While travel restrictions, quarantine measures, and vaccination requirements amid new waves of the pandemic continue to impact the industry, Verdict has conducted a poll to assess the factors that are deterring people from travelling during the pandemic.

Analysis of the poll results shows that quarantine requirements (58%), travel restrictions (55%), and fear of contracting COVID-19 (50%) are the top three deterrents for people to travel.

Financial concerns (29%), lack of travel options (27%), feeling of social responsibility (26%) and sustainability concerns (16%) were other factors that deterred people from travelling.

None of the factors deterred 15% of the respondents from travelling.

Quarantine requirements, travel restrictions, and fear of disease contraction the main deterrents to travel amid COVID-19

The analysis is based on 1,364 responses received from the readers of Verdict between 17 November 2020 and 18 May 2021.

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Deterrents to travel amid COVID-19 and the path to recovery

International tourist arrivals declined by 83% in the first quarter of 2021 despite pent-up demand and return in traveller confidence as travel restrictions continue to remain in place across several regions, according the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Vaccination will be key to the industry’s recovery, but international co-operation and co-ordination remain essential.

The proposed EU Digital Green Pass, for example, ensures safe travel of citizens across the member states of the European Union by avoiding the imposition of additional travel restrictions on people. Further, rebound in the northern hemisphere will depend on making testing easier and affordable, according to UNWTO.

The travel and tourism industry will also need to address issues surrounding cancellation and refunds and provide up-to-date information on restrictions and requirements of airlines and destinations to restore traveller confidence and enable them to make informed choices.

In addition, governments and international bodies will need to focus on building resilience of the industry by supporting businesses and protecting jobs, while also achieving sustainability by promoting green investments in the sector.