The Travel Rush begins – now what?

The Travel Rush begins – now what?

The Travel Rush is beginning, and the travel industry is ramping up to be ready!   Excitement is growing amongst travelers. Destinations around the world are thrilled to be finding ways to welcome us back. 

The last days of March and early April saw 40,000 US hotel jobs added. Hotel occupancy rates moved to just shy of 60%. Over 1 million travelers consistently went through airport security checkpoints1.  Airlines are rehiring pilots, recertifying planes, and preparing to reopen routes domestic and international.  Cruise lines are announcing departure dates, albeit from non-US-based ports. With the restart of cruising we see a huge indicator of a true safe return to travel.   

This is all great news!  What a change from a year ago when we watched the world slowly close down. When our immediate lives shrank to a small footprint.  I don’t know about you, but for the past year, my passport has just lain in the drawer while I’ve dreamed of traveling again. 

A Travel Rush is what we are seeing as the world is starting to open up.  

Are you ready? With the arrival of the vaccination our collective desire to travel is increasing like a kettle set to boil. 

Are you still hesitant even with your vaccination?  Are you unsure and need a stronger more ethical reason to get back traveling?   I think this is what you’ve been looking for – we need to travel for the world. #TogetherInTravel

The one thing I know. Life is an adventure, and you’ve got to hold on and let it carry you away.

~ John Voorhees

I’m going to go nerdy numbers for a short bit. Stick with me here because this is one of those times when numbers matter.

I’ve been following the staggering economic loss data since last Spring. Generally, I am aware of the economic disaster putting the world in a strangle hold. And, last week I attended a call with the World Travel and Tourism Council. That call changed many of my beliefs about travel and tourisms impact on global economy generally but also specifically for this moment. My inner nerd loved the charts and graphs. Yet, in amidst all those pretty charts it was clear there is a real crisis at hand.

Gloria Guevera, WTTC President and CEO, went through the current numbers. The message was, we need to get back at it, and soon.

Her conversation with Matthew Upchurch, CEO of Virtuoso, reminded me of our recent Texas ice storm where literally we were minutes away from losing the entirety of the electrical grid. Listening to Ms. Guevera speak made me see we are close to the same moment with travel and the global economy. We are at that tenuous moment of decision to act. Based on the numbers, it’s time we step up and be part of travels comeback, both domestically and internationally. With the vaccination rates increasing, the ability to go is now a reality. Too long a delay will result in further devastation taking probably a decade to resolve.

The COVID19 pandemic hit the travel and tourism sector hard – ridiculously hard. The good news is that we can be part of the solution but first the numbers.

  • In 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector contributed 10.4% to global GDP; a share which decreased to 5.5% in 2020 due to ongoing restrictions to mobility.
  • The Travel & Tourism sector suffered a loss of almost US$4.5 trillion to reach US$4.7 trillion in 2020 (as comparative Germany’s annual GDP is $4.31 trillion/Japan’s is $5.37trillion)
  • In 2020, 62 million jobs were lost, representing a drop of 18.5%The threat of job losses persists as many jobs are currently supported by government retention schemes and reduced hours, which without full recovery of Travel & Tourism could be lost.
    • Loss is projected at 100 million jobs.
  • Domestic visitor spending decreased by 45%, while international visitor spending declined by an unprecedented 69.4%.1

Still here?  thanks for hanging in there.  A last little bit of number geeking, before I shove it back into the cupboard. 

  • 334 million people in 185 countries are employed by the Travel & Tourism sector.  Put another way, 1 in 10 of all global jobs connects to Travel & Tourism2 (btw, 337 million people live in the USA)

These numbers reflect anything you experience while traveling to destinations around the world. That favorite restaurant or shop you have been pining for may not have survived, and those still standing may be on the edge of folding. 

