Global Online Accommodation Booking Market Report 2021: Market to Recover Soon, as Global Consumers are Eager to Travel – ResearchAndMarkets.com


DUBLIN–()–The “Global Online Accommodation Booking Market 2021” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

“Global Online Accommodation Booking Market 2021” provides insights into the current state and trends of the online travel accommodation market worldwide. Among other findings, the publication reveals that for some of the major market players, the disruptions happened in 2020 resulted in substantial loss of market shares, while some were able to keep their positions.

Recent developments in the global online accommodation booking market

The global online accommodation market on par with the total travel industry underwent substantial disturbances with the onset of the COVID-19. Before the pandemic, the use of mobile devices to book travel accommodation was trending upward, and the share of hotel mobile app usage was the second highest among all applications used for travel purposes.

Since the beginning of the health crisis, however, the share dropped by 12 percentage points, according to the publisher’s research findings. This follows the general trend of fall in travel sales and travel application usage due to the pandemic; however, future app usage is expected to exceed the pre-pandemic levels.

The year 2020 made it clear that technology-driven solutions in the travel and travel accommodation industry will be essential in the future. Specifically, 8 of 10 survey responds from select Asian countries stated that accommodation providers would need to use the latest technologies to make them feel safe. Furthermore, travelers across the globe claimed when it comes to choosing a hotel, they would pay closer attention to health and safety standards in future travel.

COVID-19 brought some changes in the travel accommodation market players distribution

Globally, when taken on average, Booking.com was the leading website in the category “accommodation and hotels”, as of April 2021, despite having seen significant lower revenue in 2020, as revealed in the new publication. Furthermore, some sources also show Airbnb, Agoda, Traveloka, and Go MMT following Booking in the rankings in specific countries, while legacy global online booking company Expedia underwent a substantial loss in market share in many countries of the world in 2020.

Report Coverage

  • This report covers the global online travel market for accommodation booking. It takes into account a wide definition of accommodation, including hotel rooms, hostels, apartments, private rooms and others. While the focus is on leisure and unmanaged travel, some sources cited in this report might also include business travel.
  • Besides sales figures, penetration and rankings, this report also reveals important market trends and forecasts.
  • The following global regions are covered in this report: Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America, while data availability varied by country.

Report Structure

  • The global chapter opens the report, including an overview of global market developments, trends, regional and country comparisons.
  • The rest of the report is divided by regions. The regions are presented in the order of descending total online travel sales.
  • Within each region, regional information is included first, where available, and the countries are also presented in the order of descending online travel sales. Where no comparable sales figures were available, other related criteria such as total E-Commerce sales, online shopper and Internet penetration were applied.
  • In the country sections, the following information is covered, where available: online accommodation booking sales, channels used for booking accommodation, devices used to book accommodation online, share of consumers booking travel accommodation online and the rank of this category among other categories purchased online, and top websites used to book accommodation. Not all types of information mentioned are provided for each country due to varying data availability.
  • For the global and regional sections, also information about overall online travel sales was included as a context for the development of the online accommodation booking segment.

Global Overview

  • Online Travel Market Overview & Trends, December 2020
  • Online Travel Sales, in USD billion, 2019 & 2020e & 2023f
  • Online Travel Sales, in USD billion, 2021f & 2023f
  • Top 10 Online Booking Channels through STAAH Channel Manager, by Rank Based on Confirmed Nights Booked, 2019 & 2020
  • Travel Apps Used, incl. Hotel Apps, in % of Travelers, February 2021
  • Top 10 Accommodation Websites, by Web Visits, in millions, Average Visit Duration, in minutes, Bounce Rate, in %, and Top 5 Countries by Share of Visits, in %, February 2021
  • Gross Travel Booking Sales Value of Booking Holdings Inc., in USD billion, Q4 2019 & Q4 2020
  • Share of Adult Travelers Who Claimed that Accommodations Would Need to Use the Latest Technologies to Make Travelers Feel Safe, by Country, in %, July 2020

