By Joanna Cabredo

In the first five months of 2021, international tourist arrivals decreased by a staggering 95 percent in parts of the world. United Nation’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in an official message to World Trade Organization, suggests a grim forecast of $4-trillion losses in global gross domestic product (GDP measures size and health of an economy). Due to the pandemic, the decline in tourism shows no sign of stopping and countries, both developed and developing, suffer alike.

Today, 27th of September, is World Tourism Day. Besides travel, tourism matters because it plays an important role in people’s general well-being, attitude toward life, sense of control, and outlook. Taking trips whether local or international, allows people to ‘reset’, which studies suggests significantly affect ones focus and productivity. Taking time to go somewhere and explore can boost creativity. People who travel, exposed to new cultures and experiences, are predisposed to new ideas. Travel has also been linked to stress reduction and known to alleviate anxiety and depression.

However, with raging pandemic, many travel plans have been pushed back if not halted altogether. While vaccinated travelers are more becoming more confident many are still anxious to venture out and risk being exposed to the virus. Travel advisors suggests a myriad of list on safe traveling. From the mandatory inoculation down to buying a covid-proof travel insurance policy, some are warming up to the idea of vacation for the next rounds of holidays.

While waiting for a glimpse of a post-pandemic future, is it really safe to travel now?