Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

The study, commissioned by Amadeus and delivered by Censuswide, provides encouraging news for the industry, with 41% of travellers keen to book international travel within six weeks of restrictions lifting The study demonstrates the importance of understanding traveller concerns around privacy, ease of use and security

As governments and the travel industry explore the benefits of digital health passports, the message from travellers is clear: digital health passports can be a vital tool in opening up travel. The study found that just over 9 in 10 (91%) travellers surveyed said they would be comfortable using a digital health passport for future trips.

This encouraging research provides an incentive to accelerate plans for digital health passports that will help to address traveller concerns. The study provided further good news for the industry as just over 2 in 5 travellers (41%) said they would book international travel within six weeks of restrictions lifting, demonstrating that the appetite to travel remains high.

The survey of 9,055 travellers in France, Spain, Germany, India, UAE, Russia, Singapore, UK and US also contained a note of caution for the industry with over 9 in 10 (93%) travelers having some concerns around how their health data for travel would be stored.

When asked about the receptiveness to storing and sharing digital health data, survey results show:

· Just under three quarters (74%) of travellers’ surveyed would be willing to store their travel health data electronically if it enabled them to pass through the airport faster with fewer face-to-face interactions

· Over 7 in 10 (72%) travellers’ surveyed would be willing to store their travel health data electronically if it enabled them to travel to more destinations

· 68% of travellers’ agreed they would be more likely to share their health data if the airlines they most frequently travel with offered a way to store their travel health data.

Although receptiveness to sharing data is high, the travel industry needs to consider traveler concerns around the use of data. The three main concerns travellers’ have are:

·          Security risks with personal information being hacked (38%)

·          Privacy concerns around what health information needs to be shared (35%)

·          Lack of transparency and control over where the data is shared (30%).

  

The survey also explored what solutions might alleviate concerns around digital health data and travel in the future and results showed:

·          42% of travellers said a travel app that could be used across the whole journey would greatly improve their overall travel experience and reassure them their information is all in one place

·          41% of travellers agree a travel app would reduce their stress around travel

·          62% of travellers would be more likely to use an app to store their health data if a travel company partnered with a trusted healthcare company.

The research is the second in a series of traveller surveys, where Amadeus takes a regular checkpoint on traveller sentiment and concerns to help the industry rebuild travel in the most effective way. The 2020 Rethink Travel survey revealed how technology can help to increase traveller confidence and Amadeus revisited this question to see how traveller confidence has changed since September 2020. 91% of travellers now say that technology will increase their confidence to travel, an increase from 84% in September 2020.

When asked which technology would increase confidence to travel in the next 12 months, mobile solutions were highlighted as a popular option, with the top three technologies including:

·       Mobile applications that provide on-trip notifications and alerts (45%)

·       Contactless mobile payments (e.g., Apple or Google Pay, Paypal, Venmo) (44%)

·       Mobile boarding (e.g., having your boarding pass on your mobile phone) (43%)

Decius Valmorbida, President, Travel, Amadeus, says: “There is no doubt that COVID-19 will continue to shape the way we travel for the months ahead, just as it influences so many other areas of our lives. Yet while there are still uncertainties, research like this reinforces my optimism that we will build back travel better than before. Collaboration across governments and our industry is the key to restarting travel, as we deliver on traveler expectations outlined in this Rebuild Travel digital health survey, deploying the right technology to enable a truly connected and contactless journey.”

Christophe Bousquet, CTO, Amadeus, comments, “This study highlights once more the key role that technology will play in rebuilding travel. We’ve seen a shift since our last survey, as travellers now place more focus on mobile and touchless technology, crucial areas that will clearly strengthen traveller confidence. It’s also very relevant to see that travellers are open to digital health passports and sharing their data as they move through the journey, once the right safeguards are in place. At Amadeus, we’re committed to rebuilding a better industry, together with our customers and partners.”

To gather more insights into how the travel industry can rebuild, Amadeus, a global leader in travel technology, commissioned research to learn more about travellers’ top concerns around digital health data, their comfort levels with sharing and storing their data, and the solutions that may help to alleviate their concerns for future travel.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is asking travel advisors to raise their voices and tell Congress to urge the White House to lift the Conditional Sailing Order (CSO), which has been delaying the industry’s restart since it was issued last October, Travel Market Report informs.

