The Receding Horizon of Travel’s Return
However, in recent weeks, Antonelle has said that those who were afraid to travel with those who had previously booked trips will be forced to retire next year. They expect to be vaccinated when they become available.
“People, in the beginning, seem to be better off and removed because they understand the dangers of the epidemic,” Antonelle said. “They still understand the devastation of the epidemic, but many people who have been working far away, at home teaching school and except for some people are really looking forward to traveling.”
Fearful Barnes expects the travelers to book short trips near their home for the next 18 months, but confidence in international travel will be restored, saying the need to return to expensive, international “bucket lists” such as seeing the North Light, gorilla roaming Rwanda and hiking Mount Everest.
A world full of bucket lists, end worries
Across Africa, where tourism is the second-largest tourism industry in the world before the epidemic, there is little domestic tourism that could alleviate the loss of foreign exchange until it reaches the bucket list. Complaints also appear that the uncertain timing of the distribution of the vaccine there – which is expected to come in a few months after it has been released in some areas – will disrupt trade.
“Most of the vaccines we’ve been hearing about for the first time are coming to the US and Europe for the first time,” said George Gituku, owner of Sandrage Safaris in Kenya. “When he arrives in Africa it will be a while, and this wait will be difficult for all of us in the safari and travel business.”
COVAX, a global program established by the World Health Organization, as well as a public-private partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is raising funds to ensure the vaccine will be distributed to developing countries. Efforts are being made to prevent a recurrence of 2010, when African countries received a swine flu vaccine a year later in the West.
In order to survive for a short time, Sandrage and other safari companies have completely rescheduled reservations by 2021, but tour operators are worried that many hotels and accommodations, which are booked by a customer, will not be able to last long.