President's Message

OUR INDUSTRY RECOVERY IS DEPENDENT ON THE ABILITY TO TRAVEL

In 2020, the world of travel came to a dramatic halt. Empty airports, deserted roads and grounded airplanes were the story of the year and the beginning of 2021. Now, as COVID vaccines become more readily available around the world, countries are making moves toward reopening and U.S. domestic and European airlines are seeing a dramatic increase in summer ticket sales.

During the last couple of months, airports and airlines have introduced many new health and safety measures to ensure that passengers feel safe. And yet, people are concerned about the logistics of flying, having to take PCR tests maybe before and after each flight and having to complete detailed paperwork that may be different from country to country.

Our industry recovery is dependent on the ability to travel. Thus, we need to make sure airlines and airports ease the process for our delegates.

We have seen a few initiatives like the ‘IATA Travel pass’, or the ‘EU COVID Digital Certificate’, but this is not enough. Governments and International organisations must work together to reach global policies to ease the experience. IAPCO will engage, encourage, and support any initiative in this direction.

This was exactly the focus of our recent IAPCO Impact Dialogue “The future of Travel” with a panel of leaders within the traveling industry, or our recent Forum, where I had the privilege to ask 5 Tourism ministers about their plans for the MICE industry recovery. These interviews have been a source of hope.

On a personal note, just a few days ago, I booked my first travel since the start of the pandemic. I was as excited as a little boy traveling for the first time and I cannot wait to do so.

As always, staying optimistic about our industry future.

Ori Lahav, President 2020-2023

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