Travelling has always been a stress buster and takes off a load of your routine hectic life. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the falling of the travel and tourism industry far and fast. The virus halted travellers’ travel plans around the globe and demanded to shelter in place. But with the coronavirus cases subsiding in the recent past, people saw a silver lining with respect to their travel plans. You can travel now to your favourite destinations by booking flights in advance but keeping in mind a few precautions.
COVID-19 impact on different tourism industries
The tourism industry is highly fragmented into groups of small and micro-business and covers a vast range of industries. This sector has faced a disastrous setback during the peak of COVID-19. Tourism sectors are often interdependent, and a crisis in one sector often impacts the other sectors significantly. As the sector looks to re-open, the tourism industry is working hard to provide a seamless travelling experience to its travellers.
The airline industry has been drastically impacted due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. Several airlines had to reduce their activities and ground their fleets with extreme impacts on employees and dependant activities. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) indicated a 44 to 80% fall in passenger traffic since the pandemic prevailed. As a result, a lag was observed in the air travel economy.
But, with a slight boost in travel, the aviation industry has started improving. Airlines have also started adapting to the new normal by making negative RT-PCR mandatory to be shown at the airport for all travellers.
Cruises came to a no-sail order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cruise industry faced a double challenge of the safety of both its visitors and workers. The cruise industry also faced the challenge of not being able to disembark and repatriate their clients. There was a huge downfall in bookings and revenues. During this extended period, the cruise ships remained at sea and kept seeking permission to berth and disembark passengers.
With the onset of travel, cruise travel is also recovering steadily.
As there was limited traveller movement, both domestic and international, railways also witnessed a significant drop in revenues and passengers.
Tour operators had to reduce and halt operations for a long duration due to the ongoing pandemic. As the travel was restricted, the tour operators had to suffer largely financially.
With the onset of travel, tour operators are also making a comeback and looking forward to making safe flight bookings keeping in mind all the COVID-19 protocols to combat the virus.
Globally, hotels reported extremely low occupancy rates, closures and huge financial losses with the outbreak of the pandemic. Renowned hotel chains witnessed their stock price plunge as a result of the pandemic. According to a report, several countries observed an average occupancy rate lower than 30%.
But, as the travel is normalizing, the accommodations are also picking up on their business. Travellers have started grabbing hotel bookings for their stay.
Is it secure and safe to travel during the Coronavirus pandemic?
Travel still comes with some risk of getting or spreading the infection of COVID-19. Check for a few things before you plan to travel to your favourite destination.
• Run a thorough check if COVID-19 is spreading in your nearby locality or the place you are planning to travel.
• Avoid travelling if you or any of your family members are having even the slightest symptom of Coronavirus or if you have been around someone with the COVID infection in the past 14 days.
• Only fully vaccinated people must travel. Unvaccinated family members, especially the ones with a higher risk of getting the infection (senior citizens, infants or those with underlying medical conditions).
How safe is it to travel after getting the Jab?
The good news amidst the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is that if you have got both the jabs of vaccines and have been given the time to take the effect of the vaccine, your body will significantly reduce the risk of getting a serious infection and spreading the virus.
For a two-dose vaccine, partial protection is provided after the first dose, and full protection is provided after the second jab. For a one-dose vaccine, the protection again COVID-19 begins after a few weeks of taking a shot of the vaccine.
It is significant to note that no vaccine offers 100 per cent protection against the virus, so check the guidelines at your travel destination and confirm the transmission and vaccination rates too.
What safety steps can be taken to prevent COVID-19?
While travelling, ensure that you follow all the standard precautions to safeguard yourself and your loved ones against the COVID-19 infection. Refer to the pointers mentioned below for safety precautions:
• Avoid heading to crowded places and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation as these places have a higher risk of spreading the infection.
• When in a public area, try to keep a 1 m physical distance from others.
• Always wear a mask when you are heading out of your house or a hotel room.
• Wash or use sanitizer on your hands at regular intervals. Ensure that you carry a small bottle of sanitizer with you always.
• Avoid frequent touching of your eyes, nose and mouth as it may cause infection.
• Frequently touched surfaces such as phones, keys, doorknobs, light switches must be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
• If you are planning to eat outside, search for the safest options to dine in. You can also consider ordering take-out as it has a lesser risk than eating outdoors. Make sure that you wash properly sanitize your hands before eating.
• Get immediate medical care if you or your loved ones experience fever, cough or any other symptoms of COVID-19.
Travelling during the coronavirus pandemic can be safe and fun at the same time if you follow all the safety precautions. To book flights and hotels for your travel, you can visit the HappyEasyGo website or download the HappyEasyGo app for free. Have a safe and happy vacation only with HappyEasyGo.