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Coronavirus Updates: Latest Travel and Tourism news

Every day, we monitor the situation on the travel market. On this page, once a week – on Fridays, we share the main news that affects the travel niche and affiliate marketing.


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  • Greece restarted regular ferry services to its islands Monday and cafes and restaurants were also back open for business as the country accelerated efforts to salvage its tourism season. But the country’s low infection rate in the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the government to start the holiday season three weeks earlier than the expected June 15 date, as other Mediterranean countries — including Italy, Spain and Turkey — are grappling with deadlier virus outbreaks. Source: AP.
  • President Donald Trump has further limited travel to the U.S. from the world’s coronavirus hotspots by denying entry to foreigners coming from Brazil, which is second to the US in the number of confirmed cases. The new restrictions will come into force on 28 May, and prohibit most non-U.S. citizens from traveling to the United States if they have been in Brazil in the last two weeks. Green card holders, close relatives of US citizens, and flight crew members, among select others, would be exempt. Source: The New York Times.
  • Lufthansa plans to restart service to tourist destinations in Europe. The German airline has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and is in talks with the government over a potential bailout. Source: DW.
  • Three large Indian states have sought to delay the planned opening of their airports on Monday as new cases of the novel coronavirus jumped by a record, complicating the federal government’s plan to resume flights after a two-month lockdown. India registered 6,767 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, the country’s biggest 24-hour jump yet, taking the total to over 131,000. Airlines are preparing to resume about a third of their domestic flight operations from Monday, even without clarity over which states will allow flights or what quarantine rules may apply to passengers. Source: Reuters.
  • Air Canada will add service over the next several months, with plans to serve 97 of its usual 220 destinations in its summer schedule. On Friday, the carrier began to resume service to the United States, with service to six destinations—New York LaGuardia, Washington Dulles, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago—by Monday. Overall, Air Canada’s schedule will increase to 58 routes in June, compared with 34 routes in May. That will run to the end of July and includes additional service to some Caribbean, South America, Europe and Pacific markets. The carrier then plans to add more routes in August and September. Source: BTN.
  • Spain will reopen to overseas tourists from July, the prime minister has announced, pledging that the government will guarantee the safety of visitors and locals as the country emerges from one of Europe’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns. Source: The Guardian.
  • The Vatican Museums will reopen on June 1, the Vatican said on Saturday, ending a closure caused by the coronavirus lockdown that has drained the Holy See’s coffers. A statement said the Museums, which house some of the world’s greatest Renaissance masterpieces as well as ancient Roman and Egyptian artifacts, can be visited from the beginning of June, though only by making on-line reservations in order to control the number of people. Source: Reuters.
  • COVID-19 lockdown: Domestic flight services resume in India after two months States like Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, which are home to some of the busiest airports in the country, were reluctant to allow domestic flight services from their airports, citing swelling cases of the coronavirus infection in their states. Source: The Economic Time.



  • Air France is putting its grounded pilots through their paces in the flight simulator as the airline prepares to restore flights to dozens of destinations that had been suspended under coronavirus lockdown measures. The French carrier, part of Air France/KLM, plans to increase capacity to about 10% of normal levels by mid-June from 3-5% today. European safety rules require extra training for any pilot who has not carried out at least three take-offs and landings in the last three months, although Air France sets the bar higher at five take-offs and landings. Source: Reuters.
  • Norway will likely maintain its travel restrictions until August 20, Reuters reported on Friday. Most visitors are banned. The measures include official advice against traveling abroad unless necessary, 10-day quarantine for all people returning from abroad, and barring entry to most non-Norwegians who do not have the right to live and work in Norway. Source: Reuters.
  • Travelers can vacation in Italy once again as of June 3, the government announced. It’s a major step for Italy, which is slowly starting to recover after one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the world. Source: DW.
  • Seychelles Tourism Minister Didier Dogley announces ban of cruise Ships for two years as part of measures to prevent future waves of the COVID-19 outbreak. Source: FTN News.
  • Brussels Airlines plans to resume flight operations on June 15, starting with a reduced schedule that will build up as demand and travel restrictions dictate, according to the carrier. Source: BTN.
  • Lufthansa plans to resume flights to destinations including Los Angeles, Toronto, and Mumbai next month as it begins to restore some of the capacity grounded by the coronavirus crisis, the German airline group said on Thursday. Source: Reuters.
  • United Airlines wants to resume passengers flights to China as soon as next month but is waiting on governments in Beijing and Washington, D.C. to allow it, an executive told employees Thursday during a virtual town hall meeting. Source: Skift.
  • France on Thursday announced measures worth 18 billion euros ($19 billion) to support its tourism sector, which has been hammered by the coronavirus crisis and resulting shutdown in beaches, leisure attractions and hotels. Source: Skift.


