Travel and COVID-19

September 24, 2021 • Volume 31, Issue 33
How quickly will tourism recover?
By Sara Toth Stub


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. The recovery of international travel continues to lag, due mainly to border closures and entry restrictions, including vaccine, testing and quarantine requirements that can change quickly, causing uncertainty and higher financial costs. The pace of business travel also remains slow, and experts are divided on how soon it will revive. While studies do find pent-up demand for travel, the industry is facing a world in which consumers' lives, demands and spending habits have changed.

Photo of a visitor in Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California on July 22, 2021. (Getty Images/Sean Gallup)
A visitor enjoys Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California in July. Although the travel industry experienced a 50 percent drop in 2020 due to COVID-19, it has recovered somewhat this year, with outdoor activities especially showing growth. (Getty Images/Sean Gallup)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Tourism and Vacation
Sep. 24, 2021  Travel and COVID-19
Nov. 09, 2018  Global Tourism Controversies
Oct. 20, 2006  Ecotourism
Jun. 17, 1988  America's ‘Vacation Gap’
May 04, 1984  Tourism's Economic Impact
Jul. 21, 1978  Tourism Boom
May 14, 1969  Summer Camps and Student Travel
May 18, 1966  Tourist Dollar Gap
Apr. 19, 1961  Two-Way Tourism
Jul. 20, 1955  Competition for Passenger Travel
Jul. 03, 1946  Travel Boom
Jun. 17, 1930  Foreign and Domestic Tourist Traffic
Air Safety and Security
Congress Actions
Consumer Behavior
Crime and Law Enforcement
Economic Analyses, Forecasts, and Statistics
General Employment and Labor
General International Relations
Infectious Diseases
International Economic Development
Internet and Social Media
Medical Devices and Technology
Medical Profession and Personnel
Party Politics
Party Politics
Powers and History of the Presidency
Travel and Tourism
Water Transportation and Safety
Workplace Safety and Worker's Compensation