Tens of thousands of flights have been cancelled, borders have been closed and at one point during the last three months over a fifth of the world’s population was confined to their homes.
So it is little surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the travel industry. Global losses for passenger air travel could be as much as €100 billion in 2020, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and tens of thousands of jobs worldwide remain at risk.
And it’s not just airlines. Hotels, tour guides and some of the world’s biggest travel companies have taken a beating over the past few months, and while lockdowns are easing across the world, it will likely be some time before the tourism industry is back to normal.
If, indeed, it ever is. Even if a vaccine for COVID-19 is found, it could take months for consumers to build up the confidence to hop on a plane or a train and take a holiday. Meanwhile, a second wave of the virus could hit, forcing a return to closed borders, grounded flights and confinement.
“We don’t know exactly when travel will return,” Airbnb founder Brian Chesky wrote on May 5, 2020, announcing massive job cuts at the firm, “[and] when travel does return, it will look different.”
So what will travel look like after the coronavirus? How can airlines and airports, hotels and guest houses, restauranteurs and tour guide, adjust to the new normal? When will people feel that the time is right to take a holiday – and what kind of holiday will they take?
Euronews is speaking to a panel of experts to answer these questions and more. Join them and Euronews’ Damon Embling now to watch the live debate. Follow it on this page.
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