Due to COVID-19, international travel has taken a serious hit. Tourism is down worldwide, and governments are frequently changing visa requirements in an effort to protect their borders. Some students are still struggling to get home, and travel insurance plans are frequently being inundated with claims. Even two years later, it is too soon to tell the full extent of the impact that COVID-19 will have on international travel. But it is clear that the landscape has changed dramatically and has changed ever since. Here’s how the pandemic has changed international travel.
Tourism Suffers Worldwide
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has had a significant impact on the travel and tourism industry worldwide. Booking.com research shows that since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been a 50 percent decrease in hotel reservations in the Asia-Pacific region, a 30 percent decrease in hotel reservations in the Middle East and North Africa region, and a 20 percent decrease in hotel reservations in the European region.
COVID-19 has forced governments and businesses to reconsider how international travel is conducted. For example, the United Arab Emirates closed its airports to all passenger traffic for a time, except for those with a valid visa. This decision was made in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease. Other countries have also taken precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.In China, all international flights were cancelled. Thailand closed many of its borders to non-Thai nationals. And in South Korea, schools were closed and a lot of travel restrictions are still in place.
These travel restrictions have had a significant impact on the travel and tourism industry. In South Korea, the travel and tourism industry has suffered a $1.5 billion loss. In Thailand, they suffered a $2.5 billion loss. The travel industry in the United States has also suffered.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, there has been a $5.5 billion loss in travel and tourism revenue in the United States. These days, travel insurance plans and COVID go hand in hand thanks to trip cancellations and medical expenses. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on the travel and tourism industry is significant and is likely to continue to be a significant issue for some time.
Visa Requirements Change
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has caused a stir in the international community as countries attempt to protect their borders from the spread of the virus. This has resulted in a number of changes to visa requirements and travel restrictions. In the early days of the outbreak, only a few countries had imposed travel restrictions. However, as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continued to grow, more and more countries began to take action.
To this day, travel restrictions vary from country to country. Some countries are only requiring that travelers show a valid visa or passport. Others are banning all non-citizens from entering the country. There are also some countries that require a negative COVID test upon entry. The changes to visa requirements and travel restrictions have had a significant effect on travel plans. Airlines and hotels often see fluctuating and unpredictable changes.
Planning Travel During COVID
So, what are some of the things to consider before booking your trip in amidst of unpredictable times? First, you’ll want to check the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to make sure you are covered for COVID-19 as well as COVID-related expenses. Get the proper vaccinations and ensure that you have existing health insurance. Book your trip through a reputable travel company, and avoid traveling to high-risk areas.
Purchase a travel insurance policy that includes medical evacuation and repatriation. Check government advisories for your destination country. And make sure your passport is up to date. Carry copies of your insurance policy and health insurance cards with you. Keep your immune system strong by getting plenty of rest and exercise, and eating a healthy diet. And don’t forget to wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.
It’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the travel industry for good. And its long-lasting effects have yet to be determined.