Resumption of travel endangered by fifth wave of Covid and unrest in the West Indies

The world of travel is feverish. After an autumn marked by a sharp resumption of travel, especially for leisure, winter, a traditionally strong period, advances with a procession of bad news: the fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is undermining the desire to travel, and the French West Indies flare up as the high season approaches.

A sign of growing concern, the main lobby of the sector called, Monday, November 22, to strengthen the harmonization of travel rules, worried about seeing new constraints and one day seeing the European vaccine passport subjected to a dose reminder. “We cannot afford to lose all the hard-won progress this year”, worries Julia Simpson, patron of the World Travel and Tourism Council. The Stock Exchange was not mistaken, which, for two weeks, has caused the prices of airlines and hotel chains to fall.

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Before this cold snap, the trip had a beautiful fall, with the reopening of many important destinations for the French market – the United States, in particular, on November 8, but also Mauritius and Thailand. “Since September, we are at + 20% of our 2019 revenues, breastplate Laurent Abitbol, ​​president of Marietton Développement (Havas Voyages, Selectour, Auchan Voyages…). It’s full for the end-of-year celebrations, from Reunion Island to Punta Cana [en République dominicaine], via Tunisia, the Canaries, Senegal. ”

Close to normal activity during the holidays

For all tour operators, between September and November, the drop in turnover compared to 2019 was around 25%, according to the organization of Travel Companies (EDV). During the holiday season, their activity should be close to normal, driven by the return of skiing and four destinations on the rise: the Canaries, the Dominican Republic, Dubai and Mauritius. Asian destinations that have reopened to tourists are not affected by this massive return of travelers, due to a lack of anticipation from local governments and, consequently, airlines.

Behind the scenes, travel agencies have also obtained an exit to the top of the crisis from their main guarantee fund, the Professional Association of Tourism Solidarity. All the guarantors of travel agents will now be able to benefit from State reinsurance, through the Caisse centrale de réassurance, which will make it possible to compensate for the possible failure of giants in the sector, like Thomas Cook. in 2019.

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