The number of people busting out of their countries will start creeping up this spring and rise higher by mid-year, travel industry experts predict, as vaccines and risk-based safety measures are rolled out more widely and spiking coronavirus cases around the world begin to fall once again.
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"I'm actually quite confident that first of May onwards ... we'll all be in a much better world," said Paul Charles, founder and CEO of London-based travel consultancy The PC Agency.
Vaccines and testing are the way forward, Charles and other industry experts say, but what's needed perhaps as desperately is greater consistency and coordination across borders.
"When you don't have a coordinated global approach, it's very difficult for the industry to go forward, especially when you have the rules of the game changing basically every single day," said Luis Felipe de Oliveira, director general of Airports Council International (ACI), a global trade organization representing the world's airports.