9++ Hopeful Signs of Travel’s Imminent Recovery

Lately at Redeam we’ve been contemplating fatigue: COVID news fatigue, bad consequences on travel fatigue, economy and job loss fatigue, webinar fatigue, general malaise that sets in because of social distancing and isolating from our friends, families, and sources of things that make us happy. To battle our fatigue, we’ve decided to turn our focus towards more hopeful signals. Once we open our eyes and minds to it, not only does it help our daily attitude, it also makes evident that there ARE bits of more upbeat news and signs starting to surface. Since seeing is believing, we’re curating and sharing our current list with you here.

  1. Earlier this week, Disney announced it would be opening its Disney Shanghai in China on May 11th, with new guidelines and procedures put in place. The park had been closed since January. According to one news source, Deadline, tickets for the first two days’ opening sold out quickly, and now people are booking for later in the month. “Fliggy said its tickets for May 11 and May 16 were gone within three minutes.” Now, THAT’S what we call hopeful!
  2. On the heels of the Disney Shanghai news came word that Disney Springs, the shopping-dining-experiences attraction located in the greater Disney region of Lake Buena Vista, Florida, will be doing a phased re-opening beginning May 20th.
  3. San Antonio and Phoenix Zoos have announced plans to offer drive-through experiences in your own car. The offering, which sold out quickly in Phoenix for its first weekend, provides the zoos with a means to generate revenues while still trying to determine how to more formally open and when.
  4. Many state tourism departments are ramping-up campaigns focused on road trips and in-state travel
  5. Avis Budget Group, recognizing the likely interest in domestic road trips, plans to market itself as an alternative to driving your own car (or driving A car if you don’t own one). Redeam envisions a market for luxury car rentals, too. If you’re going to be taking a long weekend get-away this summer, maybe you’ll want to be road-tripping in a sexy convertible or curve-hugging ultimate sports car you wouldn’t otherwise ever drive.
  6. Qatar Airlines has announced it will resume flights to half its network by June
  7. Most of the major hotel brands (Marriott, Hilton, Westin, for example) have already announced their new protocols for disinfecting and cleanliness standards, signalling their preparedness to re-open and serve guests
  8. Consumer sentiment studies from firms like Destination Analysts and Skyscanner show consumer demand for travel still exists, and perhaps even more than before COVID-19
  9. While Redeam is hearing rumblings of re-opening preparedness plans from some of the most iconic attractions in New York City, there’s assessments of other parts of the world re-opening plans for tourism, too.
  10. [Added 5/11/20] Greece, which has one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in Europe, has announced it intends to welcome tourists this summer.
  11. [Added 5/13/20] Universal Orlando Resort announces that some of its City Walk vendors will be opening on May 14th. It also published a guest compliance guide.
  12. [Added 5/13/20] In Las Vegas, The Venetian and Palazzo hotels have revealed an 800-step plan with COVID protection protocols to enable their re-opening once the governor lifts the stay-at-home order.
  13. [Added 5/13/20] The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is among the latest travel and tourism organizations to release safety protocols for re-opening. Previously, US Travel and IAAPA released their own versions of industry guidance.
  14. [Added 5/13/20] Another attraction in China, Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, which re-opened on April 17th, gave IAAPA permission to video the protections and precautions they’ve put in place.
  15. [Added 5/21/20] Since we began this list, there have been countless announcements of travel re-openings. So much so, in fact, that Skift has created its own whole microsite — Travel Reopening Timeline — to track it all. We can’t compete with that, so we shall defer to Skift for maintaining the positivity.