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Show stopper

The latest poll of travelers by the International Air Transport Association showed passenger confidence in air travel growing.

Survey responses from 4,700 interviews conducted online in 11 markets last month “are telling that people are more confident to travel.”

Results of the survey showed that those expecting to travel within a few months of the pandemic now account for  57 percent of the respondents, an increase from 49 percent in September last year. About 72 percent of respondents want to travel as soon as possible after COVID-19 is contained, to see friends and family. 81 percent believe they will be more likely to travel once they are vaccinated, while 56 percent believe they will postpone travel until the economy stabilizes, an improvement from 65 percent in September last year.

“While there is public support for travel restrictions, it is becoming clear that people are feeling more comfortable with managing the risks of COVID-19,” it showed.

The showstopper for many is quarantine at the destination, as 84 percent of travelers indicated they would not travel if it is involved.

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said that while everyone’s top priority at the moment is staying safe, it is important to map out  a way of being able to reopen borders, manage risks, and enable people to get on with their lives.

Countries that were depending on their tourism industries before the pandemic cannot afford to be left behind as the world slowly starts to open up, and travelers regain confidence. Places where quarantines, restrictions and check points take precedence over science-based solutions to the pandemic will struggle as the world’s travelers will shun such areas for those where safety and convenience have already been prioritized.

Tourism is only one reason why a country needs to achieve conditions where quarantine restrictions can be lifted as soon as possible. How much longer do we have to endure these series of show stoppers that have plagued our country for an entire year?*

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