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WTM: Tourism Stakeholders See Slight Covid Impact in 2023

Travel and tourism professionals said it was time to leave Covid-19 behind as it would not be affecting business activity next year, according to the latest WTM Industry Report 2022 presented in London during the World Travel Market expo this week.

Only 5 percent of travel and tourism decision-makers polled for the WTM report said potentially increasing Covid-19 rates would affect their business negatively in 2023. Instead a top concern for 45 percent of respondents was the cost of living, which they said may more likely impact their business negatively in 2023.

Next on the list for 13 percent was the price of petrol, the Russia – Ukraine war (12 percent), energy prices (10 percent), and fears of chaos at airports (4 percent).

“The global travel and tourism industry was thriving before the Covid pandemic, recording 10 years of continuous growth. After more than two years of challenging trading conditions, it’s pleasing to see the senior buyers, exhibitors and visitors who took part in our research showing real optimism that the dark days of the Covid pandemic are behind them,” said World Travel Market London Exhibition Director Juliette Losardo.

Vast majority think people travel knowing they have Covid

Meanwhile, another WTM study found that 46.4 percent of some 2,000 UK nationals polled said that people have been traveling while knowing they were infected with Covid-19. To the question: “Do you think people travel while knowing they have Covid”, nine in 10 (87.4 percent) respondents said “yes”.

The survey was conducted during the first restriction-free summer season since 2019, with travellers able to enter and leave the UK without worrying about Covid rules – unless they were visiting a destination which still had curbs in place.

Photo source: Heathrow Airport

Photo source: Heathrow Airport

“The end of Covid restrictions and free tests in the UK undoubtedly meant that people who had the infection were mixing with the wider community – whether domestically or overseas,” Losardo said, adding that thanks to the vaccination campaigns, a large proportion are protected from the worst effects of the virus.

“We seem to have struck a balance between keeping people safe and allowing life to resume, and in turn enable the travel community to soar back to pre-pandemic levels.

“As we look forward to a strong summer in 2023, we hope that this sense of normality in travel will continue and encourage even more consumers to book that long-awaited overseas vacation – thereby helping the economies around the world to recover from the effects of the pandemic,” she said.

The WTM London tourism expo will run until Wednesday, November 9.

The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) is an official media partner of WTM London.

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