Preparing For A Post-Covid-19 Era In The Tourism Industry
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
The world has been turned upside down by the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. It calls for innovation and smart solutions as we brace ourselves for the economic and social impact of the outbreak and the much-needed social isolation.
When we were thinking about the biggest global trends impacting people’s travel behaviour earlier this year, we could not predict that we would find ourselves in a global travel shutdown three months into this new decade.
“A lot has been written about Covid-19 and the importance of flattening the curve with great tips shared on how to protect yourself and what to do when you think you are infected.”
We knew that with economic pressures, political and social upheavals and a growing awareness of our contribution to climate change, the industry would face significant shifts as travellers look for slower, more meaningful and deliberate ways to travel, swapping over-crowded, mainstream destinations with more unique and unknown places.
Fast forward to March 2020 and the world’s most crowded destinations are deserted as governments ground planes, shut borders and scramble to deal with the biggest impact on our world in recent history – Covid-19.
A lot has been written about Covid-19 and the importance of flattening the curve with great tips shared on how to protect yourself and what to do when you think you are infected. Social media is awash with horror stories, fake news, bad news, hopeful accounts of recovery, humour in the face of panic and trolls who still think it’s better to build walls than to build bridges and show a little humanity and kindness. A crisis always reveals our true character.
Already we have seen dramatic changes in people’s travel behaviour prior to Covid-19 with a shift in where and how people travel. We will definitely see a greater awareness, sense of responsibility and appreciation for what we took for granted. Interesting travel trends will shape up once we are over the worst of the corona outbreak and people start travelling again.
Once the worst is over, it would definitely be the right thing to support the domestic tourism industry before heading to international destinations. The local tourism and hospitality industry is hard hit and we will see many small businesses suffer. It is important to try supporting them by not cancelling our trips, but rather postponing it. Talk to the industry, check what is possible and work something out. If you are able to book a weekend away or post-corona holiday with flexible terms and dates for the future, it could help save tourism businesses.
It is time to become more customer-centred in everything we do. Every crisis brings opportunity and the industry should be able to use lessons learnt to shape a whole new way of doing travel.
There are no quick fixes and one thing is clear, the industry will be changed forever by Covid-19. The won’t be returning to a state of normal. Normal no longer exists and won’t be enough to safeguard the inus in the short term or help us recover fast enough when this crisis finally abates.