The National Travel & Tourism Week kicked off with a united message of 9 tourism organisations, joining together in spreading a positive message; “ Each new day brings us closer to a new beginning”. A good example of effective mutual efforts. While the figures of hospitalisation and death are declining in many European countries and stay at home orders are therefor relaxed in most of these countries the crisis is far from over. Terraces, beach cafes, hairdressers, all are about to be open. However: Travel restrictions will remain in place and the Travel industry seems to end up being one of the hardest hit industries.
Planning to go on vacation
The bright side: 72% of the Dutch population is still planning to go on vacation and slowly several domestic and European destination are preparing to open up. Vacationing at certain destinations will not be a problem, certainly not if people book an RV or a cottage/cabin with own (kitchen) facilities. More challenging is the trip to the destination; how to deal with COVID-19 at airports, in an airplane and eating out. It is expected to be a huge shift from “Fly&Drive” packages to self-drive vacations closer to home.
How to get there
The “How to get there” for Europe to North America vacationing is certainly not the only problem for a possible recovery of America bound travel: the PR of the country is another challenge. Nowadays many European networks featuring the downside of the crisis, including questioning the way the President is leading the crisis. We must unite in a more positive message as at the moment the situation is bad PR for the US as a Tourism Destination. It is especially sad we are in this situation now as in the Netherlands we would have hoped to celebrate and commemorate 75 Years of Freedom after being liberated by the allied forces in 1945. Hope is focused on domestic travel to start with. Expectations for Europe are that from mid July car travel and domestic will pick up first. Tour operators are adapting their programs to this trend. TUI made an agreement with Droomparken (a large cottage/cabin provider) and Corendon with Europcars. Marketing bureaus such as ADARA determine new target audiences such as the Staycationers, Nearcationers and several COVID-19 traveler types.
Within Europe Germany and the Nordic countries will be most likely the first countries to re-open for tourist business.
Plans are made for a COVID-19 passport, just as the yellow passport in which your vaccinations are listed. In all taken measures it is obvious that the Dutch are eager to find solutions, rather than to resign to not traveling. Traveling has become part of our nature and lifestyle. We sincerely hope the slowly opened doors can stay open and will open up further within the next near future.