Companies Mentioned

  • Agoda
  • Apple Pay
  • Atlantis
  • Booking Group
  • Booking Holding Inc.
  • Ctrip
  • Direct Bookings via STAAH
  • Expedia Group
  • Fewo-direct
  • Go MMT
  • Goodle Pay
  • Hilton Hotels
  • Hostelworld
  • Hotelbeds
  • Lufthansa
  • MakeMyTrip
  • Marriot Hotels
  • PayPal
  • Pegasus
  • Traveloka
  • Venmo

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/3dtkfz



Source link

Travel to Hawaii during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go


If you’re planning to travel to Hawaii, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

Hawaii reopened to visitors from within the United States and a small number of countries in October, but visitors must provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test result.

All air passengers entering the United States must now present a negative test result. See below for details on which test types are approved specifically for the state of Hawaii, including for Americans arriving from other states.

What’s on offer

Spectacular surfing, sandy beaches, traditional Pacific culture and rugged volcanoes — including the ongoing eruption of Kīlauea. You can get daily updates on volcanic activity from the US Geological Survey here.

Hawaii’s geographical position and proud history make it unlike anywhere else in the United States.

Who can go

Travelers from other US states, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are allowed to bypass Hawaii’s mandatory 10-day quarantine on most islands by following strict pre-travel testing rules (see below).

Beyond those places, Hawaii is following CDC guidelines, meaning those who have been in Brazil, China, the European Schengen Area, Iran, Ireland, South Africa, India and the United Kingdom in the past 14 days will be denied entry.

Travelers from all other countries must undergo a 10-day quarantine. Check the Safe Travels Hawai’i site for details as the situation evolves.

All tourists must also complete a Safe Travels Hawaii form, and many will need to undergo a health screening on arrival. A couple of islands also require a second Covid-19 test upon arrival.

What are the restrictions?

Hawaii’s travel restrictions change often.

Currently, all travelers must either undergo a 10-day quarantine or — if traveling from a handful of countries (listed above) — avoid quarantine by presenting a negative test from a “trusted partner,” a list of which can be found on the Hawaii Covid-19 website.

For air travelers age 5 and over entering Hawaii from abroad, getting a test from one of Hawaii’s approved Trusted Testing Partners will be particularly important because some tests accepted under the US testing entry requirement that went into effect in January would not allow travelers to bypass Hawaii’s quarantine.

Travelers, including those arriving from the US mainland, must have a negative test result before departing on the last leg of their trip to Hawaii. Test results must be uploaded to the Safe Travels Hawaii site before your flight to the islands or printed out prior to departure with the hard copy ready to present upon arrival. Otherwise, you will incur the 10-day quarantine.

Maui and Hawaii Island currently require a second post-arrival test for trans-Pacific travelers.

Registration with Safe Travels Hawaii as soon as flights are booked is mandatory for all travelers older than 18.

Fully vaccinated Hawaii residents traveling between counties may bypass pre-travel testing and quarantine starting May 11 with CDC proof of vaccination cards.

What’s the Covid situation?

With only about 35,000 cases and 489 deaths reported as of May 14, Hawaii has seen relatively low Covid numbers compared with other US states. Strict lockdown measures were put in place in March 2020 to ensure that the islands were not overwhelmed.

What can visitors expect?

Restrictions vary by island, although there is a statewide mask mandate for indoor public spaces and outdoors where social distancing can’t be maintained, which Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Thursday would remain in effect despite updated CDC mask guidance.

Oahu has implemented a four-tier system of restrictions. Oahu is set to remain in Tier 3 through early June, according to a recent announcement from Mayor Rick Blangiardi. (Tier 4 is the least restrictive).

This means social gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed. Groups of 10 people are allowed in restaurants regardless of household or living unit. Groups are also limited to 10 people at beaches.

Maui, Molokai and Lanai — all in Maui County — allow for gatherings of up to five people. Beaches and Maui County Parks are open.

