Young woman heading toward her departure gate at the airport and wearing a mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (photo via iStock/Getty Images E+/Pyrosky)
COVID-19 has affected pretty much everyone on the planet and generally overshadowed the past two-plus years of our lives.
So many of our decisions and actions over the past 26 months have been determined by the fickle nature of the virus, and shared anxieties about it have dominated our thoughts for so long.
But, now, those widespread COVID concerns appear to be on their way out, as vaccination rates rise, the Omicron variant seems to have peaked, and countries around the world have eased or entirely dropped their international travel restrictions.
In a recent live poll conducted by leading data and analytics company GlobalData, 57 percent of respondents said that they are “not concerned” or “not very concerned” about the spread of COVID-19. This affirms the attitude the world seems to have adopted toward the pandemic at this point, which is that we must treat the virus as endemic and learn to live with it.
“The outlook for tourism in many countries is brighter than at any time in the past two years,” said Hannah Free, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData. “However, the turbulence and uncertainty of COVID-19 has created several challenges which are likely to further complicate recovery. Rising demand, coupled with mass layoffs and competition for talent with other sectors, has resulted in widespread labour shortages in several tourism economies, such as the UK, the Netherlands, and Spain.”
With tourism now returning in earnest to many parts of the world, destinations and businesses will need to continue prioritizing hygiene and health safety measures in order to further boost travelers’ confidence and keep it high. GlobalData posited that coordinated health protocols designed to protect workers, communities and travelers alike, as well as support companies and their workforces, must be firmly established in order to build and maintain tourists’ trust.
“The global travel and tourism industry’s post-pandemic recovery is gaining traction as pent-up demand for international travel rekindles,” Free added. “According to GlobalData’s latest forecasts, on a global scale, international departures will reach 68% of pre-COVID levels in 2022. This is expected to improve to 82% in 2023, and 97% in 2024, before fully recovering by 2025 at 101% of 2019 levels. There is reason to be cautiously optimistic for the return of travel demand as growth in international travel is finally expected in 2022.”
For the latest insight on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide.
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