Is Post-COVID Tourism Going to Recover?

October 13, 2020

The world economy has been affected so hard that powerful countries like France, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, the top most visited places in the world, are struggling to maintain their level as high as possible.

But this virus has affected the most pleasant and profitable field — Tourism.

The World Tourism Organization estimated that earnings from international tourism might be down 80% this year against last year’s figure of $1.7tn and that 120m jobs could be lost.

This massive decrease will lead to a world crisis which will prevent us from being able to afford another vacation.

The passage of this crisis must be done through collaboration between companies and governments, which can create strategies to save world tourism.

They must work to attract the future tourists, to give them confidence that they can travel safely.

Traveling, a passion that most of us share has been down for a while.

Social distancing and the fear of contracting this virus has made as more vigilant, so the need to move around has kind of gone.

We started to fear to get out of the house because of the high risk, and some of us even isolated for the sake of being safe.

No traveling= No tourism

No tourism means no jobs, economy decrease, bankruptcy, and failure.

Countries that based their income on tourism like Spain, Italy, or France, started to look for new strategies for the reintegration of this industry. They are helping people who lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

Sure, people are traveling now, the brave ones, and who still have financial resources to do it. Even so, the number of them is decreasing.

Flights have half of their seats occupied, hotels do not reach the minimum capacity and other tourism providers barely survive ( Hertz, Blue Air, Virgin Australia).

The current situation is like a timeless loop, which returns us to the same results.

We have to understand the situation. But I see lots of people choosing to travel by road, especially with vans. They are crossing continents from north to south by only using this type of transportation. Is safer than flying, trains or buses and kind of keeping alive in this field.

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Photo by Johannes Andersson on Unsplash

People will start to come up with different types of transportation because times like this require adjustment of our lifestyle. You avoid crowded places and hotels, and you have confidence of your own home.

This type of tourism, for campers, will gain popularity in the future. Lots of people buy vans and are transforming them into their homes for months or years.

The campers tourism means developing the infrastructure for vans, with special places for them to stop and stock up with water, electricity, toilets with shower, a safe place to stop for the night.

This type of tourism will encourage people to travel again on the ground. I am no saying that there will be no people choosing to fly or use the bus, train, but for now is the best option for those who can not stay away from traveling.

Will survive the ones who are investing in their facilities that protect the traveler. This means that high medical facilities are in demand.

The new normal

The new normal will be for travelers — to be more aware of the places they visit, their interests will be focused on sanitation practices by the tourism operator. Also, the insurance industry will register an increase due to the high volume of people who want to be secured while traveling.

Sure, the crisis hit us so hard, that tourism operator will expect more trips with lower spends and much briefer itineraries. Travelers will focus more and more on their budget.

Tourism recovery typically begins locally. People will start to travel nearby home, where they can reach by car. They will test if the places are crowded, if they respect the social distancing policy, and the sanitary conditions comply with the norms imposed by the government.

If they felt safe during their trip, this means that they will travel again.

When people start to regain confidence in travel, with a lot of time and effort, things will take an upward turn.

Sure, we have to keep ourselves safe. It is also our job to take care of and protect ourselves.

We will see a better recovery for drive-in destinations.

“When people get more comfortable, they’ll continue to go farther and farther away from home, starting with domestic and then moving to international, long-term,” — Cheryl Golden

The future of tourism stays in the traveler’s hand.

They decide if is worth traveling again if they have financial resources and feel safe.

In terms of accommodation, travelers will start looking for more and more isolated places, where they will not have contact with many people.

Sure, there will be tourists who will travel again to crowded destinations, but under restrictions, which means fewer tourists in one day.

This will be the new normal, but we do not know for how long.

There is a bright side

But let’s not drawn our attention only to dramatic scenarios. Let’s see the beautiful part, the fact that certain tourist destinations had time to recover after the tumult of annual visitors.

The environment was the only winner in this crisis.

Lockdown meant less traffic, fewer people visiting places, less pollution, giving nature a reason to breathe again.

The recovery will be long and difficult.

It is important to focus on strategies to help this industry. Given that many tourism employees are affected, the implementation of aid for them would be beneficial.

Given that this pandemic has affected our financial resources, the probability that this field will have enough money is zero. That is why specialized help is needed from institutions.

Tourism is among the most important industries in the world and it would be a shame not to get involved in saving it.

It’s just a matter of time and how ready we are to get our engines moving.

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