On Hawaii Island, outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people are permitted as long as masks are worn and social distancing rules followed. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people. Beaches are open.

Elevated Covid-19 case counts prompted Kauai to move back from Tier 4 to Tier 3 on May 6, reducing the indoor social gathering limit to five while allowing groups of 25 outdoors. Restaurants and bars are open but limited to 50% capacity indoors. Beaches are open.

Useful links

Covid-19 State of Hawaii portal

Hawaii Trusted Travel Partners

Safe Travels Program

HawaiiGuide.com

Hawaii Covid-19 Travel News and Headlines

Our recent coverage

What’s it like traveling to Hawaii during the pandemic? CNN’s Brekke Fletcher wrote about her experience here.

For vacation tips, have a look here. If you’re a closet beach hater, here are some ideas of what you can do. Or have a look at the cats of Lana’i, where 600 of them are living their best life.



Source link

Airbnb lost $1.2 billion in 1st quarter, blames European lockdowns



Associated Press

Published 7:40 a.m. ET May 14, 2021

CLOSE

Thirteen years after its founders first rented air mattresses in their San Francisco apartment, Airbnb is making its long-awaited stock market debut. Airbnb raised $3.7 billion in the initial public offering.  (Dec. 5)

AP Domestic

Airbnb reported Thursday that its first-quarter loss more than tripled, to $1.2 billion, as travel remained depressed by the pandemic and the company was weighed down by costs from past borrowing.

However, revenue topped the same period in 2019, and Airbnb recorded billions in new bookings as the rollout of vaccines against COVID-19 raised hopes for a travel boom.

The home-sharing business said in a letter to shareholders that travel is starting to return, “and we expect a travel rebound unlike anything we have seen before.”

Still, Airbnb expressed concern about travel restrictions and lockdowns in Europe, a key market for summer rentals. The San Francisco-based company said it is too early to predict whether the pace of the travel recovery will continue in the second half of the year.

Pandemic-related restrictions are cutting into Airbnb revenue, particularly in Europe. The company has seen growing demand for travel in the U.S., however, with particular interest in rentals in beach and mountain locations. Bookings in cities, which were a strength before the pandemic, have not recovered.

Cancellations have eased from 2020 but remain higher than before the pandemic, although company officials gave no figures.

CEO Brian Chesky predicted that even after the pandemic more people will work outside central offices, providing a ready supply of future guests. He said 24% of Airbnb customers now book stays of at least 28 days, compared with 14% before the pandemic, which he suggested would give home-sharing an advantage over hotels.

“The longer you stay somewhere, the more you are inclined to stay in a home,” he said on a call with analysts.

Airbnb’s first-quarter results were hurt by losses related to debt repayment and an adjustment in the value of stock warrants issued in connection with money it borrowed last year during the depths of the pandemic downturn in travel.

The loss equaled $1.95 per share. Wall Street expected a loss of $717 million, or $1.07 per share, according to a FactSet survey of 27 analysts.

Airbnb’s revenue rose 5% from a year ago and 6% over the same quarter in 2019, to $887 million. That topped the analysts’ forecast of $721 million.

The value of new bookings recorded in the quarter jumped to $10.3 billion, up from $6.8 billion a year earlier and more than $4 billion higher than in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Airbnb released the results after a day in which the shares fell 3.2% in regular trading. They fell less than 1% in extended trading.

The shares have fallen 37% since their Feb. 11 peak, dropping below where they closed after their stock market debut on Dec. 10.

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2021/05/14/airbnb-lost-1-2-billion-1st-quarter-blames-european-lockdowns-slow-city-bookings/5088292001/



Source link

Portugal to welcome UK tourists from May 17 – Lusa news agency


Portugal will allow tourists from Britain to enter from May 17, following Britain’s go-ahead last week for its holidaymakers to travel to Portugal from that date, the Lusa news agency reported on Friday.

European Union rules prohibit non-essential travel from outside the bloc, making Portugal’s decision to allow British tourists in, which the state news agency attributed to a foreign ministry source, an exception.

