As lockdown gradually eases around the world, join Japan Society Chairman, Bill Emmott, to discuss the future of international travel with David Atkinson, Timothy Jenkins and Martin Barrow.
The travel, tourism and hospitality industries have been among the sectors worst hit by the pandemic’s restrictions and seem likely to be among the slowest to recover fully. With the UK having just imposed quarantine restrictions on inbound air passengers, and Japan’s entry ban on almost all foreign travellers continuing until at least the end of this month, it will be some time before we are able to visit each other in person.
Moreover, domestic travel also continues to be discouraged in both countries, though a reported 1.7 trillion yen domestic tourism campaign is being planned for late July to stimulate the industry in Japan and in Britain there is much talk of “staycations”.
But what can we expect, as restrictions are lifted, and people once again seek to travel and explore? How can the industry adapt to social distancing requirements, while remaining profitable? Can any real economic recovery take place without this sector, which is so valuable in cash and employment terms? Might this nevertheless be an opportunity to rethink and reinvent tourism for the longer term?