While the coronavirus pandemic continues to shake the travel industry, this week there were also many positive stories of operators developing their own innovative methods to tap into new trends resulting from COVID-19.
For example, holiday resorts across the US and Mexico have been adapting their businesses to accommodate growing numbers of people taking ‘workations’. The phenomenon has emerged as a result of home-bound employees having greater job flexibility, and who are now increasingly looking to combine work with leisure. One resort embracing the workation trend is the new Conrad Punta de Mita resort opening in Mexico in September. It will offer a ‘Work from Paradise’ package providing guests access to premium Wi-Fi for online business calls, along with discounts on massages and access to the Litibu Golf Course among other perks.
Airports are also continuing to update their facilities to meet new hygiene standards. This week saw Istanbul Airport become the first to receive official health approval from Airports Council International (ACI) under the trade association’s new Airport Health Accreditation scheme. The programme assists airports with implementing new health measures to tackle COVID-19, covering areas such as physical distancing, cleaning and disinfection, and passenger communications.
There was further good news for the travel industry after China revealed it was easing travel restrictions for foreign nationals looking to re-enter the country. The new rules will allow European passport holders from 36 countries with a valid residence permit to apply for a Chinese visa.
And on the quirkier side of travel, US passengers grounded by coronavirus have been buying their own airline meals to recreate the holiday flight experience at home. The Wall Street Journal reported that 40,000 snack packs typically served on JetBlue planes have been purchased online, with buyers claiming the meals offer comfort and bring up fond memories of past vacations.