May 10


  • Air New Zealand has announced it will operate to the majority of its domestic airports when the nation enters Alert Level 2. In a press release this evening, chief executive officer Greg Foran says the airline plans to operate around 20% of its usual domestic capacity during Alert Level 2. Source:
  • Shanghai Disneyland in muted reopening after coronavirus closedown. Source: Reuters.
  • Marriott CEO Arne Sorensen says most of the world has seen the bottom. Marriott sees early signs of travel demand coming back to properties in China and North America. But its plans to mount an aggressive marketing campaign to take as much of the early recovery market share as possible to recognize it will be tough competition on the rebound. Source: Skift.
  • Marriott International reported Monday morning revenue per room or RevPAR, the hotel industry’s leading performance metric, was down nearly 23 percent in the first quarter. Outside North America, RevPAR dropped 30 percent while the metric was down nearly 20 percent in the company’s North American portfolio. First-quarter profits were $31 million, down from $375 million in profits reported in the first quarter of 2019. Source: Reuters.
  • Avis budget plans for the summer start of recovery. CEO Joe Ferraro said: “Our current reservations show improvement in June and over the balance of the summer,” Ferraro said. “In markets where shelter-in-place restrictions are being lifted, we’re seeing early indications of improving demand, which leaves us hopeful for a recovery beginning in the third quarter.” Source: BTN.
  • France’s Secretary of State for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, told the RTL radio network on Sunday that airlines would not be required to enforce a distance of one meter between passages onboard aircraft. Source: BFM TV.
  • COVID-19 has placed the whole world on lockdown, with new research from the World Tourism Organization showing that 100% of global destinations continue to have restrictions on travel in place, and 72% have completely closed their borders to international tourism. Source: UNWTO.
  • Turkey sets out virus precautions, prepares for tourism comeback. Step by step, people are to be gradually allowed to travel within the country starting at the end of May, Esroy told a CNN Türk live broadcast. In June 2020, international flights will gradually recommence, he added. Source: DailySabah.



The total number of flights tracked by Flightradar24, per day (UTC time), last 90 days:

  • Croatia hopes for 30% of annual tourism revenues despite coronavirus. Source: Reuters.
  • Airbnb is rolling out two voluntary sanitization and coronavirus prevention programs for hosts, which would block guest arrivals for 72 hours between stays.
  • Hilton defined a new standard of hotel cleanliness for its global properties by working with Reckitt Benckiser to elevate hygiene practices from check-in to check-out. Marriott also announced the use of electrostatic sprayers and hospital-grade disinfectants to sanitize throughout their hotels.
  • India’s Oyo Hotels and Homes plans to offload more properties around the world, three sources familiar with the matter said, as the coronavirus pandemic prompts it to speed up a retreat from rapid global expansion. Source: Reuters.
  • Hertz Global Holdings Inc said on Wednesday it was in talks with its lenders to avoid defaulting on debt related to its rental vehicle fleet, after skipping a payment that was due April 27. Hertz said in a regulatory filing that it had suffered a “sudden and dramatic negative impact” on its business due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has crushed demand for rental cars as people cancel travel and stay at home. Source: Reuters.
  • American Airlines lost more than $2.2 billion in the first three months of the year — its biggest quarterly loss since 2008 — as the coronavirus pandemic drove down demand for air travel. Source: CNBC.
  • American Airlines will require passengers to cover their faces on flights, effective May 11.





  • Spain will not allow tourism, culture or leisure until Christmas. The Minister of Labour, Yolanda Diaz, explained that measures for the country’s reactivation are being considered in two periods and warned that the most affected sectors, such as tourism and leisure, will be extended until the end of 2020. “One that will cover the productive sectors until the summer and another that will extend until the end of the year and that would affect sectors such as tourism, culture or leisure,” she said. Source: Marca.
  • Infographic: Which countries stand to lose the most:


  • The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), in collaboration with the public and private sector partners, is introducing an “Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration: SHA” certification aimed at elevating the country’s tourism industry standards and developing confidence among international and domestic tourists. Source: Tatnews.
  • SweetEscape – Indonesian travel photography startupб cuts at least 30% of the workforce. Source: Dealstreetasia.
  • Singapore sees second-wave rise in the number of cases. Singapore, which has been lauded for its initial response to the outbreak, has seen a surge in cases, reporting a record 1,426 new coronavirus cases on Monday, mostly among foreign workers. Source: The Guardian.
  • Virgin Australia Holdings, 20 percent-owned by Singapore Airlines (SIA), became Asia’s first airline and the first long-haul carrier to fall to the coronavirus after the outbreak deprived the debt-burdened company of almost all income. Source: Straitstimes.
  • India has not yet taken a decision on when to lift or ease restrictions on domestic and international flights and urged airlines to take travel bookings only after a final decision is made. “The Ministry of Civil Aviation clarifies that so far no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations,” civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a tweet late on Saturday. Source: Reuters.
  • The Turkish government has launched an initiative to certificate coronavirus-free tourism resorts across the country. Source: Hurriyet.
  • 8 of the 10 safest places to ride out the coronavirus pandemic are in the Asia-Pacific region, including mainland China. Source: Nikkei.
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