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The (Slow) Return of Travel and Event Industries

COVID-19 has disrupted travel in all walks of life in an unprecedented way. The entire tourism industry has fallen into disarray, from air travel to hotels. International and business travel has decreased by $500 billion, cutting it almost in half to a mere $679 billion in 2020.

While the decline in travel seems logical given multiple restrictions across the globe, one of the affected areas that is often overlooked is the business events industry. Trade shows, conferences, and conventions all over the world have been canceled in the last eighteen months because of the coronavirus. The $1 trillion pre-pandemic industry has shrunk to a “meager” $78 billion.

Some events have been able to move online, but those events are missing the mark. A 2020 report by events-solutions company Tradeshow Logic showed that 43% of trade show exhibitors and sponsors have been unsatisfied with the experience. According to the report, the two areas that were most disappointing about virtual events were the promotion of new products and networking opportunities. The results are not surprising, since those areas are heavily dependent on in-person interaction and sampling.

With vaccinations and the slow resurgence of domestic and international travel already underway, it is only a matter of time until in-person conferences and other business events will follow suit. While things are starting to look better, 54% of travelers and 55% of event planners state that safety continues to be a major concern. As the timeline until the virus is contained (and hopefully eventually eradicated) is still uncertain, restrictions will likely still apply for the foreseeable future to keep organizers and attendees of events safe.

This is a prudent decision: the emergence of new variants over the last year has shown that containing COVID transmission is a big part of the solution in eradicating the virus. While it still remains uncertain whether vaccinated people can still transmit the virus or not, keeping safety measures like mask mandates and social distancing in check is advisable. The less transmission occurs, the less likely it will be that a new, vaccine-resistant variant will be able to break through the vaccine’s immunity.

In addition to the above-mentioned safety measures, a key part of solving the COVID crisis will be to require travelers and event attendees to show proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 tests. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that an ideal solution for this would be non-physical.

Standardized Documentation Through New Technology

Until a majority of the population, not only in the U.S. but also internationally, is vaccinated, proving your health status will be crucial when boarding a plane or entering a business event in order to ensure every person’s safety.

But it will also be a messy endeavor. Vaccination cards or other forms of documentation from different countries, varying testing procedures, time frames, and travel routes, as well as a variety of vaccines and their efficacies, will create a post-COVID travel safety puzzle in the travel and business event industries.

Thanks to modern technology, though, it doesn’t need to be this complicated. Even better: it doesn’t need to be a physical solution.

The COVID PreCheck app is an easy and stress-free way for travelers and business event attendees to self-assess their COVID-19 health status. The app not only allows its users to log symptoms but also their physicians to report on the user’s health and vaccination status. Perhaps most importantly, users can generate a QR-code that allows them to use the COVID PreCheck app as a digital health passport. If needed, the app also allows users to find nearby resources, like physicians or telemedicine providers.The safety of all travelers and event attendees will be a key factor for these industries as we come out on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID PreCheck app provides an easy and uniform solution to ensure the safety of everybody in the travel and event industries – from travel workers to passengers, event organizers to attendees. Check out the COVID PreCheck app today and see why it is the ideal non-physical solution to ensure the safety of travelers and event attendees alike.