(CNN) — Could brighter days be ahead? Travel and tourism are expected to return to almost pre-pandemic levels this year, and a top health official says Europe could be about to enter “a long period of tranquility.”
Tourism is bouncing back
Omicron is still raging, but travel is pushing forward. Travel and tourism could generate $8.6 trillion globally this year, according to new research by the World Travel & Tourism Council. That’s just 6.4% below pre-pandemic levels.
More countries have announced reopening plans. Denmark, whose population has a high 81% vaccination rate, has become the first EU country to lift all Covid-19 restrictions, while Morocco has announced plans to reopen to tourists on February 7. (You can listen to Anthony Bourdain’s take on Tangier on the “Parts Unknown” podcast.) Even cautious New Zealand is gradually opening its doors.
Does this mean a return to normal? Europe, for one, could be in store for “a long period of tranquility,” Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Europe, said Thursday.
Let’s hope the rest of the world is in for some tranquility, too.