Are you ready to welcome back international travelers?
After a challenging year with various restrictions, the travel industry has adapted and is starting to open again. Hotels have put safety measures in place to welcome international hotel guests. The rest of the hospitality industry is pivoting as well. In 2020, there were 19.45 million international visitors to the U.S. This figure includes visitors from overseas, Mexico and Canada – versus – 79 million in 2019.
Yet, one of the most exciting developments is the blueprint for international travel. A coalition of 24 trade organizations has put the document together. Let us explore what this means for travelers and the industry alike.
What Is the Blueprint for International Travel?
The blueprint is a policy-driven plan for reopening international borders without compromising safety.
Essentially, the blueprint is a document that has been called A Framework to Safely Lift Entry Restrictions and Restart International Travel. The document outlines policy principles for welcoming international travelers to the United States. It also prioritizes health and safety.
A group of 24 trade organizations have combined their efforts and put forward an urgent call to lift restrictions on international travel to the United States. The organizations represent a diverse selection of industry players, all of which have been affected by the pandemic.
Some of the organizations involved include the following, among 21 others;
- Airlines for America
- Global Business Travel Association
- International Inbound Travel Association
- The Travel Technology Association
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
What Can We Expect from the Blueprint?
Science drives the framework of the blueprint. This mindset ensures that the blueprint adopts the correct approach and optimizes safety.
Guidelines to the Policy Framework
To ensure optimal security, various guidelines have been incorporated into the document. Some of these guidelines include;
- Entry restrictions remain in place for countries with the highest risk
- Entry protocols to be based on country-specific and traveler-specific risk assessment
- The framework is easy to understand, communicate and implement
Immediate Steps Toward Reopening
The blueprint suggests several steps needed for the federal government to take in order to open international travel. A few of these steps include the following;
- Rapid lift of entry restrictions between the United States and the United Kingdom.
Both countries have similar vaccination records, and research suggests low infection rates. For example, the risk of a person with COVID-19 boarding a flight between the two destinations is one out of 10,000. Even more unlikely is the risk of an infected passenger transmitting the virus to another on the flight. The likelihood of this event is one out of one million passengers.
- Allow accelerated entry into the US for fully vaccinated travelers.
Travelers from non-high-risk countries should be allowed expedited access across American borders.
- Ease entry by July 15
Forecasts expect the United States will achieve widespread immunity by this date. Forecasts also suspect a continued decline in infections and hospitalizations.
Benefits of the Blueprint
The united front of the hospitality industry has produced a rational and encouraging document that encourages international travel.
In turn, the policy-orientated approach is expected to produce the following benefits;
- Boost traveler confidence and inspire the rejuvenation of the industry
- Support hospitality and tourism businesses to adapt and succeed
- Provide clear and specific information to travelers
- Support the safe return of international travel
- Encourage response measures to be adaptable
- Improve cooperation between (and within) countries
- Build a resilient tourism industry
The Hotel Industry Is Ready
At NewGen Advisory, we are proud to be the nation’s premier hospitality industry experts. The news of the blueprint for international travel is encouraging, and we look forward to the strengthening of the hotel industry.