Chances are that if you have been following the news related to the travel and tourism industry, you are probably aware of the term ‘travel bubble’ which is garnering quite a curiosity everywhere.
So what exactly are these travel bubbles?
Travel bubbles, also known as travel corridors and corona corridors, are essentially a bilateral and exclusive partnership between neighbouring or nearby countries that have successfully contained in combating the COVID-19 pandemic within their respective borders.
These bubbles or air corridors can not only control where travellers have come from and allow them to travel freely within the zone without having the need to undergo on-arrival quarantine, but can also rekindle trade ties with each other and benefit both the countries commercially as well as culturally.
The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania became possibly the first set of countries to roll out a trilateral bubble when they opened their borders to each other. Not solely limited to tourism, the safe bubble also allows the three Baltic countries to revive trade relations and other sectors as well.
Fiji is exploring a similar concept with neighbouring Australia and New Zealand, the two countries that it relies heavily on for tourism revenue.
Malaysia and Thailand is also reportedly exploring travel bubbles for overseas tourists, with access restricted to the tourist hotspots.
India too is at a “very advanced stage of negotiations” with the US, France, Germany and nearby countries of Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka to set up “travel bubbles”
Travel bubbles, while great in theory, may not be so easy to execute. A lot of planning within the countries as well as strict testing of passengers will be done prior to accepting them as passengers.
The strict preventive measures which include an official document stating that passengers have not been infected or have come into contact with an infected person will have to be duly carried out. It will have to be a collective protocol followed by all stake holders to ensure the safety of the passengers and crew alike.
Taking baby steps here, although travel bubbles may be far from being the ideal solution, it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
As more and more of these sky bridges pop up, these travel bubbles seem like the most reasonable way to unlock air travel and could be a boon for the aviation, tourism and hospitality sector to get their economies back on track.
And not to mention, give millions of wannabe travellers across the globe a glimmer of hope that we may soon be exploring the world once again!
Till then stay safe you all.
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