Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the coronavirus pandemic forcing countries into lockdown. This means cancelled plans, airports closure, and thousands of cancelled flights. Unfortunately, there’s no telling at this stage how long this is going to last, so most airlines and countries are taking matters into their hands. Airlines are offering refunds, waiving their cancellation policies, and some airlines like Emirates have stopped flights to certain destinations until next July. To say this is all negatively affecting the tourism sector is an understatement, but this is how it’s going to be for now, as people and their wellbeing must always come first. This is why the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has summoned a high-level meeting to discuss this matter.
As the coronavirus situation evolves, travel restrictions have been enforced around the world, forcing travelers worldwide to put their plans on hold. According to UNWTO, the tourism sector is facing the hardest hit so far, as 80 percent of this sector is made up of small and medium-sized enterprises, millions of lives around the world are left vulnerable. But public health remains the primary concern.
“By staying home today, we can travel tomorrow. And travelling tomorrow will support jobs, celebrate culture and promote international friendship and understanding,” UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili said in a statement. Highlighting that tourism is one way to lead future recovery around the world. Staying home today means traveling tomorrow: UNWTO’s key message, urges people to stay patient and prepare for the time when tourism bounces back. The hashtag #TravelTomorrow has been embraced by countries across the world such as Croatia, Serbia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya, and some cities like Belfast and Kranj.
We have no doubt that when this is all over we’ll get back to exploring the world. Flights will once again be roaring above us and airports will be filled with queues. But for now, we stay home, so we travel tomorrow -- and maybe do some virtual travelling as we wait for this to pass.