One of the major issues that concern travel and tourism professionals around the globe is whether the world will reopen for traveling in general or with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate. The situation is tricky and it is difficult to make an objective assessment, first of all because, as tourism professionals, we want everyone to be able to travel freely, but also because the travelers’ safety is among our first priorities. But the vaccination certificate is a reality, many countries have announced plans to implement it and some (such as Israel) have already implemented it.
We should point out that this is not a question of whether or not it is right for such a certificate to be issued. It is a reality that needs to be addressed, rather than an ethical dilemma.
So, what does this vaccination certificate mean for hotels and travel agents and airlines and the hundred of thousands of professionals in the industry? Let’s take a look at the positives and the negatives.
The good side:
- If a vaccination certificate is what’s needed to get the industry going again, then it is more than welcome. If destination countries ask for it, then the rest of the world will start issuing it. And it’s not just holiday-goers who will need it. Business travelers can really use it as well.
- Safety rules for airlines and hotels will be easier to implement. Note that we didn’t say that these rules can be relaxed, but at least the added safety of the vaccination certificate will make things easier.
- At the end of the day, the vaccination certificate will mean that more and more people will be able and willing to travel and that can only be a good thing
The bad side:
- Such a certificate needs proper infrastructure, logistics, technology solutions, dedicated apps, and so much more. It will not just be a piece of paper with a stamp. If each and every country implements its own solution, then there’s going to be chaos and it’s going to be difficult to verify the certificate’s authenticity. Tourism professionals should not carry such a burden.
One last thing: The conversation has shifted. We are no longer dealing with when, at last, we are going to be fully open, but with how we are going to do that. The various vaccines have brought a lot of optimism, both in the general public and in the industry. And optimism can only be a good thing.