At Ovation, we remain committed to providing excellent service to our valued clients throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic. Click the link below to view our travel resources guide which includes traveler health & safety information, interactive risk maps, client communications, travel management best practices, webinar recordings and more regarding COVID-19.
Ovation's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.
Following is a recap of February's Top 5 (most clicked by Ovation clients) e-newsletter stories.
The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has inspired many travelers to start planning trips for the upcoming year. Although many individuals have already begun getting vaccinated, it will still take a good amount of time before enough of the world’s population is vaccinated to make much difference in terms of restarting global travel and tourism, but there are some countries that are already making provisions to allow fully-immunized visitors. A number of destinations are choosing to either drop border restrictions for travelers who've been fully vaccinated, or ease them significantly. Click "Read More" below for a comprehensive list of the international destinations allowing vaccinated travelers as assembled by Travel Pulse.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says it will have its digital COVID-19 Travel Pass ready "within weeks,” and believes that the Travel Pass will reestablish international travel more quickly, reports Travel Pulse. The digital pass will be an app to be downloaded on a smartphone and will verify that a traveler has had either a negative COVID-19 test or been vaccinated against the virus. It also verifies they were administered by an approved authority. "The key issue is one of confidence. Passengers need to be confident that the testing they've taken is accurate and will allow them to enter the country." said Vinoop Goel, IATA’s regional director of airports and external relations. "And then governments need to have the confidence that the tests that the passengers claim to have is one which is accurate and meets their own conditions." The app will be available on iOS and Android platforms and is expected to be free. Singapore Airlines was the first airline to start trials of the travel pass in December, with Air New Zealand, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways among the other airlines currently conducting trials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not recommending a COVID-19 testing requirement before domestic air travel, reports CNN. "At this time, CDC is not recommending required point of departure testing for domestic travel," according to a CDC statement sent to CNN Friday night. "As part of our close monitoring of the pandemic, in particular the continued spread of variants, we will continue to review public health options for containing and mitigating spread of COVID-19 in the travel space." The guidance comes after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a recent interview with Axios on HBO that the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the CDC were considering requiring a negative COVID-19 test for any travelers on domestic flights.
A recent survey conducted by Longwoods International, a tourism-focused market research consultancy, found that travel planning has increased significantly as vaccine rollout continues to increase across the country, reports Travel Pulse. The survey, supported by Miles Partnership, was fielded on February 3rd, using a national sample randomly drawn from a consumer panel of 1,000 adults, ages 18 and over. Longwoods research shows that 81 percent of respondents plan to travel in the next six months. This number has increased 16 percentage points since mid-January and it is the highest it has been since the beginning of the pandemic last March. Vaccines are a big driver behind the increase in travel planning. Two-thirds of respondents said the vaccine will impact their travel plans. More than one-third of travelers do not plan to travel until they are vaccinated, and a fifth of travelers do not plan to travel until a majority of Americans have received the vaccine. “The arrival of multiple coronavirus vaccines has reignited travel planning in the US,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. “The travel industry recovery appears poised to track in synch with the success of the mass vaccination program now underway across America.”
United Airlines has announced a new pre-clearance process for travel to Hawaii, allowing travelers to show a valid negative COVID-19 test result before boarding to save time and skip document screening lines upon arrival. United is also making it easier to get the right tests to avoid Hawaii's 10-day quarantine by making approved COVID-19 tests available to all travelers flying to the islands no matter where in the US their travel begins. To begin the pre-clearance program, travelers will enroll in Hawaii's Safe Travels program and complete Hawaii's COVID-19 questionnaire within 24 hours from departure. Next, travelers will use the Safe Travels website to upload their negative test results from one of Hawaii's trusted testing partners which must be taken within 72 hours of their departure. At the airport, travelers will see a United team member at the gate for their flight to Hawaii where they will receive a wristband if they qualify to bypass airport screening in Hawaii. Travelers who have been pre-cleared will be able to skip test screenings in Hawaii and begin their trip as soon as they land.