The Virus

From Tui’s topsy-turvy 2020 has further twists to come, by Bryce Elder in the Financial Times 30/31 May 2020.

A YouGov survey for Barclays this month found that 62 per cent of package holiday customers did not expect Covid-19 to affect their booking habits. But nearly half of those surveyed would not seek to make up for lost holidays in 2020 and 26 per cent said they would be taking fewer flights permanently.

Health was the main reason for hesitance. Just 34 per cent of those surveyed were waiting for the lifting of international lockdowns to book a trip, whereas more than half wanted to see a vaccine or a zero case count before packing their suitcases. It all suggests that the question of whether the holiday industry ever recovers is one for epidemiologists rather than tour operators.

It seems likely that friends of Learn Italy will be among those waiting for the virus to disappear, or to be kept at bay by a viable vaccine, before they will think of returning to international travel. At present it looks as if all of us over seventy will be stuck somewhere between self-isolation and distancing for the foreseeable future. Perhaps things will change for the better. Let us hope so.

A view about the future of flying, also taken from an article entitled The economy will not snap back after Covid-19 by Tim Harford in the Financial Times.

And for all the costs and indignities of a modern aeroplane, tourism depends on travel. It is hard to imagine people submitting to a swab test in order to go to the cinema, but if that becomes part of the rigmarole of flying, many people will comply.