“Tourism will never be the same again”: the future of the travel industry under the experts’ eyes. While they warn that travel companies face an uncertain future due to the pandemic’s losses, they are confident that travel will recover because the market “is resilient.”
MEXICO (REUTERS) – According to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WWTC), 10.4% of the funds that are mobilized globally belong to the travel market. It absorbs 319 million jobs in the world. Meanwhile, in Argentina, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism, it involves USD 5.4 billion annually in exports, entails $165 billion in the domestic market, and employs 1.1 million people.
The Latin American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conferences (Sahic) assures in its reports that the present one is the most severe fall registered in the last half-century. This is crucial in the reactivation of the critical global situation experienced in economic terms.
While some scenarios where the pandemic emerged first are activated, tourism is in a stage of an urgent need to resume previous schemes because it depends on the industry itself and the survival that an intertwined world supposedly for all.
After some time with the whole travel industry in suspense and -although slowly restarting- with no concrete horizon of how and when tourism will return to normal, a certainty appears: it will not be the same world after this pandemic. And in this, Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, agrees. For him, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, “tourism will never be the same again. It’s the end of tourism as we know it,” he said during an interview with Deirdre Bosa on the U.S. news channel CNBC.
“I don’t want to say that travel is over, but that the model we knew is dead, and it’s not coming back,” she said. She stressed that people “don’t want to get on a plane or travel for business, or cross borders. We’re going to get in our cars, drive a few miles to a small community, and stay in a house. For now, we’re staying home. But we will travel again. And when we do, we will do so more consciously, more sustainably, and with a greater sense of solidarity than ever. As we come out of this lethargy, we will look forward to health-enhancing experiences, restorative dives in nature, uplifting exercises in the outdoors, and safe escapes to spend quality time with those closest and dearest to us. We will have to make the transition to venture back into the full world at a new and slower pace. But at first, we may not want to go so far away from home, minimizing the amount of time we spend in airports or planes.
For Bryan Dove, CEO of Skyscanner, the new coronavirus has changed our lives in a short time. “We expect the next few weeks to be even more difficult, but I think there’s a cause for hope and optimism about what’s on the other side. We will explore the world again. And when we do, we will treasure the memories and the shared experiences more than ever,” he said.
For Chesky, there will be a “redistribution of destinations where people travel… instead of just a few cities, to thousands of local communities”. Chesky warned that while the trips will come back, “it will take longer than we thought” and “it will be different. For him, there will be a “redistribution of destinations where people travel… instead of just a few cities, to thousands of local communities”.
The specialist also revealed how deeply the pandemic affected his business: “we spent 12 years building and lost almost everything in four to six weeks. However, he was optimistic about the market. “It’s resilient” he explained, noting that “Airbnb has more hosts now than before the start of the COVID-19″ crisis and had the same volume of reserves in the U.S. in May and early June as the previous year “without any marketing.
“The resumption will surely start with domestic travel. They are the best bet for travel later this year since there is no way to predict when other countries’ borders will be opened. Domestic trips require shorter routes, generally cheaper, and don’t require as much planning,” said Luísa Dalcin, travel expert for the metasearch engine for flight and hotel offers, Viajala.
On international travel, the company surveyed its users in Argentina, and almost half of them said they “have no idea when they will travel again. There are many side effects of the coronavirus besides health concerns,” he continued, “and financial problems are the most important among travelers.”
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