With an ever-so-slight increase—some so small in size that the changes involved might be deemed statistically insignificant—the number of visitors from some traditionally strong overseas source markets crept upwards during the month of October. If indeed the increases in travelers from the UK, India and Argentina are miniscule, one can readily respond: Well, at least the numbers did not decrease from the previous month.
For the record, the U.S. had 4,712 arrivals from the UK in October (vs. 3,980 in September); India’s arrivals last month totaled 15,785 (vs. 14,589 for September); and Argentina registered 9,213 arrivals in the U.S. last month vs. 3,731 for September).
How is this happening? It appears that major air carriers have been able to add/re-start a small number of routes as some national travel bans have been lifted or eased a little. Meanwhile, the number of arrivals from Caribbean and Central American markets could likely be an instance of roundtrip leisure travelers from the United States, along with a smaller number of travel bans in these nations.
Where there is hope: Nine months ago, no one in the global or U.S. travel and tourism industry was prepared for the catastrophic impact of the coronavirus and the global pandemic that it has fed. At the same time, we believe that it is fair to suggest that most of us did not expect hear of reports that approved vaccines to combat the virus would be ready this month.
We have no special insight or information that suggests when the impact of widely available vaccines might spread its impact throughout the distribution chain from source to consumer. But as the data below suggest: It won’t be soon enough.