Two years after the appearance of the Coronavirus, the travel and tourism sector in Europe has finally started to recover. With the majority of European Union member states having abolished most travel restrictions, the sector is eagerly awaiting the summer season, starting preparations earlier than ever.
Yet since the Russian military began invading Ukraine on February 24, many have feared the impact the ongoing war could have on the continent’s already devastated travel industry.
While one might say that the travel and tourism sector is not something one should worry about, as people die every day in Ukraine, the migration experts at SchengenVisaInfo.com think differently.
“More than two million people from Ukraine only reached EU countries in the first two weeks of the invasion. While the UN expects that number to rise to four million by June, we believe it will happen much sooner.“say the experts before making their point of view.
According to them, EU countries need to be economically strong in order to be able to support incoming refugees.
“Due to the pandemic, many workers in the sector have been laid off. Once the tourism sector is fully restored, not only will these workers find work again, but there will also be new workplaces for the refugees, so that they can work, while waiting for the end of the war. Look at Greece, the country has already announced that there are 50,000 jobs available for Ukrainians arriving in the country“, they say.
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The same also claim that for now there is no reason to cancel or postpone EU travel plans, pointing out that EU countries themselves have not issued any warnings of travel versus non-essential travel to other EU countries. The only travel warnings in effect due to the war are for Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, and none of the three are members of the EU.
“It is absolutely safe to travel to Europe now”
Unfortunately, Ukraine’s neighboring countries will undoubtedly be affected by the tourism war. According to data revealed by ForwardKeys, the first week of the invasion saw the biggest drops in flight bookings in Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary and Poland, between 30 and 50 percent.
A survey by MMGY Travel Intelligence found that 62% of Americans indicated that the war in Ukraine spreading to neighboring countries was a concern for travel to the EU.
Regarding security concerns for travel to the EU, senior vice president of global intelligence firm for crisis response and risk management Crisis24, Mike Susong, told AFAR that there was no need to worry about EU travel safety due to the distance between the war zone and one of the most visited EU countries.
“Brussels, Belgium is 1,300 kilometers away [800 miles] from Lviv, Ukraine“, he says, making his point.
While the air distance between Ukraine and some other top destinations for Americans and Brits, such as Spain, Portugal and Italy, is much greater.
Moreover, the majority of airlines did not make any changes to their flight routes, although some of them that used Russian airspace to connect a third country to Europe had to change their flight routes. . The move, however, hasn’t affected travelers in any way, other than the air travel getting a bit longer.
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The chances of the Russian authorities moving towards attacking another country are extremely low. Especially since attacking an EU country means having to deal with the whole of the EU and its armies, as well as with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, since a many EU countries are also part of NATO.
“You should always be careful”
However, experts advise travelers to take the necessary precautions when and where they travel in Europe.
“If you go ahead with your travel plans, I would advise you to do so with great caution. Be sure to stay up to date with any changes in threat dynamics that could impact personal safety and the ability to move freelysays Greg Pearson, managing director of risk management firm FocusPoint International, for the Washington Post.
One of the ways to be on the safe side is also to get the right travel insurance. In particular, travelers who wish to book trips in advance are advised to take out insurance that would cover them in the event of a trip being cancelled.
Some travel insurance companies now offer the ability to purchase “cancel for any reason” travel insurance plans, which allow you to cancel a trip and get all your money back, without even having to give a valid reason to do so.
“If you are concerned that the situation will deteriorate and as a result you will have to cancel your plans and lose your money, you should purchase “cancel for any reason” travel insurance. Such plans will allow you to wait for your vacation without worrying about what will happen to your money, in case you need to cancel your travel plans, for whatever reason.note travel insurance experts from SchengenVisaInfo.com.
Travel medical insurance policies for travel in Europe can be purchased online directly at Axa website, Global Care Where Europe Support.
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