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How will the Declining Travel Industry Bounce Back From COVID-19?

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Airplane for United Airlines flying over a vast landscape with human settlement far off in the distance

The International and national travel industries hit a slump due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, efforts are now being made to revitalize the industry. From hotels and resorts to modes of transportation such as flight agencies, and Amtrak, prices are low and sales have plummeted. 

Over the course of the pandemic, sales dropped drastically throughout the entire industry. Many airlines and public transit companies also completely ceased operations for a temporary time. Shares in many of these airlines and travel agencies also plummeted. 

United Airlines, one of the largest flight corporations in the world, shares dropped from a peak of 82.20 to a rock bottom 21.38 U.S. dollars in a single month. This occurred between February and March of 2020. Another decline was seen in Marriott. One of the world’s largest hotel chains, stretching over every continent with over 5.5k locations, took a dip from 150.78 to 63.81 U.S. dollars in this same time frame.

These slumps are temporary of course. As of September 10, 2020, the United States has elected to cease COVID-19 screenings in all domestic airports, thus aiding the travel industry. Symptom screenings will still be conducted, however, it will be on a much easier, and more efficient scale for the CDC. With this being said, health and safety is still a large priority in protecting the US from another peak of the virus. Every effort is still being made to prevent a wider spread and to ensure control of the virus.

Marriot Hotel  at night, dimly lit with no one in sight - showing the effects of covid-19 on the hotel.

“Aviation and travel-industry groups in the U.S. and Europe are separately attempting to reopen international travel routes by imposing some type of rapid virus testing, either before people leave or as they arrive.”

With efforts put in place to still maintain health standards within the country, travel all over the US is opening up. From the perspective of a current college student, cheap travel is a blessing. Hotels are almost half their normal listed prices. For example, a high-rise hotel suite in downtown Manhattan, New York, is currently listed at 115 U.S. dollars compared to the usual 211 U.S. dollars. 

In beach towns all across the East Coast of the US, hotel rates are a bottom dollar. We’re at the very beginning of what vacation spots call the “shoulder season.” That being the end of the vacationer, tourist rush, and into the cheaper pricing points where many small hotel chains close for the season. However, as of late, the shoulder season has been prolonged. With warm weather still upon the Mid-Atlantic region, now is the time to travel. Companies are desperately seeking for customers. 

Finally, Amtrak is now reopening business as well. Starting September 14, monthly, ten-ride, and six-ride multiple ride ticket holders will have access to all business trains. However, only these pre-reserved ticket options will be allowed on their trains for a limited time.

Pre-existing symptoms and COVID-19 trackers will be sent out to any and all travelers, prior to arrival to ensure safety and a virus-free environment. Prices for these monthly rates have not been raised or lowered, however, the value is extremely high. For a six-ride multi-ticket, six rides are available for a 45-day stretch. Amtrak is also in the process of expanding the rail system. 

Amtrak train going down the railway out in the western United States, with desert plants all around the track

Now is quite possibly the best time to get a 10-ride or even monthly multi-ticket ride for Amtrak’s services. Travel is fun, relaxing, and you see far more of the country than you ever would from the air. It is the ultimate adventure.

“Amtrak’s chief executive pleaded with House lawmakers Wednesday to approve $2.84 billion in additional funding for the national railway system as Congress and the White House fight over another round of coronavirus stimulus.” 

The travel industry has and will always be prevalent in America, however, the COIVD-19 pandemic has taken a toll. Right now, prices are extremely low, quite possibly the lowest in history. Now, as the vaccines are being developed and people are beginning to return to normal life, travel has returned as a necessity. Now is the time to venture out, and see the places on your bucket list. Hotels are available, and transportation is cheap and safe. 

Keep in mind, if you do venture out of your homes, off-campus, remember to do so carefully. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.