Ramping up vaccination rates for Covid-19 will help boost the recovery in the travel and tourism industry, a panel of experts told CNBC.
Vaccination is the only comprehensive way to fight the impact of the coronavirus, Ritesh Agarwal, CEO and founder of Indian budget hotel chain start-up Oyo, told Nancy Hungerford during the virtual CNBC Evolve Global Summit on Wednesday.
Global travel and tourism took a massive hit last year and many airlines are still struggling to stay afloat. The coronavirus pandemic shut down borders and suspended most international travel. With vaccination rates picking up, especially in the West, many countries are slowly opening up their economies and borders.
Information collated by scientific online publication, Our World In Data, showed that as of June 15, 40% of North Americans have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine and 36% in Europe. In comparison, only 21% received at least one shot in Asia, though the pace of vaccination is picking up in the region.
AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes said he remains very optimistic about vaccination rates, especially in Southeast Asia.
Domestic travel is already picking up in countries like China that have brought the pandemic under relatively good control. Cases have remained comparatively low while the vaccination rate climbed.
Millions of people rushed to travel last month during a five-day Labor Day holiday in the country as bookings for hotels, car rentals and other travel soared.
Jane Sun, CEO of Chinese travel booking site Trip.com, said that she is looking forward to a strong rebound for domestic travel in China. “We have seen strong pent-up demand through the data of our search volume,” she said.
Read original article