“More than a year has passed since U.S. cruise operations were suspended and preparing a cruise ship to sail again with the appropriate enhanced measures in place will take about 90 days, which means that cruise lines must start planning NOW if they are going to resume U.S. operations by July,” CLIA said.

CLIA’s action center, which allows for advisors to send messages to U.S. Senators and Representatives, can be accessed here.

CLIA is not the only association in the battle to get cruising restarted. U.S. Travel Association president Roger Dow has also joined the call to lift the CSO. “We join the calls to identify the way toward lifting the Conditional Sail Order and allowing the phased resumption of cruise operations as quickly as possible,” he said.

U.S. Travel, like CLIA, said that the cruise industry has been effectively singled out without reason. So far, the CDC has refused to budge on its Conditional Sail Order (CSO).

Britain will set out plans to restart international travel, using a "traffic-light" system as the country cautiously emerges from lockdown.

The announcement comes as the UK has set a tentative date of May 17 to relaunch international travel. Travel destinations will be ranked green, amber or red according to virus risk, Downing Street said in a statement late Saturday, with the government to provide more details on Monday.

International travel is currently banned except for a handful of permitted reasons. This has created massive pent-up demand for summer holidays abroad. The government said the new system "will help ensure the UK's vaccine progress isn't jeopardised and provide clear guidance for travellers".

People heading to low-risk "green" countries will simply take a virus test before and after they travel, the government said. But those going to amber or red countries will have to self-isolate or quarantine afterwards. Currently people arriving in the UK from abroad are required to self-isolate for 10 days.

British nationals who arrive from a banned "red list" of high-risk countries face costly quarantine in government-approved hotels. The government urged people not to book summer holidays, saying it was "too early to predict" which would be the green-lighted countries.

The government has announced it will allow a number of people to attend public events, such as football matches from this month in trials of a virus certification system. But it has not made clear whether it will issue "virus passports" for international travel, an idea backed by many tourism-dependent countries and airlines but opposed by more than 70 UK MPs.

Following successful in-market events in Dallas and Houston, Texas, over the past week, the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is poised to elevate its post-pandemic marketing activities in these areas and across the country.

Addressing travel advisors, meeting planners, members of the media and other hospitality and tourism professionals, Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte shared the encouraging news of increased year-over-year airlift to the Territory from Texas as well as other key cities in the nation. In addition, data shows that although the Territory has been affected by the pandemic-related decline in leisure travel, the impact was significantly less than what its Caribbean neighbours experienced, comparing 2020 to 2019.
“The increase of airlift into the USVI from our airline partners signals a strong summer tourism season for the Territory, and we anticipate strengthening our presence in Texas as well as other key markets in the mainland United States,” said Commissioner Boschulte, noting that as the number of vaccinated travellers increases, the travel industry can expect to see continued recovery.

Recognizing that the tourism industry contributes an estimated 60 percent to the USVI’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Commissioner Boschulte expressed the Department’s gratitude to and praise for the Territory’s locally based partners and stakeholders for their support during the exceptionally difficult past year.

“Our hoteliers, restaurateurs, tour operators, transportation providers, tour guides, retailers and the many allied partners who make our industry thrive have demonstrated remarkable resilience and innovation, and that has allowed us to be in a position to welcome thousands of visitors back to the U.S. Virgin Islands in the last six months,” said the Commissioner.

Building on the foundation of recent marketing initiatives with strategic media partners Condé Nast Traveller, Pandora, Refinery29 and other key outlets, the Department of Tourism will enhance its sales activity in the months ahead, educating travel advisors, meeting planners, tour operators and wholesalers on the Territory’s COVID-19 travel protocols, new developments related to hotel renovations and re-openings, and supporting them as they advise their clients to “Reconnect with Paradise” and to experience “St. Croix: a vibe like no other”.

“Complementing our marketing and public relations work during the past year, much of our sales activity has been conducted virtually, out of necessity, making it even more gratifying that we have been able to keep the USVI ‘top-of-mind’ among travellers,” Commissioner Boschulte said, pointing to the relative ease of traveling to the USVI, combined with the USVI Travel Screening Portal tool, as key factors contributing to an unprecedented quantity of airlift and strong visitor arrivals and expenditures since the start of the winter season.

