COVID 19 – also famous as Coronavirus is no doubt affecting the world in all ways possible. From the local businesses, all the way to the travel industry. Spring and summer holidays are cancelled, for now, due to the rapid spread of the virus. But, how exactly the COVID-19 affects the travel world, including the companies, the workers and the travellers?
With the virus being in over 100 countries, affecting thousands of people, everyone is worried about the virus spread-out. Governments all around the world placed travel bans for people who are coming from and going to the most infected countries. For example, Italy, China, Iran, South Korea and Japan. North Korea, India and Slovakia closed their borders to the international visitors as a precaution measure. More than 30 countries have implemented entry bans to all Chinese citizens or recent visitors to China.
Fewer Visitors in all countries
Travel restrictions are happening in most countries in the world. The countries that are deeply affected by the Coronavirus are the main destinations of travellers. Italy, China, South Korea and Japan are mainly tourist destinations throughout the year. As you can see everywhere on the internet, the busy streets and busy airports are no longer in sight. Chinese travellers make up the majority of the world’s travellers. In 2018 alone, Chinese tourists took almost 150 million trips outside of the country. With the implementation of the travel restrictions, many countries lost their projected revenues coming from Chinese tourists.
Prices and Travel Stocks are Plunging
If there is no travel, then there is no revenue coming in for the companies. Travel and tourism stocks are going down the hill and haven’t recovered since. Airlines are slashing their ticket prices; travel agencies are losing thousands of dollars. A round-trip fare from Boston to Barcelona is only $196 in comparison to the usual fare of $681. Not only international flights, but most domestic destinations are also heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Airlines could lose $113 billion in sales and hotels are estimated to lose $30 billion worldwide, according to the International Air Transport Association. Everyone is not sure when and how the economy will go back to the way it was before.
Workers right: Unpaid leaves, sick leaves, remote work
As said before, there is little to none revenue coming to the travel and tourism industries. Coronavirus does not only affect the big bosses, but the workers are also facing significant threats. From health concerns, all the way to the financial problems. Flight attendants and pilots are two of the most at-risk occupations in this period. A few airlines offered their workers “three months of unpaid leaves” due to the virus, namely Malaysia Airlines and Malindo. Some companies are giving out sick leaves for their employees who are unwell and remote work to prevent the virus spread-out.
The sales in the travel and tourism industry are plummeting faster and faster because of the outbreak. The companies are driving the sales up by offering their customers with promotions like none other. Hotels and resorts are giving out lower prices, even luxury hotels. The outbreak will potentially hurt the full-year earnings of the biggest hotel brands. Airlines are slashing their ticket prices, and tour agencies are cutting off their packages.
What if you really really need to travel?
According to the World Health Organization, these are the steps you need to take as a precaution for when you really need to travel.
– Avoid close contact with people suffering from a fever and cough
– Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
– Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth
– When coughing or sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
– If you choose to wear a face ask, be sure to cover mouth and nose – avoid touching mask once it’s on
– Immediately discard single-use mask after each use and wash hands after removing masks
– If you become sick while travelling, inform crew and seek medical care early
– If you seek medical attention, share travel history with your healthcare provider
– Eat only well-cooked food
– Avoid spitting in public
– Avoid close contact and travel with animals that are sick
Travelling might sound so scary for the past few months and the coming months, but let’s hope everything will get better. In the meantime, stay safe and stay healthy. Follow the health procedures given out by the World Health Organization, as well as your local governments!
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!
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