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After a year without travel, the tourism industry is preparing for a comeback. Demand is skyrocketing for the highly anticipated summer vacation season just as the U.S. marks an important milestone: more than 100M COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed as of mid-March.

But even as the world prepares to reopen following one of the most prolonged and painful interruptions to “normal life” as we know it, this moment asks deeper questions than simply will travel recover and when. It asks us to reflect on what a year without has wrought on us—as people.

It was a year without justice. For George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the names we said in the movement for Black Lives Matter. For those who were killed and abused as we awaken to calls to Stop Asian Hate, trust when women say Me Too, and stand against anti-trans violence.

It was a year without pause. From headlines, homework, work from home, and ever-present uncertainty. For frontline workers and essential workers in hospitals, classrooms, grocery stores, and airports.

It was a year without peace. At our nation’s Capitol, in the halls of congress, at polling places in Georgia and Pennsylvania, and along our Southern border, as asylum seekers arrive in pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.

And while not lost altogether, it was a year too-often lacking humanity. From the simple benevolence of a handshake or hug to the ecstasy of art performed, live, in front of us.

After a year absent of so much, we’re not questioning whether travel will recover. We know it will. Even when planes were grounded and international borders were closed, we opened new doors. In our backyards and on back roads to parks and places close to home. For all the pandemic travel trends the last year created, there remains still this one truth: The world doesn’t welcome us—people do. 

As we ready ourselves to travel again, we’re asking not simply Where should we go? but Where do we go from here? Twenty years ago when we launched the first LGBTQ+ print ad encouraging travelers to “see the world on your terms,” we were advocating for a more welcoming world. Today, we embark on a more ambitious journey: to create a world where everyone can travel as they are.

You. A human. In all your individuality. 
Us. As humans. Not really all that different.
Limiting the spaces between us.
Breaking down barriers that divide us.
Bringing individuals and worlds closer.
So we can come together to build a better one.

After a long year, the world is finally reopening. Now it’s up to us to make it a more welcoming place.

Orbitz. Travel as you are.

Tagged: Press

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Orbitz Travel Blog Editors

Orbitz Travel Blog Editors

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