Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Thursday, September 9, 2021

Latest figures show signs of travel recovery, new countries launch eVisas

Vicky Ashgrove a 'travel visa specialist' at BYEvisa.com has some encouraging thoughts on the world travel recovery



'There's been some promising news for the travel industry of late, as a number of industry bodies, airports and other travel organisations have reported recent "green shoots". These include rising passenger numbers, especially in Europe and North America. Similarly, a number of new countries are preparing to welcome international visitors again by launching so-called eVisas (Electronic Visas), in a bid to lift their tourism sectors.

These signs lend hope that, as more and more of us get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and governments in turn ease up their travel restrictions, the industry will return to and even exceed 2019's pre-coronavirus figures.

Heathrow Airport reports most passengers since before the pandemic

Among the upbeat travel news recently include reports that London's Heathrow Airport had its busiest month in July 2021 since before the pandemic. A total of 1.5 million passengers passed through Heathrow's terminals in that summer month, the most since March 2020. In particular, North American passenger numbers flew up by 230% year-on-year, as flights increased to New York's JFK Airport. 

According to the airport, "the relaxation in rules has provided a much-needed boost to the UK travel industry, and enabled people across Britain to look forward to reuniting with family and friends abroad."

IATA reveals rising flight passenger numbers over the summer

Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also revealed increasing flight passenger numbers in July 2021. 

According to IATA's newest figures, total demand for air travel rose by 6.9% in July compared to June this year, while international passenger figures were up by 7.3%. This is especially the case for Europe and North America, where governments are increasingly loosening their travel restrictions as their populations get fully vaccinated. 

While there's still a way to go to reach 2019's passenger levels, IATA says that "July results reflect people's eagerness to travel during the Northern Hemisphere summer."

New countries prepare for return of visitors by launching eVisas

Elsewhere, a number of new countries are also preparing to welcome international travellers again by launching their own eVisas systems, online alternatives to applying for a visa at an embassy. So far in 2021, nations including South Korea, Nepal, Mongolia, Botswana and Anguilla have all introduced Electronic Visas, to facilitate global travellers' entry.

In destinations where eVisas have already been introduced, such as Turkey and Vietnam, these digital travel passes have been shown to lift visitor numbers. As such, these new countries will be looking for a similar boost to their tourism sectors with their own systems.'

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