Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) share price leaps 5% as US borders to reopen

A milestone for international travel is set to occur later today.

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The Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) share price is surging higher today. Meanwhile, the world is awaiting the reopening of the United States’ international borders.

The nation’s border restrictions will ease on Monday, allowing vaccinated travellers to enter the United States for non-essential reasons.

At the time of writing, the Flight Centre share price is $20.94, 4.8% higher than its previous close. However, earlier today, the travel agent’s stock was trading at $21.25, representing a 6.3% gain.

For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has fallen 0.16% today.

Let’s take a look at the news that might be inspiring excitement for the travel giant’s shares.

United States ready to reopen to tourism

The Flight Centre share price is having a great day’s trade amid the United States’ preparations to reopen to the world for the first time since March 2020.

Previously, the nation had planned to reopen its borders to 33 select countries. Unfortunately, Australia didn’t make that list.

However, late last month, US President Joe Biden announced the nation’s strategy had changed:

[I]t is in the interests of the United States to move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the COVID-19 pandemic and to adopt an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination.

Vaccinated international travellers will be able to enter the United States from 12:01 am eastern standard time on Monday (3:01 pm AEST or 4:01 pm AEDT).

The nation will still allow unvaccinated non-citizens to cross its international land borders for essential reasons. However, all people entering the United States via land or ferry will need to be fully vaccinated from January 2022.

The United States’ reopening comes one day after Flight Centre’s CEO Graham Turner told the Australian Financial Review‘s How I Made It the company’s recovery will take time:

This is not going to be over in three or six months time. It’s three or four or five years. And we need to be there for this, for that journey, from now till 2025… we’ve got to be able to get back to our pre-COVID size, without all the costs that were associated pre-COVID and that’s going to be quite a challenge.

Though, Turner did note, as he has previously, that travellers will probably be more likely to seek out expert advice post-COVID than they were before the pandemic.

Additionally, Turner believes corporations will look to provide their people with outside help while travelling to avoid pandemic-related “pitfalls”.

Flight Centre share price snapshot

The Flight Centre share price has gained ~32% since the start of 2021. It is also currently 49% higher than it was this time last year.

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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