Žydrė Gavelienė, President of the National Tourism Business Association, CEO at Estravel, Lithuania.
Tourism market and industry was hit the most. 98 percent of reservations were not fulfilled in Q2. The majority are still on stand still.
Travel agencies did the great job to help travellers to return back after lock down was announced and earned respect. Starting from May 15 people started to travel in the Baltic countries. Not on the same scale as it was before lockdown, but still the first activities are seen. It is related with the first flights of airBaltic. We expect more destinations to be opened, with exclusion of Spain and Portugal.
Recently we received a lot of questions. Is it safe? Do we need Covid test? How much will it cost?
Economic health of travel agencies depends upon flights and every traveller. Everyone can help to survive travel industry. We promote the corporate events outside the cities. For those from outside the cities we invite to come to Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn. We are waiting for the opening of other cities but it’s still not easy. When it comes to the American Express, restrictions are applied until the end of the year.
The numbers of the sector development will improve but it will take long time to recover. We expect that it will reach the prepandemic level only in 2022.
Greece is expected to be the most popular destination. There will be many flights to the islands as well as to the mainland. Then it will be Bulgaria and later Spain and Portugal after the opening. However it’s a small part of the variety of previous destinations.
Business travels will start in autumn. If the second wave of COVID – 19 will not start, events and conferences will be held in autumn. The good sign is that China as being the first country to be hit by coronavirus, started to plan the exhibition.
We have to be careful, but nevertheless life is coming back. It’s time to plan the trips and help the travel industry to recover.
Find more about Estravel: https://www.estravel.lt/