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A COVID-19 Vaccine Is In The Works And Can Positively Impact Travel, Here's How
Earlier this month it was announced that there is a COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech in the works. The vaccine has a 90% success rate in preventing volunteers from getting infected.
Since the announcement, there has been an increase in searches for 2021 travel. This brings a sigh of relief since the travel industry has been struggling since March.
Although a vaccine seems like good news for the travel industry, does it mean that travel will go back to what it used to be before the pandemic?
According to Dr. Felicity Nicholson, lead doctor at Trailfinders Travel Clinic in the U.K., the vaccine will first be available to the vulnerable then health care workers, and lastly, the general population.
Nicholson tells CNN, “If they can find a way to transport it properly (it needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celcius (minus 94 F), it could be early next year before things start to get going. Countries whose economies are based on tourism will be desperate to get people back and moving, but most people (in the travel industry) aren’t hopeful that things will really pick up until the fall of 2021.”
Once a vaccination is out, showing proof of vaccination may become mandatory in certain destinations.
Tom Marchant, co-founder of Black Tomato, a luxury tour operator says that travelers will focus on fewer destinations rather than venturing to many. “Instead of hopping around, I think people will just go to a couple of places and really immerse themselves, and I think that’s really positive. There’ll be a shift in how people enjoy places — it won’t be just box-ticking anymore.”
Travel experts also say that post-vaccine travel will be a lot different because many airlines will implement a touchless experience and social distancing will be here to stay.
One thing is for sure, travelers are now fully aware of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had and are more willing to take the required precautions to avoid getting infected and infecting others.
Nicholson shares, “People are much more aware of infectious diseases now. Before, they might have gone abroad without consulting anyone. (If the vaccine is mandatory) they’ll have to come in for a consultation and we can talk to them about other risks in that destination.”