While the Louvre reopens and Rome city officials invite tourists back, the entire tourism industry tries to come up with a solution for coronavirus problems affecting travel business. Is it possible to make profit and care about the safety of travellers at the same time?
Coronavirus outbreak has affected tourism business in a very negative way. Even the smallest companies in the industry have already suffered huge losses and they’ll continue to do so, even in countries without any cases of COVID-19. Hotels, authorities and airlines are doing their best to mitigate the effects of panic and attract visitors again.
It’s very likely that upcoming weeks will bring the news of falls and bankruptcies of travel agencies, airlines, hotels and companies who make profit off people’s wanderlust. Air Transport Association estimates, that aviation industry can lose up to $113 billion if the coronavirus continues to spread. Just several hours ago the largest regional airline in Europe announced bankrupcy. Flybe was having financial trouble for some time now and coronavirus outbreak simply finished it off. But there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel of bad news.
Italian Tourist Board has just announced that home country of pizza is safe to visit again. They want their tourists back, because in some regions of Italy up to 90% of all reservations were cancelled. It will cost the local tourism industry an estimated €200 million.
Only 0.04 percent of Italians in just a few cities have been affected by extraordinary isolation measures. The rest of the country is safe and accessible, the Board said.
All services and activities for citizens and tourists are provided as usual, and the quality of life for which Italy is known all over the world remains high
At the same time it’s a unique opportunity to enjoy sightseeing like never before. Even the most popular tourist attractions are deserted, and queues and crowds have disappeared. Not just in Italy – the absence of large groups of Chinese tourists all around Europe gives other people a chance to take advantage of the situation and explore the most popular attractions freely.
The most popular museum in the world was closed on 1st March amid fears of the coronavirus, in an effort of protecting its staff and visitors from contracting it. The Louvre was reopened after a three-day closure, but adjustments were made – hand sanitizers are more accessible and more frequent rotation of employees was established. But the most important goal of reopening was to reduce the panic and make the biggest attraction of Paris, if not all of France, available for those who want to enjoy it.
All over the world people are beginning to show signs of impatience and even the authorities, responsible for the security of citizen and tourists alike, are starting to “let it go” a bit.
Currently it’s difficult to predict how the situation develops, but travellers simply can’t postpone their journeys indefinitely. People will start travelling again, and hopefully paying more attention to hygene and prevention with simple measures like washing hands carefully. Maybe things would go back to normal sooner than everyone expects.