Does Covid-19 affect travelers?
Short answer. Yes.
With the recent pandemic that strikes the world, everyone seems to be very much affected by it. Coronavirus disease 2019 or also known as Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The first case was identified in December 2019 at Wuhan, China and since then it has been spread globally causing a pandemic.
Common symptoms if contracting this virus include fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of smell and taste. On how this virus spreads are primarily between people during close contact when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks and produces droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
At this time, there is still no specific vaccines or treatment available for COVID-19. Hence, the best way to mitigate the spread of this virus is to be well informed about this virus. Several countries like Taiwan proved that handling how to protect ourselves from the virus can stop it to spread even further. As of, for now, the safest measure to protect ourselves from getting infected is by washing our hands regularly, using hand sanitizer, apply social distancing, and to avoid heavy crowds.
i) How it affects the tourism industry?
It is believed that the travel and tourism industry hold accounts for at least 10% of the global GDP. Hence, the impact of this epidemic will be putting the worldwide economy at risk. Currently, it is estimated that coronavirus pandemic will cut up to 50 million jobs (30 million in Asia, 7 million in Europe, 5 million in Americas and the rest is other continents) in the global travel and tourism sector as stated by World Travel and Tourism Council.
Each month, there is around 850,000 people travel from Europe to the United States alone which generates equivalent to a $3.4 billion contribution to the U.S. economy monthly. These figures prove that the travel industry really contributes to the economy of a country. Surely it will hurt a lot of other countries, especially those who are highly dependent on it.
To sum up on how Coronavirus will affect the travel industry;
- This pandemic could cut 50 million jobs worldwide in the travel and tourism industry
- The most affected continent is in Asia.
- Once this pandemic is over, at least 10 months are needed for the travel industry to recover.
ii) How it affects airlines around the world
When the majority of countries in the world banning their citizen to travel overseas and domestic to curb the spreading of coronavirus, airlines and cruise ships are to be the first ones to feel the impact.
According to IATA (International Air Transport Association), global air transport industry revenue will fall by $252 billion, 44% below 2019’s numbers. If the current situation continues, a lot of airlines will suffer great losses and might close down their businesses.
iii) When we will travel back normally
The reality is it’s impossible to say when the coronavirus will die down because it is a new virus and no vaccines have been found yet. So, it’s hard to estimate when we will get to travel normally like before.
But researchers look at the past pandemics to make a very base prediction on when this might end. Based on this prediction, the coronavirus will typically last between 12 and 36 months.
However, according to aviation analyst Paul Charles;
“We will get through this. We have an inherent desire to travel. It’s in our DNA. The virus is not going to kill that off. We will want to travel again and the industry will recover.”Paul Charles