Right when the COVID-19 pandemic is toning down, the European destinations are to experience more losses in tourism, as the Russian innovation of Ukraine has concerned travellers, especially Americans who were planning to travel to the 27-nation-bloc this summer.
According to James Ferrera, the president of InteleTravel, an online travel agency with over 70,000 travel advisors, the war in Ukraine is affecting Americans who had plans to travel to Eastern Europe and elsewhere in the region, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Ferrera reveals that the drop of ticket sales and cancellations, postponements, and lower bookings for Croatia, Czechia, Poland, and other destinations, have proven for the tight situation in bookings, as he also points out that these destinations “have largely disappeared from booking data and even search data.”
Moreover, Ferrera pointed out that the war is affecting all international travel, including Greece, Turkey, Isreal, and Western Europe. In addition, he said that it had risked destinations for summer holidays such as Switzerland, the UK, Germany, and France, which are not close to the tension zone, but the psychological impact can be evident.
“Cancellations of already-booked trips by Americans to Europe have already started, although many cancellations are based on psychological fear,” Mahmood Kahn, director of the hospitality and tourism management department at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business, said for Forbes.
He also pointed out that the war started just as people were planning summer vacations, and this will affect the tourism industry, as travellers can stay away from Europe.
According to the MMGY Travel Intelligence survey, 62 per cent of Americans have listed the war in Ukraine expanding to nearby countries as a concern for them to carry out their travel plans to Europe. As per COVID-19, only 31 per cent listed that factor as a concern, while 47 per cent said they want to wait to see how the situation in Ukraine unfolds before they make their plans for the year.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned this would happen previously, as it said that European countries would be affected by the war, especially the neighbouring countries.
“In general, we are moving in the right direction, but there are some concerns. Asia-Pacific is the laggard of the recovery. While Australia and New Zealand have announced measures to reconnect with the world, China is showing no signs of relaxing its zero-COVID strategy. The resulting localized lock-downs in its domestic market are depressing global passenger numbers even as other major markets like the US are largely back to normal,” IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, said.
The war can affect Russia the most, which will witness its large domestic market weaken due to sanctions imposed.