For the foreseeable future, the tourism industry will keep changing: Collinson

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The president of the Asia-Pacific region of a travel services company said that as the government requires continuous development with the pandemic, the tourism industry will have to “go all out.”

“The key is that the industry will continue to change for the foreseeable future,” Todd Hancock of the Collinson Group told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday.

He pointed out that after Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that Hong Kong “is facing a severe situation of community outbreaks at any time”, Hong Kong this week announced plans to ban flights from eight countries.

Hancock added that by contrast, the UK will relax testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers.

He said that testing and vaccination will continue to be part of the travel process in 2022 or even 2023, and he cited a recent survey conducted by Collinson and CAPA (Aviation Center).

“We will have to continue to work hard and adjust as the situation changes,” he said.

He also stated that he does not expect omicron to cause “significant” changes.

The goals and obstacles ahead

When asked if testing and vaccination status verification can be simplified for travel, Handcock said that the goal is to have a digital, interoperable system that can be used on a global scale.

But he added: “We still have a long way to go.”

He said that increasing vaccination rates around the world would also benefit anyone who travels.

He said that developed countries are one step ahead in providing booster injections, while most parts of the world have not yet been vaccinated.

He echoed the opinions of experts such as the World Health Organization. He added that as long as there is a large number of unvaccinated people, there will be Covid variants.

According to data compiled by “Our World Data”, about 59% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of Covid vaccine, but in low-income countries, only 8.8% of the population has received at least one dose.

The WHO said on Thursday that uneven distribution of vaccines will undermine the global economic recovery, and low vaccine coverage in many countries is the main factor leading to the emergence of variants such as delta and omicron.


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