What are travel bubbles and can they help revive the economy?

Economy Dec 16, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the once-bustling travel industry to a standstill. Before the pandemic, the travel and tourism industry accounted for 10% of global GDP and now countries are finding a way to restore some of that air traffic to help speed up economic recovery and to resurrect the travel business. Counties like New Zealand, Dubai, Singapore and Australia are in talks to create a “travel bubble”. As of now Australia and New Zealand are the only countries that have contained the spread of the virus at a large scale and they might just be the first countries to open and explore the concept of Travel Bubbles. While other countries like Hong Kong and Singapore will follow their steps.

A travel bubble is an arrangement in which people will be allowed to travel between two countries that have managed to contain Covid-19, without the requirement for compulsory quarantine. If the travel bubble concept becomes a success it could later be expanded to include safe countries.

There are 2 major benefits for the participating countries. The first benefit is that both countries economies will gain from travel activities, Second such benefit is that it will reduce the probability of people acquiring Covid-19 in a foreign country.

To apply this concept passengers airlines will have to follow strict regulations provided by Aviation Departments and Governments of both the countries in addition to that new Visa rules have been formed for such travel bubbles. The concept is considered at various levels of administration at all levels may have to work together to make travel safer and better for tourists. As the success of the travel bubble will depend on how carefully and swiftly countries can consistently evaluate and respond to the spread of the virus in other countries in the bubble.

The Government is considering to create such “travel bubbles” with US, EU and other countries. India’s tourism industry has also suffered severally with international flight ban with the first lockdown and is looking at job losses of 38 million people in the sector. But as the second wave arrives in the country the plans of setting up a travel bubble have been moved forward.

This article has been written by Siddhesh Patil and Shreyashi Bohre for The Paradigm

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