In addition to meetings with industry professionals, Department of Tourism representatives gathered with members of the Houston Virgin Islands Association (HVIA) to share positive news and developments in both the Territory and the Diaspora.

Meeting just in advance of Transfer Day 2021, the Department congratulated HVIA President Carol Cuffy and her leadership team for the outstanding work the association does in serving its membership and communities as well as promoting the U.S. Virgin Islands as a travel destination. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declared March 31, 2021, Houston Virgin Islands Association Day in Houston.

“Texas has been and will continue to be an extremely important market for travel to the USVI, and the Department is pleased with the outcome of our engagement with travel industry stakeholders and our fellow Virgin Islanders during this activation,” reported the Commissioner, who commended the HVIA for its proactive efforts to promote and strengthen the USVI brand.

“With positive developments related to travel trends, the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccines, and demand for USVI getaways, the Department of Tourism has a strong charge to boost our sales, marketing, advertising and public relations activities,” stated Commissioner Boschulte, who thanked Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, Secret Harbour Beach Resort, and Wyndham Destinations for supporting the Dallas and Houston meetings.

Qatar Airways continues to lead the recovery of international travel, operating the world’s first fully COVID-19 vaccinated flight today. QR6421 will depart Hamad International Airport at 11:00 AM carrying only vaccinated crew and passengers onboard, with passengers also to be served by fully vaccinated staff at check-in. The special flight, which will return to Doha at 14:00, will showcase all the measures the airline has put in place to ensure the highest standards of safety and hygiene on board, including its latest innovation, the world’s first ‘Zero-Touch’ in-flight entertainment technology. The special service will be operated by the airline’s most technologically advanced and sustainable aircraft, the Airbus A350-1000, with the flight also fully carbon offset in line with the carrier’s environmental responsibilities.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “Today’s special flight demonstrates the next stage in the recovery of international travel is not far away. We are proud to continue leading the industry by operating the first flight with a fully vaccinated crew and passengers and providing a beacon of hope for the future of international aviation. With aviation being a critical economic driver both globally and here in the State of Qatar, we are thankful for the support we have received from our government and local health authorities to vaccinate our staff, with over 1,000 vaccinations being administered per day.

 “It is in Qatar Airways DNA to be at the forefront, setting the highest standards of safety and customer service. Before the pandemic, Qatar Airways became the first and only airline to be awarded the Skytrax Airline of the Year five times. When the pandemic hit its peak in early April, our airline continued flying to help repatriate millions of stranded passengers and transport essential medical supplies, while also implementing the latest innovations in biosafety and hygiene. As the vaccine rollout begins to gather pace worldwide, Qatar Airways remains committed to being the airline passengers and travel partners can rely on, operating one of the largest global networks to provide the connectivity needed to reunite families and friends and support global trade.

“Qatar Airways Cargo has also played a vital role in maintaining a reliable schedule across our network of destinations. Since the onset of the pandemic, Qatar Airways has helped transport more than 500,000 tonnes of medical supplies and delivered close to 20,000,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to over 20 countries.”

Passengers on board will be able to livestream the historic experience thanks to Qatar Airways’ industry leading Super WiFi onboard that combines the latest technology from Inmarsat, SITA for Aircraft and Thales. To show its gratitude to those who have played key roles throughout the pandemic, Qatar Airways gave away 100,000 complimentary return tickets to healthcare workers and 21,000 to teachers around the world in 2020.

Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This follows HIA’s recent success as the first and only airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These recognitions provide assurance to passengers across the world that airline health and safety standards are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.

Qatar Airways is the first airline in the Middle East to begin trials of the innovative new IATA Travel Pass ‘Digital Passport’ mobile app. IATA Travel Pass ensures passengers receive up-to-date information on COVID-19 health regulations at their destination country, as well as complying with strict global data privacy regulations to enable the sharing of COVID-19 test results with airlines to verify they are eligible to undertake their journey.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 45 destinations including Johannesburg, Frankfurt, New York and Singapore.

