Since first being identified, the coronavirus COVID-19 has spread to many countries all around the world. The total number of diagnosed cases is increasing at an alarming rate by hours now. It is a global health crisis that the world was not prepared for in any way, shape, or form. This pandemic has not only resulted in a health crisis but, various areas of our lives have also been affected by this. Our education, businesses, market industry, food industry, etc. all have taken a toll. This also includes our traveling industry, especially those countries and companies that derived their major income from tourism and travel.
Given the current situation, we won’t be traveling any time soon. As of now, all international flights have been delayed or canceled and it does not seem like some countries will be opening their borders for travel and tourism anytime soon and most countries have even closed public venues and attractions even for local people. No matter how much we deny it, COVID-19 has affected our approach towards life. We have become more conscious and careful about the decisions we make. It is not like people will be planning a spontaneous trip to the Netherlands or someplace else soon. And according to some studies and analyzed data, this won’t be possible until 2021.
According to World Economic Forum, the tourism industry accounts for 10% of global GDP, and The World Travel and Tourism Council has warned that this pandemic could cut 50 million jobs worldwide in the travel and tourism industry. It could take up to 10 months for the industry to recover, once the outbreak is over. These are just facts and figures put together by the data provided and the current pattern of the pandemic. The impact would depend on how long the pandemic lasts.
Even if we look on the brighter side of things, and say that we will get over this pandemic soon by some miracle and all good intentions, traveling will not be the same for a long time. There are going to be strict guidelines from countries and who know some countries might not even open their borders directly but, rely on safe corridors (through other countries).
The Netherlands, like numerous other countries, is taking drastic measures to prevent further spread of coronavirus. It is possible that new safety measures will be introduced, as the situation is changing rapidly. Some leniency is expected for business travel like goods and other professional transport which is considered to be “essential traffic”. For Dutch people who are abroad and wish to return home are advised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to contact their travel organization and transport company to discuss options for returning home safely.
As of travel related to tourism, this is a question still under evaluation because access to most tourist sites and attractions will still be denied and a new tourism policy will be implemented that will ensure the health and safety of nationals at all costs. Health and safety is everyone’s top priority for now.