Tag Archives: COVID-19

UNWTO has stressed upon the need for vigilance, responsibility and international cooperation as the world slowly opens up

The world is slowly opening up again, new research from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) indicates, with destinations cautiously easing travel restrictions introduced in response to COVID-19. As the United Nations specialised agency releases its Global Guidelines for Reopening Tourism, signalling a transition into gearing up for stronger and better recovery, 3% of all global destinations have now taken steps to ease travel restrictions. However, UNWTO notes that 100% of all destinations worldwide continue to have some form of COVID-19-related travel restrictions in place and stresses the need for vigilance, responsibility and international cooperation as the world slowly opens up again.

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Tourism Authority of Thailand has unveiled a three-part strategy for ‘new normal’ tourism recovery

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is moving quickly to draft strategy to support the Royal Thai Government’s third phase of easing business activities and restrictions after its most recent announcement on June 1, which is effective immediately. The relaxation helps some tourism-related businesses while other venue operators must wait and continue to follow guidelines issued by the Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health. Moreover, all international flights to Thailand are still banned until 30 June, 2020, due to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT)’s announcement. TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said, “TAT is working actively with our tourism partners and other industry partners to monitor and identify opportunities.  TAT has formulated a strategy to support domestic tourism first and learn from experience, so that Thai tourists feel confident about their first travel choices around the Kingdom after the situation of the COVID-19 eases.” To begin with (phase one) TAT has identified basic truths of the new reality moving forward: To restart, the tourism industry must be under disease control measures until a vaccine is developed to prevent this disease. This will affect and change all behaviour and patterns of traditional travel and tourism activities starting from the aviation experience. Phase two and three begin once operational level products are functioning and a proper reduced carrying capacity is established so phase two can commence after international flights are allowed again. 

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DDP launches CovidSMART, India’s first COVID-19 training module

CovidSMART is DDP Group’s latest initiative, a programme designed by WHO-certified professionals and ISO-trained individuals to promote safe travel and help build in tour operators & travel agents the confidence to succeed in this industry, once again. To access the programme, you can log on to www.covidElearn.com. Key learnings would include protecting your business during COVID-19, dealing with emergencies and anxiety related to the pandemic and its impact, and the importance of a PPE kit. SanJeet, Director, DDP Group, says, “All our initiatives during this pandemic have been our way of looking after our tourism industry and this is another such programme. Our aim is that every travel professional should accept this fast-paced change, be prepared and be ready to drive tourism in the future. By introducing CovidSMART, we hope to put India in the driver’s seat. Now, it is up to the travel industry to encash this opportunity. I encourage the industry to convey to their partners as well as the Indian travellers that they will now be dealing with a COVID-19 certified specialist, who understands and will guide them through this jungle.”

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Post-COVID hospitality will change in terms of design & operations: Mandeep Lamba

Mandeep Singh Lamba, President – South Asia, HVS ANAROCK, has said that the hospitality industry would see changes in terms of design and operations after the COVID-19 crisis is over. Speaking at the third TravTalk Digital Conclave, he said, “There are going to be some permanent changes that will happen in the industry, both in terms of operations of the hotels and in terms of design. We need to understand that this is perhaps not the last time we are seeing a disruption of this kind. It’s a reality which can hit us again, and hence we need to be far better prepared the next time. This crisis has stirred the industry into making some serious changes.”

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Domestic civil aviation operations to restart from 25th May in a calibrated manner: HS Puri

Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation, has announced that domestic civil aviation operations will resume from 25th May and it would happen in a phased and calibrated manner. The passengers would have to follow strict social distancing, while airports across the country are working towards maintaining optimum 6 feet distance and minimum touch points for passengers. In a tweet, he said, “Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday 25th May 2020. All airports & Air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May. SOPs for passenger movement are also being issued by MoCA.”

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Post Covid- 19 hospitality will change in terms of design and operations: Mandeep Lamba

Mandeep Singh Lamba, President – South Asia, HVS ANAROCK, has said that the hospitality industry would see changes in terms of design and operations after the COVID-19 crisis is over. Speaking at the third TravTalk Digital Conclave, he said, “There are going to be some permanent changes that will happen in the industry, both in terms of operations of the hotels and in terms of design. We need to understand that is perhaps not the last time we are seeing a disruption of this kind. It’s a reality, which can hit us again, and hence we need to be far better prepared the next time. This crisis has stirred the industry into making some serious changes.”

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DDP pledges Rs1 crore to trade under its ‘Standing with the Trade’ initiative

The DDP Group, to support travel and hospitality companies affected by the COVID-19 crisis, has created a media fund of Rs1 crore under its ‘Standing with the Trade’ initiative. The move will help support businesses by providing targeted advertising campaigns, free of cost. Advertisements will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. Interested businesses can contact the DDP team through gaganpreet@ddppl.com. This initiative is supported by all of DDP Group’s premier publications, including TravTalk, Tourism Breaking News, TravelTV.News, M!CETalk and Hospitality Talk. Together, these publications reach 600,000 travel and hospitality professionals daily. “The timeliness and effectiveness of our actions as a united industry are more important than ever before and we are hoping that our initiative can assist stressed businesses till the market begins to strengthen again. Although it is difficult to predict how long this might continue, history has enough examples to show that after a time of economic difficulty, industry and countries have always bounced back,” says SanJeet, Director, DDP Group.

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In 2021, global passenger demand to be 24% below 2019 levels: IATA

According to the new analysis by International Air Transport Association (IATA), in 2021 it is expected that global passenger demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometres, RPKs) will be 24% below 2019 levels and 32% lower than IATA’s October 2019 Air Passenger forecast for 2021. This forecast is modelled on the baseline scenario of domestic markets opening in Q3, with a much slower phased opening of international markets. This would limit the air travel recovery, despite most forecasts pointing toward a strong economic rebound late this year and during 2021.

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Tourism between UK and France to restart with no quarantine

The British Prime Minister and President Macron have stressed the need for close bilateral, European and international cooperation in the fight against Covid-19. No quarantine measures would apply to travellers coming from France to the UK at this stage; any measures on either side would be taken in a concerted and reciprocal manner. The leaders spoke about the need to manage the risk of new transmissions arising from abroad, as the rate of coronavirus decreases domestically. In this regard, the Prime Minister and the President agreed to work together in taking forward appropriate border measures. This cooperation is particularly necessary for the management of our common border. A working group between the two governments will be set up to ensure this consultation throughout the coming weeks.

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Sale of hotel assets likely to increase in second half of year: JLL

India’s hospitality industry has declined sharply in the first quarter of 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak impacts various segments of the sector. A recent report by JLL states, “Investment action will likely get deferred as the sector rebuilds itself after containment of COVID-19, however, we estimate that more assets may fall in the ring for sale in the latter half of the year.” While 2020 started with a strong deal pipeline estimated at about US$ 1 billion worth of tradeable assets, JLL’s findings reveal that growth and development is likely to slow down in the next two years and projects under development will likely get delayed and raising development finance will also become more challenging.

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