COVID-19 Weekly Recap: August 21 – 28 

COVID-19 Weekly Recap: August 21 – 28 


This article is intended to provide travel professionals and business leaders with an objective perspective on the evolving situation through facts, statistics, official statements and key resources from international regulatory bodies and government ministries. The outbreak is moving quickly, and some of the articles may fall rapidly out of date. We will provide updates on a weekly basis as the outbreak evolves.  

UNWTO: UN Secretary-General: “It is Imperative That We Rebuild the Tourism Sector in A Safe, Equitable and Climate Friendly Manner” – 25 August, 2020 

As part of the wider UN response to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres released on Tuesday, August 25, a thematic brief on the impact the pandemic has had on tourism. Drawing on the latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the lead author of the publication, it warns that as many as 100 million direct tourism jobs are at risk, and the massive drop in export revenues from tourism could reduce global GDP by as much as 2.8%. 

OAG: OAG Coronavirus Update – Week Thirty-Two – A Worrying Trend Developing – 24 August, 2020 

This week’s latest scheduled capacity data shows a further reduction with the loss of some 700,000 fewer seats reported this week. That’s a reduction of just one percent and exactly the same percentage of capacity at 50.6% of last year’s level as we reported for week thirty-one. This is now the third consecutive week of global capacity falling back; that seems like the beginning of a trend to me.

CNN: Thailand Floats Plan to Welcome Back International Tourists in October – 24 August, 2020 

Hope is on the horizon for travelers wanting to spend their upcoming winter holidays in Thailand — provided they’re willing to spend several weeks in the kingdom and only stick to designated areas. During a public forum held late last week, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the country is aiming to allow foreign tourists to enter the country through a program dubbed “Safe and Sealed.”

Skift: How Will Emerging Economies Reliant on Tourism Survive the Crisis? – 21 August, 2020 

Many emerging economies have built their growth strategies on tourism. Not everyone will survive a long-term upset — followed by a likely long-term recession — and be able to pick up where they left off on the other side.

Bangkok Post: Safe and Sealed Gears Up to Greet Phuket Visitors – 21 August, 2020 

The Tourism and Sports Ministry is preparing to introduce the Safe and Sealed plan in six regions where local residents will allow international tourists to visit under a 14-day quarantine in restricted areas.After completing the two-week quarantine, foreign tourists can travel freely within Phuket. But if they want to travel outside the province, they need to stay for a further seven days.

IATA: COVID-19 Lowers Airline Credit Ratings and Raises the Cost of Debt – 21 August, 2020

While the availability of capital market financing is positive, reflecting some confidence in the industry, the credit downgrades have raised the cost of borrowing in an era of low treasury yields. As a consequence, airlines will exit the worst of the crisis not only with higher levels of debt but also with a higher cost of debt.

ACI: COVID-19: Top 10 Customer Experience Recommendations: Restart and Recovery of Airport Operations – 21 August, 2020

The recently released ACI Airport Service Quality Barometer highlights that the customer satisfaction at airports has dropped. Published by ACI, this article puts together top 10 actions airports can take to enhance their customer experience amid COVID-19. 

Skift: New Sites and Apps Aim to Dispel Confusion About Travel Restrictions Worldwide – 21 August, 2020

Who isn’t confused about the ever-changing pandemic-related restrictions in place? It’s good to have some more tools at hand to sort things out. Several new websites and mobile apps aspire to be one-stop shops to find up-to-date information on the travel restrictions in effect due to the pandemic, with information covering countries, cities, airports, and airlines.



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