The world of travel has been shaken amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with holiday plans dashed amid a sea of airline cancellations and border restrictions. Yet, even once lockdown restrictions have been lifted and travel resumed to a more normal schedule, it seems tourists have grown wary of some once popular holiday destinations.
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New data collected by travel experts at Official-Esta.com has revealed that destinations on all sides of the globe are now being viewed differently and could face damage to their tourism industries as a result of the virus.
With China, the source of the virus, almost a quarter (23 percent) of those surveyed vowed they would “never visit China again even once the restrictions are lifted.”
Meanwhile, 34 percent said they are worried about visiting Asia in general after the recent outbreak.
However, Europe and the US are also causing concern for travellers.
Around 16 percent of travellers surveyed displayed a new distaste for holidays in Italy, and 12 percent said they would be avoiding future holidays to France.
An additional 13 percent said the USA was out of the running for future holidays.
In fact, fear seems to be one of the leading symptoms of life after the virus.
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According to the survey, three in 10 of those who responded said they will be “too scared to travel after restrictions are lifted.”, and just two in 10 said they were eager to jet off abroad.
Yet even with the government currently in talks about a roadmap for how lockdown could eventually be lifted, many Britons may optionally stick to their local area instead of exploring the globe.
In fact, the majority of those who answered said it would take almost a year for them to consider going away – whether that’s an international vacation or a staycation closer to home.
British respondents said they anticipated hanging on for approximately 311 days before thinking about that next break.
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Jayne Forrester, Director of International Development at Official-esta.com said: “Although we don’t yet know what the future holds, nor when the restrictions will be lifted, it is clear there will be a major impact on the tourism industry from the global pandemic.
“Saying this, the industry hasn’t come to a complete standstill – hotels around the world have been seen opening its doors to medical workers and supporting each other through these challenging times.”
Indeed, it is not all bad news for the future of tourism.
The sun continues to shine on holiday favourite Spain, with 11 percent of Britons says they hoped Spain would be the first place they visit once travel restrictions are lifted.
What’s more, around 12 percent say they still think it is safe to travel, in spite of the Foreign and Commonwealth’s (FCO) advice to avoid all non-essential travel for an indefinite period of time.
Though the government’s lockdown advice should be followed, this opinion does show a light at the end of the tunnel for the travel industry.
Ms Forrester concludes: “Whilst we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, it is more important than ever to listen to the public’s opinions and worries on the current situation we are all faced with.
“Understandably, the travel industry is currently paused as countries around the world are taking extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and it is really interesting to see the difference in approaches and also the public’s view on travel in the future.”
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