Tourists from Britain will be required to present upon arrival evidence of a negative PCR taken in the previous 72 hours, according to Lusa.

The foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment. Officials had said an announcement was likely to be made on Friday.

Britain added Portugal to a “green” list of foreign destinations a week ago, allowing Britons to travel there from May 17 without needing to quarantine when returning home. read more

The European Commission proposed on May 3 easing travel restrictions from outside the EU for people who were fully vaccinated or came from countries with low case numbers. The European Council is due to discuss the proposal on May 17.

Under the new British rules, travellers to Portugal will only need to take one coronavirus test upon returning to the UK. Other popular European holiday spots for Britons like Spain and Cyprus are on the “amber list”, meaning that travellers would need to quarantine for 10 days upon return, and take two tests.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



Source link

Flight attendant Katerra Locke becomes children’s travel book author | News


Flight attendant and new author Katerra Locke of Murfreesboro turned her travels into children’s books starring her 6-year-old son, Elias, during last year’s pandemic-induced downtime.

Locke, a former call center trainer, made the career switch to flight attendant for US Airways, now American Airlines, in 2013 when she was living in Atlanta. After being denied a promotion, a coworker suggested becoming a flight attendant to turn Locke’s love for travel into a full-time career.

Writing, however, has been in the picture for much longer. As a child, Locke said she would spend time making her own story books with hand-drawn illustrations and fake copyright symbols. Her grandmother, Loraine Jackson, was also a published writer and poet.

“It was just something I wanted to do,” said Locke, whose childhood book operation became the preface to her journey into self-publishing via Amazon and Ingram last year.

Locke was born in Cookeville, but her family relocated to Murfreesboro when she was in the fifth grade. She graduated from Blackman High School and attended the University of Memphis and Middle Tennessee State University. She lived in Georgia for a bit before returning to the ‘Boro in 2014.

She wrote two children’s travel books documenting her and her son’s trips overseas in a series called “Elias and the Magic Blanket.” She’s told the stories of their vacation to Barcelona in 2017 and their spontaneous trip to Turks and Caicos Islands in 2019 during her time away from work because of the pandemic.

“When I initially started, I thought it was going to be an easy process and quick and fast, but it’s not always like that,” said Locke. “I wanted to make sure I was doing everything properly. Even though I was doing it myself, I still wanted that guidance.”

Locke said Scholastic editor Amy Betz, who worked on “The Magic School Bus” book series, was a big help in guiding her through the revision process. Illustrator Alana Magdalene transformed some of Locke’s family vacation photos into bright, colorful illustrations that draw young readers into each story.

She said her son and his real-life “Blankie,” a baby blanket given to him at birth, were the inspirations for the storytelling to start.

“I mean it goes everywhere with us,” said Locke, who thought the blanket would make an excellent, magical travel companion. “It goes with us on our trips. He sleeps with it at night, and we’ve lost it a few times overseas and have had to find it.”

Lessons from a trip

She said the Turks and Caicos trip was one she and Elias look back on the most fondly. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision caused by a flat tire and a missed flight to the Dominican Republic that ended up being a lesson in generosity and flexibility.

After pulling over at a gas station, Locke said a couple of strangers helped change her tire before continuing their commute to work.

“Just starting off the trip, I thought that was just great. Just showing him the kindness of strangers. It showed him also that things happen,” said Locke. “Things don’t always go your way, but, you know, it may turn out better than you had originally planned.”

Those lessons are conveyed on the pages of the books through things as simple as trying new foods like conch fritters, activities like snorkeling, and even interacting with the locals of a different culture.

Locke said her curious little boy will “try anything once,” and that she encourages him to “give things a chance.”

Adventures in kindergarten

At the back of each book is a trivia page, listing fun facts for parents and teachers to share with their children and students about each destination in question.

Although Elias will soon wrap up his kindergarten year at the Discovery School in Murfreesboro, Locke said she plans to continue working in travel time on school and holiday breaks.

