UK Long Haul Travel Not Likely to Reach Pre-Pandemic Levels until 2024: This was the bottom line of the message given last week on the opening day of the two-day Brand USA Global Marketplace, which focused on the UK and Ireland. It came from David Googer, managing director for Europe and the Middle East at Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company. He also told participants:
—A rebound from pandemic lows will start sometime this year, but will not reach 2019 levels.
—Factors bolstering economic recovery and the travel and tourism sector will be a pent-up demand from consumers who have increased their savings, gotten their COVID-19 vaccinations, and have saved money and are “sitting on huge pots of cash,” as well as air corridors between international destinations.
—Leisure travel will lead the way, along with domestic and short haul.
—Compared to 2019, UK outbound travel was down by 73 percent in 2020, compared to 2019, but will be about 50 percent less in 2021.
—For long-haul travel, there was an 80 percent decline last year, while this year it is expected to be 64 percent down vs. 2019.
● Herschend Enterprise, already considered the nation’s largest family-owned themed attractions corporation, has announced that it has added to its portfolio of brands with the purchase of the 64-year-old Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, BC. With it the latest acquisition, Herschend—it first became widely known for its Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri—now has theme parks and water parks, including Dollywood; attractions and tours; live entertainment programs (they include the Harlem Globetrotters); on-screen entertainment programs; and hospitality properties that include Callaway Resort & Gardens. Herschend Enterprises has more than 10,000 employees.
● Yosemite to Cap Visitor Numbers: It has been announced that Yosemite National Park, the second most-visited U.S. National Park, will impose a cap on visitor numbers this summer. Park Superintendent Cicely Muldoon says advance reservations will be required for most visitors. Reservations are required for day use visitors who intend to visit from May 20 to September 30. Last year a day-use reservation system was in place which limited Yosemite visitation to 50 percent. The actual limit will increase this summer range from 50 percent to 90 percent of normal capacity depending on the current levels of COVID-19 infections locally in Mariposa County, California. Rocky Mountain National Park and Glacier National Park are adopting similar rules.
Following are the 10 Most Visited “National Parks” in 2020: Out of the 423 parks in the National Park System in 2020, there were 62 with the naming designation “national park” when these visitor statistics were collected. Please note, the total of park units and units with the naming designation “national park” may have changed in this current year.
● Good Advice Will Cost You: Noted last week in the online French travel trade magazine Tourmag was the brief item that follows:
“Advice is added value according to TUI. In Germany, the tourism giant has decided to charge its customers for ‘good advice’ from agencies. From now on, a customer will be charged two packs of ‘service fees,’ including a Premium including the registration of additional luggage, the reservation of activities at the hotel, etc. For Hubert Kluske, TUI’s sales manager, this flat-rate service should become the ‘industry standard.’”