The Omicron variant arrived and the world risked paralyzing again. Over the holiday period, several flights were cancelled for a variety of reasons: members of the crew had been infected, passengers wary of traveling, uncertainty. The tourism industry began to brace itself for what seemed to be an uphill battle with the virus again. But will it be?
Experts from the World Health Organization have noted that the Omicron variant could in fact bring an end to the pandemic in Europe. Celebrities such as Bill Gates noted that the wide spread of the virus could turn the pandemic into a seasonal flu, bringing some relieve to the measures that have been imposed for the past couple of years.
Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of the European Travel Commission, believes that the tourism sector will continue to build back better in 2022. “This is the year to put the wheels in motion. We must set ambitious goals and craft plans that challenge the status quo,” Santander said.
From December 30th to January 31st, 2022, Travel Tomorrow conducted a poll among its readers to gauge what the sentiment was in terms of when “normal” travel might resume. The poll included multiple choices where participants could choose a potential date going from June 2022 until an unspecified time beyond 2025.
From a total of 38,427 voters, 29% believe normal travel will not resume before 2024. If the views forecast by experts wind up being accurate and Omicron does help control contagion, then the sentiment might improve in 2022. Time will tell.
When will 'normal' travel resume?
- Not before 2024 (29% Votes)
- Never (16% Votes)
- June 2022 (15% Votes)
- September 2022 (11% Votes)
- June 2023 (11% Votes)
- Not before 2025 (8% Votes)
- September 2023 (5% Votes)
- January 2023 (4% Votes)