Pandemic continues to strain travel industry

Posted at 10:51 AM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 11:51:16-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — When the pandemic hit, the world was told to stay home.

"It's going to be at least 2023, some would say 2024, 2025 before we might see travel at the levels we saw back in 2019," said Kevin O’Malley, CEO of Corporate Travel Management.

O'Malley said their demand dropped 95% since March.

"And we sit here in February of 2021 and our demand is still down 85%," O’Malley said.

He added that corporate travel, which makes up roughly 80% of CTM's business, remains slow; however, leisure travel is slowly picking up.

"Most people are staying inside the United States. Certainly, Mexico and the Caribbean are getting booked a lot, as well,” said O’Malley.

O'Malley said travel companies have worked hard to put in place safety measures. They're using things like COVID tests and mask mandates to ensure their guest safety.

"There is a ton of back and forth throughout the industry right now going on about what does an immunity passport look like? The problem is that there is no one standard on how it's going to look," said O’Malley.

Big questions remain on immunity cards here in the United States; however, countries like Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom have already developed prototypes.

Despite the unknowns, O'Malley has faith the travel industry will pick back up.

"People want to get out and see the world. People want to get out and see people. And so travel will return, it's just a matter of how long it takes," said O’Malley.

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