Global travel is unquestionably continuing to face its biggest challenge to date as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, as this week’s news round-up highlights, there are some positive stories amid the gloom.
Restrictions on international travel appear to have done little to dampen our desire to go on holiday. A survey of 11,000 travellers by insurance firm Europ Assistance found the majority of Europeans (81%) still plan to take local and international trips this year – a heartening figure for all travel operators.
The study also revealed that over 70% of Brits plan to go on holiday this year, and their confidence will be further buoyed by new guidelines unveiled by the UK government helping to keep travellers safe as they head overseas. The news is certain to be welcomed by popular holiday destinations such as Greece and Malta, which are now beginning to ease their quarantine measures to welcome international passengers.
While demand for travel remains strong, the priorities of holidaymakers are shifting dramatically as a result of COVID-19. A recent report from travel search engine Skyscanner found 55% of its users rated sanitation and hygiene as their biggest concerns when booking accommodation, more so than price (48%) and location (45%).
Even in the midst of the pandemic, the travel industry is continuing to invest in innovation and sustainable practices. This week Edmonton International Airport announced it will create the largest airport-based solar farm in the world, which is planned to open in 2022. And while many will be saddened by news of British Airways retiring its fleet of Boeing 747s, the airline said it remains committed to operating flights on more fuel-efficient planes such as its new Airbus A350s to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.