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Opinion

Antigen tests to revive luxury tourism

Fabio Bonavita

By Fabio Bonavita18 octobre 2020

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, a whole part of the economy is collapsing day after day: luxury tourism. Palaces worldwide are closed or deserted, great restaurants are suffering from lack of international clients, business aviation is dropping dramatically. To sum up: the economic disaster is happening under our very eyes. Even more worrying, multiple actors of the business are screaming into the void when suggesting solutions to revive this major industry of luxury.

It’s the case of the International Aviation Transport Association (IATA) who recently reminded two fundamental points. Firstly, that international travel is dropping by 92% year to date. Secondly, that instead of betting on quarantines that are restrictive for everyone, States need to instore a quick, precise, affordable and systematic testing method for Covid. And it exists. Antigen tests produce results in 30 minutes. They are already in place in some airports such as Milan, Rome, London or Dubai, but this is still not enough. They need to be democratized in order to reinstate a certain freedom of movement. Alexandre de Juniac, Director of the IATA highlights that “to test all passengers would restore freedom to travel safely and this would bring millions of people back to work.”

The immense majority of tour operators agree it’s the only trustworthy method to escape this unprecedented economic crisis. In a tribune published in the daily newspaper Les Echos, Jean-François Rial, CEO of Voyageurs du Monde, reminds that private travel needs saving. For economic reasons obviously, but as well to reconnect with the pleasure of elsewhere… more than ever paramount.

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