Winds of economic recovery | OP-ED
The return of foreign travelers raises expectations for the tourism industry, in different conditions from those before the pandemic.
On November 8, after 20 months of restrictions, the United States opened the door, among others, to foreign travelers from the European Union. A ban that cost a fortune and many frictions between the White House and European governments was ended.
Europe, which has been allowing Americans to enter since June, insistently asked Washington to lift the ban, which they described as arbitrary. The central argument had to do with the highest percentages of vaccinated in the Old Continent and the lowest incidence figures for the virus. Even on August 30, the European Council recommended returning to travel restrictions for those arriving from the United States, but the idea did not prosper.
The decision to block the passage, initially for 30 days, to foreign travelers from European territory was announced by Donald Trump on March 10, 2020 and the effect was immediately felt in the bags. On the 12th, Dow Jones fell 7%, causing the suspension of operations on Wall Street.
Before the pandemic, some 15 million American tourists traveled to Europe each year, a similar number of travelers from that continent to the United States. The good news for the tourism industry is in sight and by these days there will be a balance of the impact achieved by the decision of the Biden government.
The lifting of the ban includes crossing the border between the United States and Mexico. It is estimated that the border states stopped receiving about 20 billion dollars from travelers from Mexican territory. And in the case of Mexico, it is estimated that the closure has cost the economy of that country about 70 billion dollars.
In each case, today’s circumstances are very different from those before March 2020. The expectation is in the way in which each one will accommodate the recovery of the volume of tourists and the control of the minimum protection conditions against Covid -19.