

    I’m a pessimistic optimist – think the worst but expect much better. But I fear our annual trip to Madeira in September probably won’t take place.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    I suspect that the European governments will try to limit international travels for a longer time to at least cover the Summer (basically to avoid a massive number of people travelling across the continent for their holidays), even if business travelling might resume earlier.
    Beyond, intercontinental flights to Asia will probably operate in the early Summer. To to the USA, it is another story. Finally, we will need to see whether the virus goes South (where it gets colder) or not.


    BackOfThePlane
    Participant

    I work in leisure travel to Latin America and don’t expect any new bookings for travel before 1st September. Our specific problem is that, unlike China for example, Latin America is behind the curve, so, even if the health situation improves in Europe, will clients (especially elder clients) wish to travel there? And will the UK and European governments look to prevent the re-importation of the virus by advising against all but essential travel or simply banning it?

    The secondary issue, again purely from my own business point of view, is how viable will leisure travel be this year? Ok, some people haven’t lost out financially but a good proportion have. Long haul holidays might not be their number one priority.

    What too of the airlines? Will all the airlines that I rely on still be operating and, if they are, with the same frequency and prices? If travel to Latin America etc is subdued, will the likes of BA, Virgin, Air France, KLM etc concentrate on ‘safer’ routes?

    Finally, will all the companies, hotels etc that we work with still be in business?


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Thank you for such reasoned and honest replies. They do show how important the sector is.

    The Economist ran a piece about cruises which illustrated that.

    Holed under the waterline: 
The coronavirus may sink the cruise-ship business
    The industry has few friends and its main customers, the elderly, may shun it for good

    It certainly doesn’t pull any punches “Once sold as the safe and easy way to see the world, cruise ships have come to be seen as diseased-infested prison hulks that trap holidaymakers at sea.”

    But I wonder if the cruise industry is more resilient than the Economist seems… and the same goes for leisure travel, and of course business travel.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Discussing this subject last night over a virtual drink with friends, that’s after spending the afternoon at a virtual funeral in north London and early evening at a virtual ‘shiva’….. (visiting the mourners to provide comfort).

    My thoughts are the world will change after this virus with travel coming back very slowly. I think the ‘virtual’ world will expand to make the need for certain types of travel less needy.

    Firstly, you have the aeroplanes, the majority of which are in lock down and then you have the travelling public, the majority who are likely to remain in ‘social distancing mode’.

    I think passengers are going to demand more space in the back, so the creation of a new term ‘passenger distancing’ could evolve. Seeing the BA flights yesterday with pax crammed together, with so many spare seats/rows was wrong. The standard ‘Ryan excuse ‘free rows changes the weight and balance’, may be relevant for take off and landing, but not for the cruise and especially not by 1 row.

    Secondly, pricing, how are the airlines going to price tickets when flights restart. Yes passengers will need to be enticed back, but the airlines will try and recoup losses by perhaps increasing fares.

    Thirdly, I agree with Woodpecker about Asia opening up sooner, but the USA market is going to be interesting. I especially see London to New York (apparently one of the most profitable routes on all networks) having a serious ongoing problem because from the reports I see (mainly sky news) they are going to be hit HARD as will the rest of the states. All very well Mr T banning all Brits, but quite frankly why would anyone want to risk flying to the states. Last to be hit, last to recover.

    Fourthly, after 9/11, enhanced security was implemented (quite rightly) which caused massive q’s and it took the airports a good 5 – 6 years to speed this up. Indeed Heathrow are only planning to remove some of the enhanced security in 2022 (currently) when we will be able to pass through security without the need to dispose of liquids and remove computers (11 years after 9/11).

    A different sort of Q will be created, cross border health checks which I imagine could be in place for a long long time. Currently China is building walls and introducing strict rules for anyone entering and I see this spreading across all airports (of course except for the UK, who still have no interest in checking anyone). Long Q’s will form, especially on arrival at certain airports for health screening, until machines can be created to undertake the work.

    These are my thoughts & unlike most, I am hoping things will not BOUNCE back by around summer time, but more a case of a controlled, managed and safe service will return by the end of 2020. The singular biggest issue with this Virus (IMHO) is a minority of people, around the globe, have not understood, how serious this virus could become & the effects of this minority, could have serious implications for the majority who do understand.

    Stay safe everyone.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    esselle
    Participant

    Thank you for such reasoned and honest replies. They do show how important the sector is.

    The Economist ran a piece about cruises which illustrated that.

    Holed under the waterline: 
The coronavirus may sink the cruise-ship business
    The industry has few friends and its main customers, the elderly, may shun it for good

    It certainly doesn’t pull any punches “Once sold as the safe and easy way to see the world, cruise ships have come to be seen as diseased-infested prison hulks that trap holidaymakers at sea.”

    But I wonder if the cruise industry is more resilient than the Economist seems… and the same goes for leisure travel, and of course business travel.

    Interesting Tom.

    Cruise operators have been booking shipyards 4-5 years ahead to get their ships built for at least the last three years, such has been the growth in demand for cruising. “Bad” news (Costa Concordia, Noravirus etc) has had little if any impact on bookings.

    I remember being in a supermarket during the height of the last BSE crisis; all the lamb, chicken and pork had sold out, but the fridges were stuffed full of beef, until they made an announcement saying all beef was now half the marked price. The shelves were stripped bare as if by locusts within minutes.

    It may take time, and for some distance to be put behind Corvid 19, but I think things will return pretty much to normal for the industry eventually.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    This is probably the worse case scenario for the cruise industry, not because of the virus itself, but because of the horror confinement stories. Of course people will forget, but it might take time…


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Reading through this, I was formulating a reply part of which would have been that, at least in respect of cruises, there are going to be some spectacularly deep discounted offers (these has have existed for long time but they emerge into the public domain).

    Esselle’s comment is a sad but factual comment on the greed of humanity and I suspect that the cruise industry will bounce back.

    the fridges were stuffed full of beef, until they made an announcement saying all beef was now half the marked price. The shelves were stripped bare as if by locusts within minutes.

    We have been on a number of cruises on the last 3 years, and when I was younger I went on several on my own, not your Venice Dubrovnik Malaga stuff, but cruises such as Hurtigruten, Black Watch and so on.
    Would I go back to cruises? Probably yes, but I would be even more selective than before, and would only go if I could have a balcony cabin.

    As for the airlines, I suspect that when travel resumes, there will be disappearances and consolidations, fewer aircraft flying with fewer seats, which I would welcome, and the whole experience will less unpleasant. I suspect fares will be higher to cover lost revenues from fewer seats, and many people will be willing to to pay those fares, in the same way as when the price of any commodity goes up, purchases dip and then resume


    RedBaron
    Participant

    I think any talk of more than a trickle of travel occurring before the end of the year is optimistic to say the least. Commenting from Australia where the government has been stung by the fact that 2/3 of cases originated abroad or were spread by returning travellers, and 10% of all current cases came from one cruise ship that appears to have had interference from the highest levels of government to be allowed to disembark passengers, it would be a foolish government that didn’t maintain extremely strict quarantine procedures. With the likelihood that Indonesia is a ticking timebomb about to turn into a Covid-19 geopolitical incendiary device, I think that people will be more than welcome to leave the country, but the door will remain firmly slammed shut – with even returning citizens facing quarantine at their own expense for a long time to come.


    biguli76
    Participant

    So I am the only crazy italian -living in Brescia (!!!)- who can’t wait to go to Brazil. At the end of my quarantine..??? 1st May 2020

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