Travel Industry Reacts To New CDC Travel Guidelines

The CDC released new travel guidelines for vaccinated travelers.

The updated guidance says that fully vaccinated tourists will no longer be required to get tested before or after travel unless they are required to by the destination.


The travel industry welcomed the news.

“The CDC’s official statement, recognizing that those who have been vaccinated are now at a lower risk of transmission when traveling, is an encouraging step and one that we would like to see replicated in other countries around the world,” said Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council. “WTTC has been calling for a clear roadmap to reopen international mobility with pre-departure testing for non-vaccinated travelers only, alongside health and hygiene measures. Despite the delay in commenting whether or not the health organization recommends travel, today’s CDC announcement will give a much-needed boost to the sector and will empower U.S. travelers to feel secure in resuming travel.”

Tripscout believes this announcement will lead to a boom in travel.

“We’re on the cusp of the biggest boom in travel history, and the latest news from the CDC has the potential to accelerate us into the next chapter of post-COVID life in the U.S.,” said Tripscout CEO and co-founder Konrad Waliszewski. “On the Tripscout app, we’re seeing more trips being planned for this summer right now than in the past 12 months combined. There is so much pent-up demand and the science is showing it’s safe for vaccinated travelers to start satisfying that wanderlust.”

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Travel Again cofounder and CEO Mike McCormick echoed this sentiment and thanked those who worked hard to bring about this moment.

“Today, we reached a very important milestone not only for the U.S. travel industry, but for travelers and our dedicated health professionals and government employees alike,” said McCormick.

He also called on the industry to create a roadmap to safely reopen.

“The work is not done, however,” McCormick noted. “Now, it is essential that we build on this success by continuing to work together to develop the roadmap to fully and safely reopen both domestic and international travel. Traveler confidence has begun to recover from historically low levels at the onset of the pandemic, but it remains one of the greatest hurdles in restoring travel activity. Clear guidance for travelers and tools for travel suppliers to support the process can help boost confidence and get travelers back on the road. This can only be accomplished if the government and travel industry work closely together in a true public-private partnership to develop and implement these plans.”

ASTA also responded positively to the CDC’s new guidelines but called for further action and a comprehensive framework for reopening.

Eben Peck, executive vice president, advocacy at the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), said: “We welcome the CDC’s new guidance that fully vaccinated Americans can resume domestic travel without additional testing or quarantines, something we have called for time and again. For well over a year, various CDC orders intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) have created confusion and uncertainty among travelers, a chilling effect on future bookings and innumerable other challenges for our travel agency members. We are pleased to see some movement in the right direction.”

Peck asked the CDC to do more.

“Since the CDC has determined that fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19, logic dictates that additional rules also be relaxed, including restrictions on cruise travel and the rule requiring Americans returning from overseas to test negative for COVID-19 before boarding their return flight,” he said. “At a minimum, we call on the CDC to take these common-sense steps and to publish a framework for travel’s reopening so advisors and their clients can plan with certainty and to continue work on systems to establish vaccination, immunity or a negative test result so that international travel can restart in earnest.”

Scott Lara, the Cruise Genius, was encouraged by the news from the CDC but highlighted that travelers will still need to be tested to return to the U.S.

“While the recent news from the CDC is encouraging, I understand that tourists returning from overseas destinations will still require COVID tests to enter the U.S. Many overseas all-inclusive resorts are giving free antigen COVID tests to comply with CDC requirements,” he said. “In the end, I firmly believe the Biden administration will mandate vaccine passports for overseas travelers.”

The U.S. Travel Association applauded the news from the CDC and noted that this will aid in the travel industry’s recovery after a devastating year.

“The CDC’s new travel guidance is a major step in the right direction that is supported by the science and will take the brakes off the industry that has been hardest hit by the fallout of COVID by far,” said U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow. “As travel comes back, U.S. jobs come back.”

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