Tourism Industry: 2021 And Beyond

BY: Kayvonna Stigall

Pre-Pandemic, the tourism industry was a multi-million dollar business. Tourists flocked to destinations from the sandy beaches of Cancun to the sunset, night and day majestic island of Jamaica. There is no doubt that the onset of the pandemic and all that came along with it put a halt to spontaneous round trip flights , destination weddings and girlfriend getaways. Some suggest that tourism will not reach 2019 levels until the year 2023. The industry, though ready for a comeback, is aware that traveling has been linked to increasing the chance of spreading COVID 19.

People are starting to feel COVID fatigue and some feel that access to vaccinations couldn’t come fast enough. As the vaccine becomes more accessible and even available without an appointment, some people have started to opt-in on being contributors to developing herd immunity and are eager to get back to airports and ship docks. Yet, on the other hand while the opportunities to become vaccinated are available, some have not decided to take the vaccines. Depending on what option you choose, your ability to travel beyond the borders of the United States may be affected.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations, unless you have been fully vaccinated, you should avoid international travel. If you have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine that is FDA-authorized or has been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization, there are still a few steps that you should consider. One consideration is that you should continue to follow CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely and get tested 3-5 days after travel. According to the CDC, there is no need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it, and upon your return to the United States you do not need to self-quarantine.

Even with the vaccine being readily available for all adults and for children 12-15 year-old, it is hard to look past the present day effects that the pandemic is still having in the world and the impact it is taking on what places around the world are available for tourist. Even more, the question remains if those places have access and protocols that would make visitors feel safe enough to travel. Tourists are being asked to take caution if they are travelling to destinations that have decided to open back up to visitors and those who are opening up to welcome tourists are being asked to follow protocols to keep visitors safe so that their return to home is not attached to a virus exposure.

Many considerations will need to be made when travelling this Summer. Taking in the recommendations from the CDC, the access to vaccines and the current temperature of the pandemic will guide the availability of tourism and what vacation time will look like for those seeking fun in the sun beyond the U.S. borders.

Kayvonna Stigall is a native to River Rouge, Michigan. She is a published author and poet.

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