GROUND STOP – The Global Travel Industry Is On Hold

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

The advisories and press releases flooded in yesterday, as airlines, cruise lines, hoteliers, theme parks reacted to the incredibly fast-moving COVID-19 crisis.

Among the developments in the past 24 hours:


  • AmaWaterways, Uniworld, Celestyal, Uniworld and Windstar have all paused operations for several weeks.
  • Virgin Voyages has delayed its inaugural sailing from 01APR to 07AUG.
  • The Globus family of Brands has suspended all tours through 30APR.
  • Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line will all require ‘fit to sail’ certificates for passengers 70 years and older.
  • Disney has shut down its tourism operations, including 11 theme parks around the world and Disney Cruise Line.
  • WestJet’s call centre is experiencing wait times of up to 10 hours.
  • On the eve of March Break, B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says she is recommending against all non-essential travel outside of Canada.
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle is cancelling thousands of flights and laying off 50% of its staff.
  • After the massive travel show ITB Berlin was cancelled last week, organizers of IPW 2020, the U.S.’s biggest travel showcase, are still assessing whether to go ahead with its scheduled 30MAY start.
  • WestJet has postponed its 2020 Travel Trade Expos that were due to take place in cities across Canada in APR and MAY.
  • Transat is waiving fees for changes to existing bookings through 30APR.
  • The U.S. State Dept. has issued a Level 3 travel advisory – its second-highest category – for the entire world.
  • The World Travel & Tourism Council says global travel could drop by 25% this year, putting 50 million jobs at risk.
Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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