As more and more destinations begin to reopen, travel advisors believe those that will rebound the fastest and most successfully include the Caribbean, North America, and to a lesser extent, Europe.
“I think the destinations that will rebound quicker are going to be your top-three all-inclusive markets – Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic,” said Jemica Archer of TruBlue Travels. “Those markets heavily rely on tourism, and I believe the all-inclusive concept will be marketed at a greater value to attract clients back. Jamaica opened its borders this week, and I already had clients reach out in book their vacations!”
Similarly, James Berglie of Be All-Inclusive said he predicts that the three destinations will be some of the first to rebound “mainly due to the number of resorts and the accessibility of airlift to the destinations.”
He added, “Cancun, in particular, has a very large number of resorts, and we are seeing airlines resuming their flights … earlier than they are resuming flights to other destinations. Plus, the large number of resorts can drive prices lower as hotels compete to bring business back.”
Sarah Kline of Time For Travel added Puerto Rico and Nassau in the Bahamas to the list of rebounding destinations.
“I have seen most of my clients requesting short-haul flights and destinations with nonstop service. I am in the Washington, D.C. area and we are lucky to have access to [nonstop flights under four hours] to Cancun, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Nassau,” she said. “I have had the most demand for trips to Cancun and Jamaica, because of the early border openings and overall value. I also [have seen] a lot of demand for the Florida Keys. Clients are craving a tropical getaway but want the comfort of staying in the U.S.”
Cal Cheney of Bucket List Travel and Tours agreed that the U.S. will be a winner when it comes to destinations that make quick comebacks. “I think the major suppliers who work worldwide are spot-on in promoting North American vacations right now,” he said.
Cheney said his clients in the 65-plus age even questioning the possibility of European trips for April, May and June 2021. “These are wait-and-see people that need to have confidence in the vaccine and new cleaning procedures before making decisions.”
Many travel advisors, however, believe some European destinations will also rebound sooner rather than later.
“After the Caribbean, I think Europe will start to allow people back in, and I think the continent of Africa will be last,” Archer said.
Antoine D. Wilson of A.D. Elite Travels is of the opinion that “countries with a lot of natural beauty and attractions, such as Iceland and Greece, will bounce back the quickest because after being in quarantine for so long many people really [want to explore] those places even more. Tourists were already traveling to them in record numbers, and I think that will continue, but with extra precaution.”
In the end, the destinations that have the most successful rebounds will be those who handled the pandemic in a very proactive fashion from the beginning.
“I feel the countries that were most prepared and handled the virus astoundingly well will be the first ones to open and rebound,” Wilson said. “I believe they’ll take the same necessary precautions as they did at the height of COVID-19 and execute procedures to minimize the spread while resuming their vital tourism sectors.”
On a similar note, Richard Turen, managing director of The Churchill & Turen Ltd. Consulting Group, said in terms of worldwide destinations “the ones that seem to do best in this kind of crisis are those where the population approves of and accepts the role of a strong central government.”
Those countries “believe their politicians and so are more likely to follow their directives,” he said. “That is why I look at Northern Europe and Scandinavia as some of the earliest destinations to recover.”
It will take time for all the world’s popular destinations to recover, but there’s no doubt some will just have it easier than others.
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