Should I travel during Covid-19?
The Covid-19 Pandemic has impacted one of the largest business sectors in the world, the Travel Industry. It has created a global shock wave that has flat-lined operations for hotels, resorts, airports and tour operators. Travel and tourism support businesses of all shapes and sizes in every country and continent, financially, socially and in some cases environmentally. However, habit would dictate that once you get a good thing, you want more of it, which in so doing creates a lust to travel. Many of us have this travel bug, which isn’t a bad thing! The problem is that travel has continued with the same marketing practices and strategies creating ethical issues.
We at Pure Breaks have taken on an ethical approach to travel. The temptation for the travel industry is to invite customers, to quite frankly, “just getaway”. However, for tourists to safely travel to destinations both long and short-haul, the fundamentals and practices of taking bookings/deposits need to be assessed and reviewed. The impact both for the tourist and for the destination and communities need to be taken into consideration. Specifically, it is important to protect the health and well being of local people, but at the same time provide much-needed employment and income to these destinations through tourism. The critical dilemma is the potential pressure on the destinations health care systems.
Is it ethically right to take bookings and to travel during a worldwide pandemic?
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, we took travelling abroad for granted, and saw it as an opportunity to just get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now, once international travel and borders reopen, we will see it as a luxury and a means of aiding our mental health and wellbeing. The urge for people to get away has been used in marketing campaigns by some of the biggest travel businesses in the industry. The problem of marketing and selling international, long or short-haul travel during a global pandemic, has given rise to ethical concerns.
Taking bookings for a travel business is a priority and is critical to restarting the Travel sector. However, is it ethically right to do so, when there’s still uncertainty on whether the chosen destination can accept tourists, especially when international borders are closed?
What happens if you hurt or injure yourself abroad in a country where they have yet to overcome the pandemic themselves, but the country has accepted tourists to arrive?
We believe this has been overlooked, with the emphasis on taking the customers money because those customers travelling have been vaccinated. However, there is an ethical duty to protect the customers’ welfare abroad based on the ability of destinations to be able to provide urgent care if required. Potentially, if this is not considered carefully, customers could be left in a foreign country unable to receive adequate medical aid, as Covid 19 patients could be occupying the majority of hospital beds.
Travel During Covid-19
The stance should be, not to travel until at least late 2021 – 2022 for countries experiencing outstanding health care pressures relating to Covid-19. Through research, our in-depth analysis of countries border protection measures, vaccine introductions and medical status will inform Pure Breaks bookings for travel in the last quarter of 2021 into 2022, with assurance on the following in-country protocols:
- The destination has enforced strict border controls and has been successful in keeping Covid 19 cases extremely low in relation its population
- Restrictions on new arrivals of tourists from countries experiencing high volumes of Covid 19 cases or new variants
- Detailed Covid 19 safety measures have been implemented nationwide, including tourism business and airports, leading to these destinations obtaining the World Travel Tourism Council ‘Safe Travels’ stamp of approval
We aim to reduce the stress and anxiety to travel. Here at Pure Breaks, we are talking to our in-country operators to understand the situation on the ground. This has helped us map out where we feel it is ethically sound to travel in late 2021 and into 2022. Our approach:
- Minimising transit through hub airports with high Covid 19 cases, prioritising direct flights where possible
- Validating that the destination has achieved a comprehensive vaccination delivery
- We offer unique escapes where individual unit occupancy is available e.g. ocean villa’s, beach bungalows or forest lodges
- Ensuring comprehensive Covid 19 testing at destination on arrival and during the stay
- Destination has achieved World Travel Tourism Council ‘Safe Travels’ certification
- Sustaining low levels of active Covid 19 cases, reducing the impact on national health care systems
The Travel Industry is eager to relaunch international travel and the emphasis has always been on the customer but, what Covid has taught this rich and diverse sector of business is that; customers’ welfare needs to be at the forefront.
The combination of the above assessments has led to the following destinations being on our late 2021 shortlist:
Indian Ocean Islands
South East Asia
Who are we?
Pure Breaks is centred around Sustainability and Eco-friendly practises with a constant focus on Responsible and Ethical Travel. Our dedicated team of destination researchers are going the extra mile and investigating hotels, resorts, lodges, jungle huts and even treehouse accommodation to find the best responsible escapes around the world. The question now is, does the travel industry have what it takes to bounce back after the global pandemic? Here at Pure Breaks, we say with careful consideration and informed knowledge of safe destinations, it is a resounding yes!