World Health Organization ( WHO ) yesterday at a press conference pointed out that the vaccine should not be expected for another 12 months, if not longer.
On the other hand, it is quite certain that the global economy cannot withstand this situation for long, and that the States will slowly have to reduce measures and that we will obviously have to live with the coronavirus for some time until the vaccine is found.
When we talk about the tourism sector, it is certain that the recovery will begin only when the vaccine is found, ie in the spring of 2021, and will last 2-3 years, because then the health / safety psychological barrier between people will be removed so they can travel. Like when traveling to African countries and we are forced to get a vaccine before the trip.
Director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health Krunoslav Capak for Dnevnik New TV he spoke about the measures taken by the government and whether they are expected to be extended.
The measures adopted by the Government, which relate to the operation of catering facilities, service activities, etc., are valid for another five days, until 19 April.
Krunoslav Capak said that he thinks that it is not yet time to abolish these measures, until there is a decline that is constantly being talked about: 5-7 days of decline in the number of new patients. And then the measures will gradually ease, not all at once.
The operation of catering facilities will be further limited by social distancing and respect for hygienic and epidemiological measures.
During the summer, the situation could be somewhat more favorable, because the coronavirus spreads by droplets, and with the arrival of summer, such infections generally subside, but it will not stop, but there will be fewer new infections during the summer.
"We will certainly not acquire collective immunity until the summer, but if the virus remains as it is, the infection will continue in the fall and winter, and it will probably take another whole season for the population to become infected and the infection to stop. If it is like the flu virus, it could become seasonal."
As for the tourist season, this is a very complex issue, Capak points out, adding that we are in a better epidemiological situation than the countries that compete with us in tourism - Italy and Spain, so Capak expects that if the situation improves and measures relax , those tourists who come by car could arrive. “As for domestic tourists, I believe we can expect them at our sea", Said Krunoslav Capak in the end.
The real beginning of the tourism recovery will start only when the vaccine is found.
How people will travel in the next year is difficult to predict, but it is certain that in this situation we can hardly talk about some larger tourist figures. This is the reality, and of course how we all hope and how optimistic we are, that the whole situation will calm down in 60 days and that we can still count on one part of the tourist season. But it is one thing to be optimistic, in fact we need to be, but we must also be ready for the harsh reality - reality.
Certainly there will be no mass gatherings, so people will avoid destinations and places where there are a lot of people. Private accommodation in houses / villas with swimming pools can see their chance, and currently there will be organic food, active / outdoor activities, nature and ecology. If they are going to travel, then it will be within their own country and the state that is close to our homes.
Also, there are still too many unknowns and assumptions, and too few answers around the coronavirus. And this is another proof of this, and right at the beginning of the press conference mentioned by the WHO. No one has a concrete answer or the courage to predict anything, from scientists and epidemiologists.
Of course everyone is wondering when will the borders open?
When the borders will be opened for the free movement of people and what measures will be taken to cross the borders is still difficult to overlook, because the situation changes from day to day. No one could be ready for this situation, so all countries themselves are learning day by day and watching what and how others are doing - there is no ready-made solution. Also, the situation with coronavirus is not the same in every state, so according to the epidemiological situation in every state, measures will be slowly relaxed. One thing is for sure - the economy must start, and all countries will, when the day comes after the coronavirus, ie when the measures are relaxed, communicate buy and travel locally, in order to start the domestic economy. That is why there is currently talk all over Europe of easing measures.
Starting the economy is imperative, and tourism is unfortunately a side issue at this time and in the current circumstances. Fear and the question of health is unfortunately a strong motive not to travel. All the more so because it is through mass tourism that we directly influence the spread of the coronavirus. Of course, as far as Croatia is concerned, where tourism accounts for 20% of GDP, this is a big problem, but it is mostly our problem. This does not mean that people will not travel, but to expect some major tourist activities is not realistic (according to the current situation and circumstances)
But also, when the measures are relaxed, it does not mean that the borders will automatically open. After 1-2 months of current self-isolation and quarantine, to open all borders at once and allow unhindered movement of people, a new wave of expansion would occur again, as before, which would be an additional aggravating circumstance and the question of the meaning of current quarantine.
To conclude, the economy, and thus tourism, will be measured before and after the coronavirus. There will be many changes, both social, economic and in the tourism sector, and the beginning of the recovery of the tourism sector can realistically be expected only when the vaccine is found. Someone has to say it publicly.
On the other hand, the economy cannot withstand this situation for more than a month, and that is why we will have to start “living” with the coronavirus until a cure is found, of course adhering to all preventive measures.
The current situation is not too optimistic regarding the tourism sector, but we must hope and be optimistic, but we must also be realistic and aware of the current situation.