Despite growing uncertainty for holidaymakers as a result of the latest shifts in travel restrictions this week, there were some positive signs that confidence in tourism is slowly returning.
The latest United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Confidence Index showed international tourist arrivals were down 83% in the first quarter of 2021. However, the vaccine rollout and initiatives such as the proposed EU Digital Green Certificate have boosted travellers’ expectations, with 60% now expecting a rebound in international tourism by 2022 – up from 50% recorded in the January 2021 survey. The remaining 40% expect to see a rebound this year.
In airline news, Emirates is due to expand its US network to 12 destinations after announcing plans to launch a new route to Miami International Airport on 22nd July. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines celebrated 50 years of UK flights with a 48-hour flash sale offering 50% off economy fares, while also announcing new partnerships with two British food and drink brands to be revealed in the coming weeks.
Passengers flying through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will now be able to view and pre-order goods through a new click & collect pilot scheme. The initiative will allow passengers to browse and purchase goods from a dedicated website featuring products from shops located after security control. These products can be ordered up to two hours before departure and collected from selected stores located in the airport’s lounge areas.
And finally, supersonic transatlantic flights are set to return by the end of the decade courtesy of United Airlines. The US carrier has agreed a deal to buy 15 jets capable of speeds of Mach 1.7, which is twice as fast as modern airliners. United plans to operate ultra-fast passenger journeys by 2029, which would mark the first commercial supersonic flights since the grounding of Concorde in 2003.