The resurgence of the international travel economy is finally within sight as 50 countries have reopened their borders to foreign travellers on 23rd November after months of inactivity. Local safety measures continue to apply worldwide in a collective effort to pave the way to normalcy. At ROLZO, we are committed to preparing you for the road ahead as we provide the latest news relating to your upcoming clients’ travel plans.
Five-day quarantine for inbound travellers to the UK
The UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that from 15th December travellers arriving in England from countries not registered on the travel corridor list can cut their quarantine stay. Provided that they obtain a negative test result upon arrival, travellers can finish self-isolation after five days and return to normality under domestic guidelines.
Additionally, Shapps has commented that the passengers will have the option to take a pre-booked test, afforded privately by the traveller. For those who wish to use the scheme, they are required to book a test before they travel and include necessary details on their passenger locator form. Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association, remarked that the announcement will help contribute to getting Britain’s business sector up to speed.
Geneva’s first all-suite hotel to open in 2021
Oetker Collection announced that in Spring 2021, Geneva will be adorned with an exquisite masterpiece hotel. Specially re-designed by world-class architect Pierre-Yves Rochon, the Woodward hotel rests on the shores of Lake Geneva, offering breathtaking views of Mont Blanc. Behind its splendour is its stylish 26-suites, each fine-tuned to express its distinct ambience and personality. Guests can also enjoy top-of-the-range dining experiences, provided by L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Le Jardiner who are recipients of Michelin stars. CEO of Bastion Management, Christophe Aldunate, heaps praise on the hotel: “We are delighted that The Woodward will be joining the iconic Oetker Collection, a brand that upholds the highest standards in hospitality and who we trust to breathe renewed passion, flair and life into this historic Geneva location”
Delta to introduce a touchless travel experience
Delta Air Lines, in partnership with Transportation Security Administration (TSA), are planning to usher in facial recognition technology for bag drop, security checkpoints and boarding gates for domestic flights. Designed to replace physical identification, the facial biometric matching service enables easy bypass for domestic travellers and airport staff. The technology works by using a digital ID composed of a customer’s passport number and TSA PreCheck membership. The information is then stored in the passengers’ SkyMiles profile on the Fly Delta app.
Expected to make an early 2021 appearance at the Edward H. McNamara Terminal’s TSA PreCheck domestic checkpoint, Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, expresses bright optimism. He said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened the importance of providing a touchless experience for our customers. We plan to expand curb-to-gate facial recognition and digital ID beyond the Detroit test so that all of our customers can enjoy a seamless, touchless travel experience across our network.”
Reopening Chile’s international tourism landscape
According to government guidelines, Chile’s reopening of international tourism on the 23rd of November focuses on a step-by-step implementation of staging, safety, and traceability. As a starting point, Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benitez Airport will be the only point of entry, welcoming winter flights from some major US cities. Travellers are required to gain approved entry including the “Traveler’s Sworn Statement”, proof of health insurance policy that covers COVID-19 related issues, and a negative test result. Once in Chile, travellers will be placed under supervision for 14 days, requiring them to report their location and health status through a contact-tracing system.
Emirates offers industry-first multi-risk travel insurance
The multi-risk travel insurance coverage scheme, an industry-leading project, has been launched to expand Emirates airline’s previous COVID-19 cover with additional features for all customers. The complementary coverage includes up to $50,000 USD emergency medical expenses for COVID-19 matters and up to $7,500 USD trip cancellation for non-refundable costs. It also features compensation up to $7,500 USD travel abandonment if a customer fails a COVID-19 test. The coverage aims to provide all Emirates passengers a truly unique offer for stress-free and hassle-free travel. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Chairman and Executive, remarked: “By launching this new multi-risk travel insurance and COVID-19 cover, we aim to give our customers even more confidence in making their travel plans this winter and moving into 2021”.
Abu Dhabi tourism’s road to recovery
The Department of Culture and Tourism stated that Abu Dhabi is set to have the highest hotel occupancy rate in the third quarter of 2020. In comparison to the second quarter, hotel revenues witnessed a surge of 46%, coupled with a 95% increase in the number of guests. The sector is further blessed with strides of recovery; it has observed an approximately 83% increase in footfall at malls across Abu Dhabi, and an astounding 119% increase in airline bookings.
Success was attributed to popular campaigns and initiatives in domestic tourism such as ‘Go Safe’, ‘Unbox Amazing’ and ‘Rediscover Abu Dhabi’. Saood Al Hosani, the acting undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, emphasised the importance of tourism being one of the main driving growth for economic strength and working in partnership with the government, health authorities, and the community to actualise the nation’s tremendous potential.
Japan and China to restart their business travel economy
Japan and China have mutually agreed to resume business travel by the end of next month. Both nations’ foreign ministers, Wang Yi and Toshimitsu Motegi, have recently collaborated on resolving disputes between isles in the East China Sea. The isles contribute to the travel economy and it is their mutual goal to revitalise the business travel sector as soon as possible. Mr Motegi has confided great confidence in projects which target the streamlining of business travel for the countries’ residents. He remarked: “I hope this agreement will contribute to the revitalisation of the economies of Japan and China, and promote mutual understanding”.
In addition, the two foreign ministers are keen to forge multilateral trade deals and thus strengthen ties ahead of the incoming Biden administration. To this effect, Mr Wang and his Japanese counterpart have pledged fast progress on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact, one of the largest free trade deals in history, which was signed by 15 Asia-Pacific nations earlier this month.
Thailand laying out a new path for American fascination
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced a new visa opportunity for American tourists. The new visa allows US travellers to stay in Thailand safely up to 60 days. Upon arrival, visitors will have to be relocated to an Alternative State Quarantine hotel for a 14-day isolation. Thailand’s dedication to sustainable tourism is promoted by a noteworthy campaign, which aims to captivate outsiders with the nation’s exotic jewels. TAT partnered with GLP Films to present Thailand’s first video campaign shedding light on local tourism, health and wellness, and rural communities in a bid to win the hearts of foreign adventure-seekers.
Serengeti officially a top destination for 2021
In second place to Maldives, Tanzania’s gem Serengeti National Park has been officially declared by global travel agents to be the most preferred destination for 2021. Prospects are increasing at an incredible rate and tourists are being enticed to experience the best of Africa’s safari spots. Ovation Travel Group, an internationally renowned travel company, have uniquely focused on Serengeti as an animal lover’s paradise- with its spectacular wildlife environment and plant diversity. Serengeti offers game viewing safaris, photography expeditions, and hot air balloon filming.
Kenya and Botswana redefine family travel experiences
Keystone conservation company, The Great Plains Foundation, has coordinated efforts to change the playing field of family outings in Botswana and Kenya. Introducing the Young Explorers Program in their safari camps and family accommodation for group bookings, Great Plains laid out a visionary and cinematic world for multigenerational visitors. During a Kenyan family safari, families can get involved in game drives, horseback riding, mountain biking and plenty of other exciting activities. The Botswanan Young Explorers Program aims to reach children outdoor and survival skills in addition to educating them on the importance of naturalism and local culture.
Dereck and Beverly Joubert, co-founders of Great Plains, said: “We aim to develop new naturalists, to encourage those who have already started on this journey and to provide a safe place for that outdoor experience that is unavailable to so many today. At the same time, for every family we host, we set aside some money to host local children in our Conservation Camps, so this naturalist journey is shared locally,”
Should you have any question about an upcoming trip or need support on travel, please contact our dedicated team who will be able to advise you. Our team is working daily with experts and local authorities to ensure that you reach your destination quickly and safely.