The books have even made their way into the school’s kindergarten classrooms after Locke read the story via Zoom.

Elias’ kindergarten teacher Teresa McCarthy said that the kids “thought it was so cool” that their classmate had a book written about his travels.

“We loved it so much that we turned it into a project for all of kindergarten titled ‘The Magic Blanket Travels the World’. Each student chose a different country and learned about its culture, traditions, holidays, and customs. Then students shared what they learned by creating a visual, costume or work of art,” McCarthy wrote in an email.

The project is expected to become an annual tradition for the little ones.

Locke’s time off from American Airlines came to an end last month, and she’s back on board at her Washington, D.C.-based airline job, which takes her across the United States and the islands in the Caribbean Sea. When she’s away on flights, Elias stays with his grandmother, Debbie Locke.

She hopes to continue the series with books on their 2016 trip to Australia and their recent Spring Break getaway to Hawaii. She’d also like to see the series on television as a cartoon adaptation.

“I hope that young readers identify themselves with Elias. I hope it encourages them to travel because I think that they can see how much he learns when we do go to these different places,” said Locke. “I just want kids to travel and get to experience this big, beautiful world that we’re all a part of.”





Source link

Travel Alert – Update On U.S. Travel Bans – Immigration


As the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions continue, we
advise caution regarding international travel. Everyone considering
international travel is urged to carefully consider the risks and
be fully aware of how ongoing conditions may impact travel. Due to
limited availability of visa appointments and the possibility of
additional COVID-related travel restrictions, individuals should
consider not traveling abroad, or else should be prepared to spend
additional time outside the United States if needed.

CDC Update Requiring Negative COVID-19 Test

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an
Order, effective January 26,
2021, requiring all international air passengers destined for the
United States to be tested no more than 3 days before their
U.S.-bound flight departs, and present the negative viral test
result. As an alternative to a negative COVID-19 test result,
international travelers may present documentation of recovery from
COVID-19, including a positive viral test result and letter from a
healthcare provider or public health official clearing them for
travel. All passengers must present the negative test result or
proof of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding the flight. This
new Order supersedes the December 25, 2020 Order requiring negative
pre-departure COVID-19 proof for all passengers arriving from the
United Kingdom.

The CDC Order applies to all air passengers traveling to the
United States, 2 years of age or older, including U.S.
citizens and legal permanent residents. Further, the CDC guidelines
and orders do not replace the Presidential proclamations. Finally,
proof of vaccination does not exempt international travelers from
any of the restrictions or requirements currently in place. Please
see details on the current Presidential proclamation travel bans
below.

Current Travel Bans:

COVID-Related Country Bans

Between January and May 2020, President Trump issued a series of
travel bans to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic, which remain in place. In addition, in January 2021 and
April 2021, President Biden issued updated COVID-related travel
bans to add South Africa and India, respectively. Exempting U.S.
citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents, these travel bans suspend
indefinitely the entry of foreign nationals who have been
physically present in certain countries during the 14 days prior to
entering the U.S. These bans will remain in place until they are
terminated by President Biden. The suspension of entry for foreign
nationals currently applies to physical presence in the following
countries: China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, Brazil,
India, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, and the Schengen
area of Europe comprising Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,
Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Any physical presence in these countries triggers application of
the ban, including flight connections and layovers, so it is
important to arrange any travel accordingly.

As mentioned above, U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents
are exempt from the travel ban. The full list of exempt individuals
is as follows:

  • U.S. citizens;

  • U.S. lawful permanent residents;

  • Noncitizen nationals of the U.S.;

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents;

  • A foreign national who is the parent or legal guardian of an
    unmarried U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident under the age
    of 21;

  • A foreign national who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or
    lawful permanent resident, provided they are both unmarried and
    under the age of 21;

  • A foreign national who is the child, foster child, or ward of a
    U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective
    adoptee seeking to enter the United States on an IR-4 or IH-4
    visa;

  • A foreign national traveling at the invitation of the U.S.
    government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of
    the COVID-19 virus;

  • A foreign air or sea crewmember;

  • Certain A, C, E-1 (TECRO or TECO), G, and NATO nonimmigrants,
    or nonimmigrants whose travel falls within the scope of section 11
    of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement;

  • A foreign national whose entry would further important U.S. law
    enforcement objectives;

  • A foreign national whose entry would be in the national
    interest; and

  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and spouses and children of
    members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Due to the increase in COVID cases, it is always possible that
additional countries may be added to these travel bans in the
future; and that the addition of new countries will be done with
little notice.

