Travel companies in all sectors joined industry organizations in applauding the end of the U.S.’s inbound Covid-testing requirements, saying the rule had been a deterrent to travel.
“We’re thrilled that our customers will finally be able to travel hassle-free to the 26 destinations we fly to in the U.S., without the need to take expensive and onerous tests,’ said Sean Doyle, British Airways’ CEO.
Ellen Bettridge, CEO of Uniworld, said that its U.S. customers had long expressed “that the testing requirement for re-entry is the No. 1 thing holding them back from traveling internationally, and we’re thrilled that this barrier has been lifted.”
Related: ‘Today is a great day’: Travel industry reacts to lifting of predeparture, inbound Covid testing
Princess Cruises and sister brand Holland American Line also hailed the decision.
“This is a tremendous development that allows our guests to travel more easily and without stress throughout Europe as well as experience our Alaskan cruises that conclude in a Canadian port,” said John Padgett, president of Princess.
His counterpart at Holland American agreed.
“The change means that U.S. travelers can pursue their love of cruising Holland America Line voyages from homeports in Europe, Canada and Australia without concern they could be denied entry to return home,” said Gus Antorcha. “It removes a barrier to travel for some guests who understandably wanted to avoid the uncertainty of return testing.”
Destinations here and abroad also applauded the decision.
“The lifting of the testing requirement for inbound international air travelers is very welcome news for New York City’s travel and tourism industry and will no doubt accelerate our continued recovery and that of the U.S.,” said NYC & Company CEO Fred Dixon. “In NYC, international travel represents 50 percent of spending in a typical year. In fact, it takes the spending power of four domestic visitors to equal the spending of one international traveler, so easing the entry process means a stronger and faster recovery.”
Lorine Charles-St. Jules, CEO of Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, said the lifting of test “will absolutely have a positive impact on international tourism, as well as U.S. tourism. This is especially true for travelers who may have been deterred from traveling internationally because of worries about securing tests in time in a foreign country.”
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