Read the latest issue of the Travel Trade Publication of the Year.
On February 25, when we sent the March issue of ABTA Magazine to print, the devastation Covid-19 would cause was not yet understood. China had suffered thousands of deaths and, just days before, a 78-year-old Italian had become the first person in Europe to die of coronavirus – but few anticipated its global implications. Disruption in the travel industry had, at that point, been confined to Asia: demand for air travel had plummeted and cruise lines were scrambling to rework itineraries across the region.
But now, the once unthinkable has happened: the Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel abroad, countries across the world have closed their borders, tens of thousands of travel industry staff have been furloughed and millions of jobs in our sector remain at risk. When and how we leave lockdown – and how the travel industry recovers from this enormous setback – will occupy us all for the coming weeks and months. It won’t be easy, but we will be back: the travel industry is incredibly resilient and has overcome a number of crises before – but there are obstacles we must navigate first.
ABTA continues to lobby the government to provide much-needed support for the industry, while these sentiments are echoed by the World Travel & Tourism Council, where its president and CEO Gloria Guevara argues for intervention from leaders across the world.
Our aim during this period is to report, reassure and rebuild. That is: report news as it happens, reassure the trade and help to rebuild confidence in the industry. We will be inviting industry leaders to share their thoughts on what the future of tourism looks like, to pressure the government to take urgent measures to protect the travel industry, and to educate and reassure agents. We’ll also be taking this opportunity to celebrate this wonderful industry, its people and its opportunities.
We believe it is crucial during these troubling times to remember what it means to travel and why we do it. To those ends, you’ll find a guide to the wonderful city of Split in Croatia, while our regular writers pen love letters to the Greek islands.
Read the magazine in full here.