Economic-Related Ban on Certain Individuals Seeking
Entry in the H, L and J Visa Categories

The Presidential Proclamation banning H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and
certain J-1 travelers from applying for visas and entering the
United States expired on March 31, 2021, and is no longer in
effect.

However, for those who do not have a valid visa for return to
the U.S., either because their status was changed in the U.S. or a
prior visa has expired, obtaining a new visa may prove challenging.
Some consular posts are simply not scheduling routine visa
appointments, and others are allowing appointments to be scheduled
— sometimes months in the future — only to cancel them.
From a practical standpoint, unless one is likely to qualify for a
National Interest Exception waiver, there is a good chance that a
new visa will not be issued. Individuals eligible to have the
in-person visa appointment waived stand the best chance of securing
visas in these categories by submitting application documents to
the Embassy through drop box or courier services. Each consular
post determines the criteria for a waiver of the interview
requirement. At a minimum, typically, the consular post requires
that the individual have already been granted a visa in the same
classification.

Those who need to obtain a new nonimmigrant visa should verify
the status of visa processing operations at the consular post where
they will apply.

Exemptions and Waivers for Individuals Subject to Travel
Bans

For those wishing to travel and subject to the travel bans,
there may be options available.

Options for COVID-Related Country Bans

Individuals seeking to return to the U.S. from one of the
COVID-banned countries generally have two options:

  1. Securing a “National Interest Exception” (or
    “NIE”) waiver from the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in their
    home country

On April 30, 2021, the Department of State expanded the NIE
waiver so that it applies universally to all individuals who are
subject to the COVID travel ban. For individuals traveling from any
country that is subject to a travel ban, waivers may be granted for
travel related to humanitarian travel, public health response, and
national security. These requests must be submitted to the U.S.
Consulate or Embassy in the individual’s home country. Most
consular posts will not entertain a request for an NIE waiver
unless the individual is outside of the U.S., so permission to
return to the U.S. cannot generally be secured in advance of
departure. Further, consular officers have wide discretion with
regard to granting these waivers, and limited consular operations
frequently result in long waits. As a result, traveling with the
expectation of being granted a waiver continues to be risky.
Procedures vary widely, but are generally outlined on the
Consulate’s website.

The Department of State recently revised and restricted its
criteria for granting an NIE waiver of the COVID travel ban. Please
see our prior alert for more details.

In addition, travelers to the U.S. who remain eligible to apply
for an NIE waiver include academics, students, journalists,
humanitarian travelers, public health responders, and those
travelers who will benefit national security. More specifically,
the Department of State has provided the following exemptions for
all COVID-related travel bans to the U.S.:

  • F-1 and M-1 students with a valid visa who are entering the
    U.S. to begin or continue an academic program that starts on August
    1, 2021 or later do not need to apply for a waiver and may enter
    the U.S. up to 30 days prior to their program start date;

  • F-1 and M-1 students who are entering the U.S. to begin or
    continue an academic program that starts on August 1, 2021 or later
    and who need a visa will be automatically considered for a National
    Interest Exception;

  • J-1 exchange visitors in a number of categories, as described
    in the Department of State’s update.

  1. Individuals seeking to return to the U.S. from a COVID-banned
    country who are unable to secure an NIE waiver – because the
    request is denied, delayed or not available – may choose to
    return to the U.S. only after a 14-day “quarantine” stay
    in a non-banned country. The COVID-related ban only applies to
    anyone who has been physically present in one of the banned
    countries during the 14 days prior to admission. Spending the 14
    days prior to admission in another country removes the ban on entry
    into the U.S.

