How quickly can the Covid-19 vaccine make travel possible?
Will travel ever look the same again? Professor Colin Michael Hall and colleagues from University of Oulu and Wakayama University provide expert insight in article on The Conversation.
The recently-announced trans-Tasman bubble between Australia and New Zealand is one of the few options for international travel in the pipeline. DEAN LEWINS/AAP
Before COVID-19, there was much concern about whether tourism had grown too big for our planet. There were calls to scale back tourism, make it more environmentally sustainable and help over-touristed locations become more resilient to crises.
However, with almost no international travel in 2020, we now have the opposite problem. The pandemic caused a 70% drop in international tourist arrivals globally from January to August, compared to the same period last year.
Destinations reliant on international tourists have been the hardest hit. Many are in developing countries, where tourism is a major export earner. For example, according to the World Bank, tourism makes up nearly 15% of Thailand’s GDP, which is why it recently started allowing select foreign tourists to return for extended stays.
But attempts to reboot international travel on a wider scale have so far failed due to successive waves of COVID-19.