Bouncing Back

From a global perspective, travel and tourism industry is facing a long and uncertain road to recovery in the aftermath of the covid-19 outbreak. Borders have been closed, travel bans enacted, and mandatory
lockdowns enforced around the globe.

The outbreak is inevitably having an enormous and hard impact on the travel and tourism industry, ranging from hotel and cruise ship quarantines to airlines halting flights in almost all regions indefinitely. At present we are probably at the apex of the pandemic, but it is not too soon to start building for the next phase.

The post-covid19 era will push the world into creating major seismic shifting trends in our industry, so we need to get ready for a fundamental reset. This is already being called a Black Swan event which may be crucial in understanding a global pandemic and its learning may be applied to other areas.

Prior to the pandemic the industry was old fashioned, fragmented and not ready to change their business model. In the short run we will enter an economic recession, however in the long run, you can be sure that a lot of innovation will come out of the crisis and the world may totally change and take a tech trajectory for the better.

Things will certainly be different, but we all will have to adapt and find a new shifts to get things better.

Tripadvisor layoff 25% employees

UNWTO predicts a loss of 120 trillion loss in tourism revenues and 120 million tourism jobs are directly at risk. Several airlines are in a perilous situation. What we are seeing is that the airline industry is begging the government for a bailout and without it half of the airlines would face bankruptcy in two or three months.

The real cost to employment is already beginning to be felt, with airlines including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic announcing thousands of job losses. Big giants like Airbnb and TripAdvisor have already layoff 25% of their employees.

In light to this, the travel and tourism industry should not sit idle and say we do not know, its uncertainty. The global tourism Industry in general should forecast the paradigm shift seriously and start planning right now and not to wait for the pandemic to diminish. Use this time to check in with
your suppliers, get to know them better and strengthen your business relationships.

After the post pandemic and we go back to our normal life, it might be too late and while that time all the survivorswill be rebounding and rapidly adapting and putting the right strategies in place based on those paradigms in servicing and duty of care . So currently we are in a watch and see situation but same timewe need to put all the bits and pieces and revamp proactively to immediate rebound out post pandemic.

Here are some of the succinct predictions for travel post pandemic. These are all subject to change, but as of today, here is what we see on the horizon. While this sounds like doom and gloom, it is a way for us to rethink what we were doing wrong before.

While the exact timeline of recovery is unclear (many predict a possible two- to six-month window) the impact will eventually pass. Once this is all over, Travelers will hit the road again, but much of it will depend on how the comprehensive recovery roadmap will be created. And we all know travelling will never be the same anymore.

How to build a comprehensive recovery roadmap

Preparing for the future of tourism in a POST COVID-19 world

1. Technology

  • Technology will be a boon for ushering the new era of travel as consumer is shifting towards online shopping and experiences.
  • Consumer’s march is going to be shifting more towards technology i.e. more online, and people will be relying on technology for hotels as well.
  • AI tools will be seen to mitigate the problems and use predictive analysis in a bid to halt its growth. Chatbots and machine-learning algorithm will be trained with the details to answer the
    basic questions of the troubled populace.
  • Online is the way to go to increase reach, scale and find new customer channels. So Iot, AI, blockchains, chatbots, virtual next reality will be the near future.
  • Hotels will be trying to use more technology more than any time ever, specially any technology related to AI, or supported or powered by AI. This would be just not to render technology, but also for cross cutting element.
  • The global Industry needs to plan their strategy how they can maintain their business and cut
    cost.

2.Adapting new recovery strategic transformation

  • The global Industry should put the safety, health and security of travelers and the Travel & Tourism workforce at the core of the development of global protocols.
  • The global industry will need to rethink and revamp the business model from the ground up as the industry will not be able to survive in the old-fashioned way of doing business
  • Airlines, airports, cruise lines, and hotels will all need to develop and adhere to new guidelines about social distancing, cleaning, and food service.
  • Airlines and Hospitality industry are implementing a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the traveler’s journey, to enhance the sanitization of all touchpoints, and ensure the health and safety of our customers and employees.
  • Review the brand values and help to create a new future and revamp up marketing efforts focused on brand awareness and fueling new clients to booking funnel.
  • Hotels will focus marketing efforts away from the beautiful pool landscape towards reiterate features like disinfection standards, touchless technology for all types of physical interactions and larger spaces between sunbeds. Hotels will switch to room-only food services, transforming breakfast and other food-related spaces into spacious lounges.
  • Rebuild trust and confidence with travelers through effective communication & marketing; letting them know the protocols implemented and assurances available to keep them safe.

3.Innovation : A new-look welcome

  • Each and every travel vertical is continuing to innovate and prepare for recovery, navigating new safety measures to reimagining what travel industry could look like.
  • The Industry should come up revamping innovative strategies and take a holistic approach to recapturing lost revenue.
  • Adapting to new attitudes and practices, one of which is the importance of a contact-free guest experience.
  • Take this opportunity to give your travel website a health check, ensure your website security is up to date, work on your SEO, focus on your social media presence, and take time to review your digital marketing strategy.

4.Behavioral Norms

  • Traveler confidence and buying behaviors will be drastically different, making it critical to have a solid long-term revenue strategy in place.
  • Travelers will expect for a flexible cancellation policy.
  • Hotels, Airlines, and airports will have to adapt their product to new norms to comply with new rules and regulations and to make the guests at ease.
  • A marketing strategy and brands should use this time to tailor messaging to remain top of mind for these ‘searching’ travelers during this period in preparation for when recovery comes, and people are ready to travel again.