When considering international travel and the available waivers,
it is important to remember that the COVID-related travel bans
exempt individuals in a number of categories listed above, but
these categories are not exempt from the testing requirement.

Individuals in the exempt categories may continue to travel to
the U.S. without securing a waiver, and should carry original
documentation that evidences the exemption as well as the required
COVID test result or alternative documentation.

Visa Processing and Impact on Travel Options

The U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) initially
suspended routine visa processing in March 2020 due to COVID-19 and
began phased reopenings across Consulates starting in July 2020.
The Consulates have resumed routine visa services on a post-by-post
basis, but most Consulates are still operating at reduced capacity
and offering only very limited services. Some Consulates resumed
routine visa services only to reduce their capacity in October due
to the increase of COVID cases in a number of countries. The DOS is
unable to provide dates on when each Consulate will resume specific
visa services or when all posts will return to pre-COVID processing
times. Most Consulates do have emergency and
“mission-critical” services available on a case-by-case
basis. Please be sure to check the U.S. Consulate website in
advance to confirm current rules on visa issuance.

If an individual is able to secure a nonimmigrant visa
appointment, most appointments will follow routine processing and
the applicant will be notified of an approval following the
interview. If approved, the visa stamp is normally placed in the
passport within several business days following the appointment. In
certain instances, if the Consular Officer conducting the interview
cannot establish visa eligibility at the time of the interview, the
application will be placed in administrative processing and will
undergo further review. If the application is selected for
administrative processing, the applicant cannot return to the U.S.
until the visa is issued and, while most cases are resolved within
2-3 weeks, on occasion, administrative processing may extend to
several months, or even longer. Visit the Mintz Resources page here and here for further details on visa
processing.

Entry into the U.S.

In addition to the COVID-19 Test Order issued by the CDC when
entering the U.S. following international travel, foreign nationals
should be prepared to answer questions from a Customs and Border
Protection officer regarding the nature of proposed entry and
qualifications for a designated waiver or exemption. All foreign
nationals should carry documentation evidencing status as well as
any documentation supporting the individual’s specific
exemption from the travel ban or waiver requests. Visit the Mintz
Resources page here for details on required documents for
travel.

Following entry into the U.S., it is critical for individuals to
check the I-94 admission record to ensure that it properly reflects
their status and authorized stay in the U.S. We recommend verifying
the accuracy of Form I-94 details within 48 hours of entry to the
U.S. in order to correct any errors in a timely manner.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.



Source link

UK sees global tourism position slip following Covid-19 | News


New data from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows the UK fell out of the top five biggest tourism markets in 2020.

Figures suggest the hospitality sector suffering a punishing GDP fall of 63 per cent last year.

The fall from fifth place in 2019 to eighth position in 2020 saw it sustain one of the biggest collapses of the ten largest tourism markets, due to continuing travel restrictions, and what the WTTC called “unnecessary and crushing quarantines”.

Meanwhile, the US maintained its position as the largest global tourism market, despite suffering a 41 per cent fall in GDP last year.

China also kept its position as second biggest tourism market, but experienced a harder GDP fall of 60 per cent, with Japan slightly improving its ranking – from fourth to third – shouldering a GDP fall nearly half that of China, of just 37 per cent.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC chief executive, said: “With positive news from across Europe about the gradual reopening of borders we hope to see many more countries adopt a more risk-based approach.

“This will restore mobility safely through rapid testing and health and hygiene protocols to support the vaccination rollout.”

She added: “However, the UK was one of the most heavily impacted of the major tourism markets, falling out of the top five to eighth position due to the damaging and ineffective quarantines and unhelpful continuing travel restrictions.

“Despite the restrictions designed to curb the spread of the pandemic, the US and China maintained their respective positions as first and second biggest tourism markets.”





