Montreal : The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced results from its latest poll which shows travellers' confidence in returning to air travel is growing, frustration with current travel restrictions is building and acceptance of a travel app to manage health credentials for travel is also on the rise.
While 88 percent believe, when opening borders, the right balance must be struck between managing Covid-19 risks and getting the economy moving again, 85 percent believe that governments should set Covid-19 targets (like testing capacity or vaccine distribution) to reopen borders.
About 84 percent believe that Covid-19 will not disappear and there is need to manage its risks while living and travelling normally, 68 percent agreed that their quality of life has suffered with travel restrictions. Nearly 49 percent believe that air travel restrictions have gone too far.
A total of 4,700 interviews were conducted online in 11 markets between February 15-23. The sample size was 500 in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, India and Australia. In Chile, Japan, UAE and Singapore the sample size was 300. The poll showed while there is public support for travel restrictions, people are feeling more comfortable with managing the risks of Covid-19.
People are also feeling frustrated with the loss of freedom to travel with 68 percent of respondents indicating their quality of life is suffering as a result. Travel restrictions come with health, social and economic consequences.
Nearly 40 per cent of respondents reported mental stress and missing an important human moment as a result of travel restrictions. And over a third have said that restrictions prevent them from doing business normally.
"The top priority of everybody at the moment is staying safe amid the Covid-19 crisis. But it is important that we map a way to being able to reopen borders, manage risks and enable people to get on with their lives," said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA.
"That includes the freedom to travel. It is becoming clear that we will need to learn to live and travel in a world that has Covid-19. Given the health, social and economic costs of travel restrictions, airlines should be ready to re-connect the world as soon as governments are able to reopen borders."
The poll showed that 57 percent expect to be travelling within two months of the pandemic being contained (improved from 49 percent in September 2020). About 72 percent want to travel to see family and friends as soon as possible (improved from 63 percent in September 2020).
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