5. Domestic Travel

  • Initial rise in travel demand will start with domestic tourism as the first port of call, later regional to international.
  • The fear of getting on a crowded tin can in the sky where someone could be sick, people are less likely to spend money on a huge international trip right now with so much economic uncertainty.
  • The global industry should try to enhance destination promotion to boost demand domestic travel as they can play a vital role in promoting tourism and jump start the economy.
  • The perfect places to visit since they offer wide open spaces, a chance to travel within the safety of your car, and you do not have the worry about other regulations abroad.

5.Collaboration

  • Collaboration will proliferate and prosper as sticking together and supporting one another.
  • It is important to ensure that the industry comes out the other side, striving to regain its footing, by being more dynamic, resilient, and successful than before -embracing a collective, mutually beneficial and coordinated approach. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Moving forward: We may become smarter in a post pendemic world

  • Experts say the crisis offers an opportunity to rebuild global tourism in a more sustainable way.
  • Social distancing and rigorous cleaning standards are certain to be at the forefront of consumer’s concerns when traveling, which presents travel industry with a difficult balancing act.
  • Health and safety standards go mainstream important role be it hotels, suppliers, car rental and airlines.
  • Clear, consistent, and enhanced communication with travelers on new health & hygiene safety protocols via the organization’s channels, both digitally and physically at airports, in the plane
    and at the hotels
  • Airlines have unveiled multi-faceted measures for employee and customer care at every step of the travel journey, redefining safety, and hygiene standards on board and on the ground.
  • Facial recognition will be widespread and in future everyone may start using tools to screen air passengers and citizens in public who shows signs of fever and other characteristics that suggest that they are sick.
  • Some airlines plan to keep middle seats empty, at least initially to reassure passengers abouts of
    social distancing while travelling.
  • All passengers are required to wear face masks and gloves and there will be no carry-on baggage allowed inside the aircraft. The cabin crews will be wearing safety goggles, masks gloves, and head-to-toe protective gear.
  • Airlines will be providing inflight complimentary hygiene kits that include masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer.
  • Business class passengers who are traveling in one of the airline’s suites can put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on their door to limit their contact with crew members.
  • For connecting flights passengers are required to take screening test again while in transit and they will be given complimentary hygiene kits for their onboard flight.
  • Temperature scanners and similar detecting devices be will be at the airport to identify the disease risk.
  • Minimized contact with airport staff through use of contactless facilities such as self-check-in and passport control, among others. Safety barriers have also been placed at each check-in desk and immigration counter.
  • Some airlines are preparing to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers.
  • All hotels will be creating sanitizer team part of the response crisis team, assigning the duties and responsibilities of each members
  • Post Covid-19 virtual meetings becomes business as usual and will become more common place which effect business travelers as well as MICE.
  • Digitalization and Personalization will be more focused.
  • Work from Home has been supersized in 2020.We will find that many jobs could have been WFH ed in the first place and there will be certain amount of optimization in the way it is all done.
  • Private Jets will be accessible and thus creating a boom post pandemic era. A Broader Clientele will be Boarding Private Jets for the near future

Key Insights

Interpretation from multiple sources

  • As per current situation most of the countries travel bans are gradually being lifted from first of June onwards and consumer travel sentiment is starting to rise again.
  • International travel will be among the last sectors to reignite, slightest ray of hope is resuming full international flight operations by July-August.
    Travel is setting to swing back to normal in 2021.
  • As per IATA survey, it was found that 40% of the travelers anticipated waiting at least six months after the post-Covid19.
  • Glimmers of hope can already be spotted in China, where four months after the initial outbreak, with the easing of movement restrictions, traveler confidence bounced back.
  • Despite initial signs of tourism recovery, the tourism industry will be drastically changed: from the aviation sector, to accommodations tour operators and others, almost every aspect of the tourism industry will be heavily impacted by the pandemic
  • Most of the airlines will modify in-flight services that reduce the risk of infection and cabin baggage’s and carry on items will be very limited.
  • Consumers are starting to think about travelling again but are still generally weary about what travel will look like and the impact it may have in a post COVID-19 environment.
  • Singapore was a pioneer in its announcing of a nationwide hotel audit scheme branded as the “SG Clean” label, regulating measures like temperature screening intensity at hotel entrances and disinfection frequency rates in common areas and guest rooms.
  • The new normal tourism will definitely be limiting visitors and managing over tourism.
  • Staycations will come back quickly, so drive destinations will come back in action.
  • Business travel will start to return some time in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2020.
  • MICE business is likely to be impacted in the short term, since due to the lockdown, performances of companies will be affected, and they may not invest immediately in MICE trips.
  • VFR and leisure travel will definitely pick up once travel is determined as safe because there will be a pent-up demand for holidaying and meeting their family

As catastrophic as the covid19 outbreak has been, there are some silver linings. The tourism industry is extremely resilient and is excellent and will bounce back from these events. Bounce backs could vary by sector: domestic demand is expected to recover faster than international demand, and leisure travel – especially VFR – should rebound sooner than business travel.

I believe people would like to explore unchartered territories, new countries, unravel hidden gems, and discover diverse cultures for leisure
travel which hopefully we will get over the over-tourism problem.
While this is a difficult time, I’m also seeing it as a chance to hit the reset button and rethink about how we are going to approach some of the problems that we have been dealing with for the past few years.

Share:
Rozina Musthafa

Author: Rozina Musthafa

Being a travel Buff and passion for the written word i have spent all my years in the sphere of travel and tourism.I always had a never-ending love affair with reading and writing about travel . I am an avid reader who is constantly on the hunt for new and upcoming travel news. Writing for travel magazines to travel blogs, I can never get enough to quench my thirst.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *