Travel and COVID-19

- September 24, 2021
How quickly will tourism recover?
Photo of a visitor in Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California on July 22, 2021. (Getty Images/Sean Gallup)
Since the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines last winter, the travel industry has been navigating a recovery after its revenue dropped by nearly 50 percent in 2020. The beginning of this summer was a time of increased travel, especially domestic leisure travel in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. But the emergence of the virus' Delta variant delivered another setback, causing people to cancel or postpone trips once again and prompting many destinations to enact fresh restrictions on movement and requirements for mask-wearing.

How important was the travel industry to the global economy before the pandemic? How quickly will the industry return to its prepandemic level, according to experts?

How have airlines, hotels and other travel-related companies tried to adjust to COVID?

1870s–1940sThe modern tourism industry emerges.
1950s–1990sAir and international travel grow.
2000s–PresentGrowing terrorism threat and improving technology alter the travel industry.

Are vaccine passports a fair and efficient way to ensure safer travel in a post-COVID world?


Suzanne Neufang
CEO, Global Business Travel Association.


Katherine Ginsbach
Law Associate, O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University.


Food Security

Can the global decline be reversed?

Social Security

Will Congress act to shore up its financing?

Career Change

Will COVID-19's impact on work-life balance endure?


COVID-19 and Children - 10/1/2021
Has it caused lasting damage?

Erdogan's New Turkey - 10/8/2021
Will it keep drifting away from the West?

Reports are published online 44 times a year. Click here to see the 2021 publication schedule.

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