Aiding travellers worried about going to places of large gatherings

Outbreak and spread of Coronavirus have hit the global economy hard and travel sector is no exception, with travellers around the world on edge about their travel plans. Undoubtedly, the global travel industry is facing one of the biggest crisis in decades, due to coronavirus. The crisis is the worst since 9/11. Governments and companies have restricted travel to affected regions, and individuals are either cancelling or postponing their travel plans to the future.

Given the contagious nature of the disease, people are naturally avoiding contact with the larger community at hubs of the possible outbreak – such as malls, airports, stations, visa application centres and other large public spaces. From redirection and cancellation of flights to outright bans on travelling to and from affected countries, governments across the world are being vigilant in their attempts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.

Talking about the consequences of the virus and its impact on the global travel, NEERAJ MALHOTRA, Chairman, Travel Agents Association of India – Northern Region (TAAI-NR) said, “Coronavirus epidemic is talking tall on the world economy, perpetuating economic uncertainty and slowing the global growth forecast. International travel has also been severally affected owing to this health crisis. Sheer nature of the virus is forcing people to postpone their travel plans. Governments have imposed visa restrictions on nationals of highly affected countries. Flights to such countries are also being restricted.

Several organisations have restricted non-essential travel to affected regions at this time with added caution for all natures of travel. Most people have chosen to cancel or reschedule their travel plans for the near future. The travel industry is trying its best to aid travellers through refunds, cancellation charge waivers, discounts – anything it can do to make this difficult time easier on travellers.

Commenting on the spread of the virus and resultant travel restrictions, SANJAY DATTA, President, Skal Asia, said, “Being cognizant of the concerns of travellers over being in crowded places, which could potentially be hubs of the outbreak, companies within the travel industry are taking precautions and guiding their customers in best practices during this time. Leading visa service provider VFS Global is doing their bit to aid the public by introducing discounted rates for their at-home services like ‘Visa At Your Doorstep’ and ‘Courier Return Services’, allowing customers to feel secure at their own homes even as they apply to travel in the future.”

As a customer-centric global company, VFS Global has always been sensitive and responsive to the concerns of travellers, taking no time in coming with measures to assist travellers in a crisis-like situation, besides always working to provide the most customized and curated services to visa applicants.

Several international mega-events such as the Olympics in Japan, and the Dubai Expo, besides others, are slated for 2020. Hopefully, these events will take place as per scheduled and help the global travel industry in getting back on its feet. Governments and other concerned authorities are scaling up efforts to contain the epidemic, assuage the fear of the public and boost their confidence.


SANJAY DATTA, President, Skal Asia:

“Being cognizant of the concerns of travellers over being in crowded places, companies within the travel industry are taking precautions and guiding their customers in best practices during this time. Leading visa service provider VFS Global is doing their bit to aid the public by introducing discounted rates for their at-home services like ‘Visa At Your Doorstep’ and ‘Courier Return Services’, allowing customers to feel secure at their own homes even as they apply to travel in the future.”


 

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