50% of Travel & Tourism sector jobs are held by women2

These numbers cover not just big suppliers and hotels, but include restaurants, shopkeepers, manufacturers, guides, artists, practitioners, gamekeepers, ecological initiatives supported by tourist dollars, and so many other facets there’s not room to name. 

  • 25% of all global net new jobs created over the past five years are in the Travel & Tourism sector 2

These numbers represent families and communities needing our most practical help not by just sending money but by showing up. The world needs travels vertical integration of economy that touches people’s lives from top to bottom. That bellhop has a family to feed, so do the women in the collective making jewelry to sell in the market. 

Travel is no longer just about doing something fun with extra money, it is now about supporting the world’s recovery in a tangible and most practical of ways, through basic economy.  

Our choosing to travel again is not just beneficial to ourselves, and our own little worlds in various levels of privilege, our choosing to travel again is vital for the re-development of the economies for the places we so love to visit. 

Man in boat with quote about travel

There is so much more I could talk about, I get really excited about travel and how we’re all connected, all the good we can do through travel…, but  I’ll leave it here for now.  I invite you to be part of the conscious comeback to travel.  #TogetherInTravel

If you are looking to travel, now is the time to partner with a travel advisor. A trusted travel advisor can help you navigate all the rules from states, countries, to supplier requirements. The world has changed a lot in how we now navigate our favorite destinations. Opal&Finch would love to help connect you to this big beautiful world in a way that brings lasting memories and joy.

Connect with us and let’s partner to get you back to traveling the world.

After waiting so long to travel, now is not the time to arrive at your favorite destination to discover it’s not what you’ve pictured. What a disappointment that could be.

Let a travel advisor help you avoid that kind of situation.

COntact Opal&Finch

Tips to booking your trip

  1. Be prepared for spending some serious time researching – the good hotel rooms, rental cars, and flights are filling quickly as the vaccinated decide to pack their bags and head out.  Supply is low and demand is high 
  2. Know what questions to ask the places and adventures you are considering 
    1. ensure the company is financially sound, still has the resources to supply what it is you are purchasing and has a refund/cancellation policy that’s workable
  3. Purchase travel insurance – without a doubt now is not the time to travel without the protection of your financial investment
  4. Research the travel requirements for where you are headed, even if it is a domestic location. Every state and city has different phases for coming out of COVID19 protocols. What’s happening in your city is not necessarily what’s happening where you are headed. Nothing worse than wanting to go enjoy the ambiance of a restaurant for your anniversary to find it’s only open to walk-up or take-out.
Planning travel map
Let’s get traveling

Why Use a Travel Advisor 

Connect with a travel advisor, hire them to review your plans. A travel advisor can review what you’ve pulled together, looking for any difficulties, and make certain it’ll be what you’re hoping for.

A travel advisors’ goal is always that your vacation is an experience that brings joy and delight. We want your trip to be filled with memories for a lifetime.

Remember that travel advisors are in the business of being in the know. We stay on top of knowing what’s Hot and what’s Not. Travel advisors know how to find out exactly how your destination and experience will feel, what changes you should expect. We’ll know if the destination will provide what you’re looking for.

Don’t be surprised if you find that hiring a travel advisor to pull the trip4 together feels like starting your vacation early.

The Travelers Tool Kit

Virtuoso Life Tool Kit

Your expert-sourced, door-to-door guide for getting back out there

As much as we can’t wait to travel, we know that it’s not going to look like it used to. To help you navigate it all, the Virtuoso Life team put together a new Traveler’s Tool Kit, packed with insight from infectious disease experts, maritime policy executives, Virtuoso advisors, and other industry leaders on what you need to know about traveling – whenever you’re ready to go

1The Week That U.S. Travel Started Its Recovery, by the Numbers Cameron Sperance and Sean O’Neill, Skift – Apr 02, 2021

2World Travel & Tourism Council Economic Impact Reports, https://wttc.org/Research/Econ…

*All travelers entering the US require a pre-return negative COVID test as per the CDC.

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Newsletter, Travel

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4/12/2021

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