Domestic travel recovery – tourism news April 2021

Two days ago I read a NightsBridge PMS article saying that numbers are up for the first time since 2019. I am sure they refer to local domestic business through their network. NightsBridge has a very large local client base of small and medium sized properties (B&B’s, guesthouses, etc) and more than often off the beaten track.

At the time of reading, I was thinking of how we as hospitality and hotel workers always looked up to our ‘big brothers’ in the 5-star market. They always were seemingly superior & better in everything than the rest ‘of us’ in the 3 star and ungraded, smaller, semi remote properties. I used to think that a landing 5-star job was a stellar achievement. I mean you deal with rich tourists, you have the best systems, the best staff, the best of everything and a great salary!

How the roles have reversed with the onset of the pandemic. The smaller properties are still open and according to NightsBridge enjoying a faster recovery. The big 5 stars are bleeding without international tourists and many are still closed.

Anyhow we are all in this together and I happy to share a report I got yesterday. From all the information available to us, the ‘new’ deciding factor for travel to resume is seemingly ‘herd immunity’. Once a country reached this (which is aimed at having 60-70% of any population vaccinated), it is seemingly safe to ‘open up’.

The problem however is that the destination should be safe and also have reached some level of vaccination. This is the challenge in South Africa: we need to vaccinate 67% of adults which are around 40 million people. At the current injection rate, we will only reach 150 000 by end of April. This vaccination rate’s projection is 18 years and 6 months… I know.  read more HERE

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Here is the extract from Tourism Update and complete article HERE

Overseas arrivals were an average of 90% lower than the same five-month period in 2019, with the report highlighting that since borders to International travel were opened in August, the top 3 source markets were the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States.

The report further notes that while early predictions were that global tourism could start to rebound by Q3, new variants of the virus, delayed global vaccination rollouts and unpredictable waves of new infections suggest that the recovery of international tourism will occur more gradually.

The feedback on the respective overseas regions is as follows:

AUSTRALASIA: Source markets have very low COVID-19 levels. However, vaccine roll-outs have been slow and restrictions on re-entry after travel to South Africa remain in place.

EUROPE: The UK has the strongest vaccination drive, and is on track to reach herd immunity by August, this will have a strong impact on demand for resuming travel. The outlook for travel in the rest of Europe remains low. Countries are currently entering a third wave of infections, and strong barriers to re-entry after travel remain in place.

AMERICAS: Despite high weekly infection rates in the United States, herd immunity should be reached by September. Requirements only for screening upon re-entry after travel from South Africa make travel more feasible.

Until next time, hang in there, we will get through this too!

My Best

Jaco.