Delta variant disrupts travel and leisure rebound
The Americans have hit the road, the skies and the stadiums again this year. But lately, the grand reopening has lost some of its momentum.
Shows are canceled, mask requirements return to casinos and venues, and consumers are reconsidering travel plans thanks to an increase in Covid-19 infections. The reaction to the increase in cases is not as dramatic as it was last year, but it has led travel and recreation officials to notice a recent drop in business.
“These are people who are concerned about Delta,” Glenn Fogel, managing director of online travel agency Booking Holdings Inc., said in an interview this week. The operator of websites like Priceline and Kayak said it saw a slight decline in booking trends in July compared to June.
Travel and recreation officials described the most recent disruption as modest and likely short-term, and said they did not foresee any significant changes in their plans to reopen. For many of them, it is important to prove that they can function normally in a world with Covid-19 and without needing the tighter virus restrictions seen earlier in the pandemic.
“If they require live events to return to 50% capacity, it doesn’t work economically,” Jay Marciano, general manager of concert organizer AEG Presents said in an interview. “Our current thinking is that if we take these proactive steps and demonstrate that we have taken reasonable safety precautions, our events can go as planned.”