Qatar Airways is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’ title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times. In addition to this, Qatar Airways home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) was ranked the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the sixth consecutive year and ‘Third Best Airport in the World’ by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020.

easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, and easyJet holidays have today announced the launch of new routes and holidays from Birmingham Airport for this summer, with great value fares and packages available for those who want to take a well-deserved and much-anticipated summer sun getaway this year.

Starting from 29 June, flights and holidays will take off from Birmingham Airport to the popular beach destinations of Majorca, Málaga and Alicante in Spain, Faro in Portugal, and Corfu in Greece, offering customers in the Midlands region even more choice for enjoying a holiday this summer. All easyJet holidays ATOL-protected beach holidays include flights, accommodation, a 23kg bag allowance per person and transfers.

Majorca, Malaga and Alicante are some of the most popular holidays destinations in Spain, with hundreds of kilometres of coastline, rich history, fantastic food and beautiful scenery, while the Algarve’s capital, Faro, is a historic and culturally-rich city that is home to history, bustling plazas, a marina and age-old monuments. Corfu, situated in the North of the Ionian Sea, is one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful holiday destinations and offers award-winning sandy beaches, warm waters and charming towns.

The new routes and holidays add to the extensive summer 2021 and summer 2022 portfolio already on sale via easyJet and easyJet holidays, giving customers the option to book a great value deal for this summer, as well as plan and make savings on flights and holidays for next year.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager commented: “We are pleased to announce more connectivity to Birmingham today in flying to popular beach destinations and getting customers away on their much-needed summer holiday across Europe this year.

“We believe that a framework can be put in place for the safe reopening of travel and a strong summer, and we are currently focused on working with the UK Government Travel Task Force in the coming days and weeks. We are hopeful that progress will continue to be made with the vaccination programmes in Europe, with several countries in Europe having indicated they will be welcoming British tourists this summer.

We remain of the view that international travel can restart and that, with the right framework in place, restrictions can be safely and progressively reduced and in some cases removed by mid-summer for key destinations. We’ve kept our fleet in a flight-ready mode so we are ready and able to ramp up our services quickly and increase our capacity where we see increased demand for the summer.”

Nick Barton, Chief Executive of Birmingham Airport, commented: “We are more than pleased that easyJet will be adding additional leisure sun destinations direct from Birmingham Airport this summer. easyJet already offers direct routes to Amsterdam, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Geneva, so these additional sunshine routes demonstrate the strong demand in the region for both business and leisure travel and the carrier’s commitment to serving the Midlands.

“We are continuing to work with easyJet, looking at future route opportunities and an expansion of its services to ensure customers have a choice of destination, flexibility and price from Birmingham Airport.  Customers can confidently book with easyJet with the reassurance that their flights and holidays are ATOL and ABTA protected.” easyJet and easyJet holidays have introduced market-leading flexible customer policies under its ‘Protection Promise’, meaning that customers can book now with the confidence that if their plans change, so can their booking.

This includes a Refund Guarantee for flights or holidays if they are cancelled plus a full refund for holidays if a customer changes their mind up to 28 days before and – unlike other airlines – with our Travel Ban Protection customers can also receive a refund for non-cancelled flights if plans are impacted by travel bans in a regional or national lockdown; the Freedom To Change flights without a fee up to 14 days before departure, and change a holiday up to 28 days before departure; and if quarantine measures come in to place last minute, our Quarantine Assurance also means impacted flights can be changed without a change fee. All holidays are covered under easyJet holidays’ Covid commitments if holidays cannot go ahead or are impacted by restrictions, and holidays booked through travel agents also benefit from flexible booking options, such as the freedom to change their holiday up to 28 days before departure.

Safety and wellbeing of all customers and crew remains easyJet’s highest priority and the airline continues to have a number of biological safety measures in place onboard in line with guidance from the relevant authorities. This includes daily enhanced cabin disinfection effective in protecting against coronavirus for at least 24 hours and mandatory mask wearing for customers and crew.

All easyJet aircraft are already fitted with HEPA filters, similar to

those used in hospitals, which filter 99.97% of airborne contaminants in the cabin, including viruses and bacteria. easyJet now operates up to ten routes from Birmingham, offering services to a range of city and beach destinations across the UK and Europe.