As we come to the end of 2020, we are very positive that tourism and travel in 2021 will begin to return.
We are hopeful for our suppliers on the Camino, in Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy that 2021 will be a strong year.
Our suppliers have had a really tough year and have worked hard to ensure they are following all the new safety protocols and are “COVID-ready” to accept clients on the Camino.
And we are very hopeful for our many clients who had planned on doing the Camino for years, only for those travel plans to have been disrupted in 2020.
Travel in 2021: Why it will return
With the Camino Holy Year just around the corner in 2021, the signs for the recovery of travel are extremely positive.
In addition to the news this week about the vaccine rollout in the UK, today we also got the great news that the Canary Islands have approved Antigen testing for international tourists.
These are 3 signs that we will have a strong year for travel in 2021:
1. Vaccine Rollout
In November, the world received the news it was waiting for – the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was found to be more than 90% effective against COVID-19.
In December the UK became the first country in the world to authorize the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for largescale use.
And on Tuesday, the first person in the UK, a 90-year-old woman received the first vaccine injection.
The U.K. will continue to roll out its vaccination program aggressively in 2020 and early 2021.
Most developed countries have announced or are about to announce a vaccine rollout plan and timeline by the end of December.
In Ireland, it is likely that the most vulnerable members of our society will be vaccinated in the first few months of 2021 with the rest of the population to be vaccinated by mid-2021.
In the U.S. President-Elect, Joe Biden has announced an ambitious target of 100m vaccinations within his first 100 days in office with the aim to have the entire population vaccinated through mid-2021.
Canada has also approved the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for largescale use and plans to begin vaccinating in December.
According to some forecasts, most of the developed world will be vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-2021.
2. Widespread Use of Rapid Testing
In addition to the Vaccine, having the widespread use and acceptance of rapid testing is crucial to the recovery of tourism and travel in 2021.
As opposed to the PCR tests that are much slower and more expensive, the Rapid Antigen Test can detect the virus within minutes at a fraction of the cost.
In November, the EU approved the widespread use of Rapid Antigen Testing as a means of fighting the COVID-19 virus. The EU has also asked countries to increase the number of testing facilities it offers to
The good news is that there are many Rapid testing facilities popping up all over Europe and in many European airports.
As of last night, Spain has announced it will now accept a Negative TMA test which is similar to a PCR test but should only take 2 hours and is cheaper than a PCR test. More information here.
Europe is eager to reopen to travel and tourism as soon as possible and the widespread use of rapid testing (in addition to the other health & safety measures) makes reopening a reality in 2021.
3. Travel Demand
It’s been a really tough year for everyone and we really appreciate how patient and loyal our clients have been in 2020.
We know from talking daily to our clients, there is a huge amount of desire to travel in 2021 and the willingness is there.
Once people can safely travel, they will.
I spoke to Barry, Finance Director in Caminoways.com about where he sees travel demand in 2021:
“People love to travel, they want to experience new cultures and adventures and have something to look forward to. 2020 might not have turned out as we expected and there is no doubt it has and will change our lives in many ways but it won’t affect our love to travel.”
I also asked Barry why he thinks travel will return in 2021:
“Remarkable progress has been made on the vaccine in a short period of time, together with the more widespread use of rapid testing and the new safety protocols put in place by our suppliers will open up our borders and give people confidence that they can travel safely in 2021 and beyond. Anyone that had travel plans canceled or postponed in 2020 will be eager to reschedule their trip as soon as it is feasible and for many that will be 2021.”
With 2021 scheduled to be a Holy Year on the Camino de Santiago and with many people hoping to travel as soon as possible, we foresee that we will once again travel in 2021.
To travel may not be the same experience we knew before but it will certainly be the life-changing experience we have come to expect.
Wishing you safe travels in 2021,
From all at Caminoways.com.
*We are offering 10% Off Travel in 2021 if you book your trip before December 31st, 2020. Ts & Cs Apply.
**Don’t forget: If you have booked your trip with us and you can’t travel, you will be able to postpone for free to a future date up to 14 days before your start date. See our Free Postponement terms and conditions for more information.