Omio has launched the ‘Open Travel Index’ to give tourists up-to-date advice on where they can travel to safely during the pandemic. Olivia Palamountain reports

Confused about whether it’s safe to get moving again? Lost confidence in your destination information? Feel like you’re travelling on quicksand? New travel tools are here to help.

Offering a comprehensive guide to Covid-19 travel restrictions, the Open Travel Index by multi-modal booking platform Omio (formerly Go Euro) helps users to find information by providing access to the latest available insights as they cross borders, change flights, buses, trains and ferries or move within national regions.

Not only does the tool list where it is safe to travel, it allows users to plan their journey from the UK to the rest of Europe.

How does it work? A colour-coded “traffic light” system highlights destinations in red, amber and green, with each colour corresponding to current travel restrictions.

  • RED – restricted: Lockdown/essential travel only with paperwork
  • AMBER – partial opening: Non-essential travel is open with certain safety requirements
  • GREEN – fully open: Open without restrictions

The information is displayed both on a map and in a list of destinations in alphabetical order and users can filter their search by restriction or by destination. Additionally, travellers will be able to review specific measures across more than 50 travel providers, such as compulsory PPE, or certification of fitness for travel.

Since travel restrictions are changing constantly, it’s recommended to check in regularly for updates and news. For existing bookings, the Open Travel Index can search the safety measures European travel companies have in place, plus cancellation and refund policies.

Justin Wang, director of brand at Omio, says: “As travel makes its comeback, Omio has recognised its own responsibility to help not just its customers but the industry as a whole.

“We wanted to create a tool knowing that each country is working at their own pace to lift restrictions, and the first question on everyone’s minds is ‘where can I go safely?’

“With so much information out there being updated at different times, we hope the Omio Open Travel Index will help travellers feel confident and safe to travel, and most importantly inspire travel in our hearts again.”

Joining the Open Travel Index in its bid to restore traveller confidence is the Interactive Covid-19 Travel Demand Recovery Dashboard by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

Hot on the heels of the WTTC’s Safe Travels stamp, this “one-stop data shop” highlights the recovery of travel demand across flights and hotels, as well as revealing the shifting intentions of travellers through online travel searches.

Developed with support from McKinsey and Company, the tool provides users with qualitative and quantitative travel data at a global and regional level as well as for 33 major countries around the world.

Updated on a fortnightly basis, the dashboard is free to use and presents two distinct views based on Google trends and searches, and bookings via WTTC’s research partners in the project.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, says: “We have created a unique dashboard featuring qualitative and quantitative data to provide the insights which could be crucial to help the Travel and Tourism sector re-start and map out the path to its recovery.

“Our dashboard will enable decision makers to track the impact of public policies by monitoring the positive and negative fluctuations of flight and hotel bookings and also online travel searches, as well as consumer confidence.

“Data is essential for businesses, government and other organisations to make informed choices and drive the policy which will revive a sector that has suffered disproportionally due to the pandemic.

“With one in four jobs new jobs being generated by the travel and tourism sector in the last five years, it’s more important than ever that easy access to data on a regional and global level help inform the right choices at the right time.”

Another platform monitoring travel guidance affected by coronavirus is Travel Vitals from American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). Dedicated to keeping clients and travellers informed of the latest developments, Travel Vitals allows users to search across different components of a trip for information and advisories.

In other news, Omio has also announced it has “adopted” the northern Italian city of Bergamo to help boost tourism to the destination.

In so doing, it will be donating to the Bergamo Support Fund based on customer bookings to Bergamo made between September and December 2020, and creating customised itineraries for journeys to Bergamo from all main airports in northern Italy with the help of two well-known local Italian content creators.

There will be a “lifestyle” tour, created by the blogger Federica di Nardo, which includes a visit of the Città Bassa and Città Alta; or an “outdoor” tour, created by the YouTuber and author Nicolò Balini, founder of Human Safari and SiVola, with trekking experiences in the nearby mountains of Val Brembana, views of its lakes, and overnight stays in cosy lodges.

Christophe Sanchez, CEO of Visit Bergamo, says: “We are extremely happy with this initiative and grateful to Omio for having thought about kick-starting tourism again to Bergamo. Italy was one of the first destinations to be hit [by the Covid-19 pandemic] but it was also the first to react. Consequently we are ready to host in a healed territory that has equipped itself with stringent strategies to ensure travellers are safe to travel here and locals are equally protected.”

In Globetrender’s Future of Luxury Travel report (download below), “Beta Destinations” was a trend we forecasted to take off in the new decade. By focusing efforts on chanelling tourists away from popular destinations such as Venice and Rome, Omio and Visit Bergamo are showing how this trend is manifesting already.

What’s coming next? Trend reports available to download HERE

Globetrender Future of Luxury Travel Forecast 2020-2025

Globetrender Gen Z Horizons 2020 report