It has been more than 6 months since the worldwide spread COVID-19 and subsequent onset of travel restrictions for many countries. In retrospect, we had hoped that travel between the Netherlands and the USA would have resumed by Fall 2020, but we have to accept the virus does not hold itself to timelines. Now many industry sources look to first quarter 2021 as the start of transatlantic travel booking with a possible reciprocal open border date of April 2021.
Most desired travel destination summer 2021
Following this outlook, Jaarbeurs has announced Vakantiebeurs 2021, the largest travel show in The Netherlands, has been postponed from January 2021 to April 6-11, 2021. Schedule includes April 6 and 7 as trade days, followed by four consumer days (April 8-11). Jaarbeurs recently also conducted travel interest and intent research with Dutch consumers and revealed the overall most desired travel destination for summer 2021 is Scandinavia, followed by the USA (USA was ranked first for intercontinental destinations). They plan to share more insights on their research later this month.
Plan for travel recovery
As Fall progresses and the number of new COVID-19 cases begin to slowly rise in The Netherlands, we face more strict precautionary measurements to avoid a second wave and spike of infection. As the first business support package granted by the Dutch government expires, they have announced an additional business aid package extending benefits until June 2021. This extended stimulus allows travel and tourism related businesses and staff to operate through the winter, and time enough to plan for readjustment and recovery in 2021. Because of the timely and responsive government aid, few tourism organizations have closed, although in most cases deep and drastic budget cuts have been unavoidable.
Stand together as one united industry
It is more important than ever that we stand together, work together and support each other as one united industry. We see positive initiatives such as the decision of The Visit USA Committee who proposed to suspend the 2021 membership fees. This to emphasize the need to unite in promoting travel from The Netherlands to the USA. Just as them, we recognize the multitude of challenges that each and every one of our partners is facing during this time, and we appreciate initiatives such as this one.
Until next time – stay strong, stay healthy and we will get through this together.