Source link

Travel news latest: Greece reopens for tourism as Portugal holidays in doubt


Wales will move to alert level two on Monday, prompting the reopening of indoor hospitality, holiday accommodation and entertainment venues, however residents are still being advised to only travel abroad for “essential” reasons for at least three more weeks.

First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to confirm today that international travel can resume from Monday, in line with plans in England and also using a traffic light system, but there will be “extra safeguards” in place and Welsh ministers are urging for caution.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Drakeford admitted the travel advice was not a rule because it would be “unenforceable”, but urged caution against “importing” coronavirus from other parts of the world.  

“We know most people who travel from Wales will be doing it from Bristol, Manchester, London, so once those airports are open and travel across the UK is allowed, then people from Wales will be able to travel,” he said.  

Instead of opting for a foreign break the First Minister suggests there are “fantastic opportunities” to take a holiday in Wales instead. 





Source link

Hong Kong travel bubble likely delayed, new restrictions


A woman jogs past a cordoned off Merlion Park on June 12, 2020 in Singapore.

Suhaimi Abdullah | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s benchmark Straits Times Index fell 3% after the government announced further tightening in Covid-19 restrictions and the likelihood that the air travel bubble with Hong Kong may be delayed again.

Aviation-related stocks were hit hard. Singapore Airlines dived 6.7% while SATS, an aviation catering and airport ground handling firm, fell 6.5%.

The Singapore government said Friday it’s “very likely” that the travel bubble with Hong Kong will not begin on May 26 as planned. It comes as the Southeast Asian country further tightened measures to curb rising local Covid cases, including stopping all dine-in services and capping public gatherings to two.

The Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble would have allowed travelers to skip quarantine. It has faced multiple delays from its initial launch date on November 2020 as Hong Kong reported resurgence in Covid-19 cases.

Both Singapore and Hong Kong are major Asian business hubs without domestic air travel markets. Their tourism and aviation industries, heavily reliant on international travel, have been badly hit by the pandemic.

Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said Hong Kong is “a very safe region” now, with few new Covid cases detected daily. However, infections in Singapore have been climbing and the city-state likely won’t meet the threshold to start the travel bubble, he added.

Singapore and Hong Kong have previously agreed that the travel arrangement will be suspended if the number of unlinked local Covid cases in either cities exceed five on a seven-day moving average basis.

Singapore’s health ministry said Thursday that it confirmed 24 new cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 infections, four of which were not linked to previous cases. New cases in the community have increased to 71 in the past week — up from 48 in the week before, said the ministry.

Cumulatively, the city-state has confirmed 61,453 Covid infections and 31 deaths as of Thursday, health ministry data showed.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong on Thursday identified three potential cases, bringing its total of confirmed or probable infections to 11,818 since the outbreak, official data showed. The city has reported 210 deaths, according to the data.

Ong said he’s spoken with Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development, about the Covid situation in Singapore. Both sides will make a decision early next week on whether to go ahead with the air travel bubble launch, said Ong.

Singapore tightens restrictions



Source link

Leisure travel leads ND air travel recovery | News, Sports, Jobs



One year after COVID-19 concerns caused the largest monthly decline in airline passenger demand in history, North Dakota’s airports continue to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

The state’s eight commercial service airports posted 62,163 airline passenger boardings in April, up from the 4,964 passengers experienced during April 2020. The demand for air travel has seen a steady recovery in recent months; however, passenger counts are still about 32% below the normal pre-pandemic levels, the commission noted.

“Our airports and aviation industry have endured a long road to recovery since last April when passenger levels dropped 95% as our country worked together to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Kyle Wanner, executive director of the Aeronautics Commission. “Leisure travel has been growing and allowing for an in initial recovery in air travel demand. As the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we would also like to see additional business travel begin to cycle back into the market.”

The Minot airport saw 9,115 passengers in April, up from 801 a year earlier, although still down from 12,743 in April 2019. Commercial boardings in 2021 through April totalled 31,457, down from 34,858 for the same period in 2020 and 52,367 in 2019.



Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox










Source link