The crisis is an existential threat for many companies – from the souvenir shop on the corner to the travel group. What protective measures can the government do so as not to bring the industry permanently into the abyss?

Government policy around the world to contain the corona pandemic is severely restricting public life. This inevitably brings travel and tourism to a complete standstill. Many countries have imposed travel and entry restrictions – including many tourist-relevant vacation countries. Many countries have issued a general travel warning. The tour operators, therefore, cancel package tours. As of today, trips abroad are no longer possible. It is now clear that this also applies to domestic trips.

Due to the dynamic spread of the coronavirus, the entire travel industry is faced with an unprecedented crisis situation which it is not responsible for and which it cannot influence through its own business decisions. From the point of view of the travel association, it is, therefore, necessary that politicians – in addition to the economic measures – put up a protective shield.

Suspend cancellation policies to protect business and consumers

Due to the currently increasingly necessary cancellation of trips, tour operators and travel agencies have an extraordinary need for liquidity, because customers have a legal right to reimbursement of the paid travel price or the down payment. The applicable cancellation rules in travel law are not suitable for such a major crisis. Therefore, we call on the federal government to compensate the commissions for travel agencies and the cancellation costs for tour operators as part of a grant. If this is not implemented in a timely manner, the immediate repayments based on the applicable cancellation rules must be suspended immediately to protect the company and consumers or replaced by travel credits will. For this, the travel industry needs the support of politics. With these steps, liquidity can be maintained in the entire travel industry. That protects consumers and the economy.

While the travel industry is presently suffering the measures to control the corona pandemic, taking out a loan may not be a good option but it is still a choice for many in the travel industry. The step therefore to suspend cancellation policies is a better option to protect the industry.

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When will this pandemic be over?

The question now is when will this corona pandemic be over? According to the Atlantic, The answer is straightforward: when more than enough of the populace — presumably 60 or 80% of the population — is protected from COVID-19 to stop the disease’s spread from one person to another. This is the objective, though nobody knows precisely how long it may need to reach the goal. And while governments are putting their heads together to constrain the virus, they are also putting their hands together to stabilize the already shaken economy.