GCC travel industry may recover more quickly say experts

Countries with lower COVID-19 figures will have a more favourable time recovering

According to the World Health Organisation, Oman has relatively few cases of COVID-19, registering under 400 currently
According to the World Health Organisation, Oman has relatively few cases of COVID-19, registering under 400 currently

As movement restrictions caused by COVID-19 continue to threaten the travel industry, experts have chimed in to say the path to recovery is likely to be a slow one. According to sister publication Arabian Business however, GCC countries are in a better position than most.

Online travel marketplace Wego co-founder and CEO Ross Veitch explained: “The key to international travel taking off again is what happens in each country, and the answer to that will vary from country to country and from region to region while countries and airlines figure out how to safely move people. “I think there will be a lot of pent up demand and I would like to say I’m expecting a big ‘V’ shaped recovery,” he said. “But I think it will be a bit slower.”

Veitch added that:  “For countries where the spread is relatively well contained, I think we’ll see airlines beginning to fly and move between those countries,” he said. “Fortunately, the GCC nations are doing a pretty good job of keeping the spread under control so far. Some of those travel restrictions will be lifted – at least between the GCC states.”

Other experts said that the travel & tourism industry would take longer to readjust, depending heavily on passengers’ fears after the pandemic ends. StrategicAero Research chief analyst Saj Ahmad said: “It’s unprecedented, and I don’t see that situation changing, regardless of what airlines put in place in terms of pricing,” he added. “It will be incremental growth at a slow pace and will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen, even after 9/11, and a lot of it will hinge on passenger fear.”

The latest data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) suggests that approximately 900,000 aviation jobs are at risk in the Middle East, feeding into a total 25 million jobs at risk worldwide.

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