We've all wondered what the "Future of Travel" may soon look like, with different visitor/traveller/tourist/guest expectations and obligations to consider. Will this also translate into drastic work changes for the millions of individuals globally constituting the Travel Sector workforce? Here is what a panel of experts have to say:
Jared Alster, Chief Strategy Officer & Co-founder @Wildebeest
Jonathan Elkoubi, Founder @USTravelTourismActivities Recovery Registry
Catherine Prather, President @NationalTourAssociation
Greg Takehara, CEO @TourismCares
Ged Brown, Founder & CEO @LowSeasonTraveller
Tourism is one of the most self-assured industries in the world having gone through many dramatic events such as wars, uprisings, terrorist attacks, natural disasters and epidemics.
The next 6 to 12 months are expected to be just as uncertain as the current situation which is why the industry must collaborate and come together from all angles; from private to public, leisure and MICE. Stronger Together is not just a hashtag.
Creativity and flexibility will be essential to work a way out of the current crisis. Many destinations will miss out on their key summer months and will have to find new ways to make up for lost time and revenue.
Personal reevaluation is key to get ready for the New Normal. There is a huge amount of transferable skills in the tourism industry and now is the perfect time for CPD. Besides, rebuilding tourism is not just about what we know it is also about who we know. With this in mind, connecting or reconnecting with people is key.
From now on, things will have to be done differently and better than before so that the future of travel does not get dictated by the market. It is up to the industry itself to try and control the narrative – even if this means breaking some of the rules currently in place.
To rebuild post COVID-19, the industry will need specialist advice. Companies should not hesitate to outsource specialist services and hire agencies who are experts in their field.
One of the best outcomes for the industry would be for sustainability to become a reality for all destinations rather than just a trend. COVID-19 has resulted in a better understanding of environmental issues and the importance of communities.
Seasonality has been affecting the industry for years but COVID-19 is seeing the emergence of a flatter curve. This is a tremendous opportunity for the industry as it can generate traffic and revenue year around. Many destinations are starting to realise that they have enough to offer to attract visitors throughout the year and that they need to be more vocal about it.
Things have never got this bad for the travel industry. The flip side is that it can only get better. 2020 is year zero for travel & tourism and more than ever before now is the time to follow up on ideas small or big. At this stage, there is very little to lose and everything to gain.
COVID-19 has levelled the playing field for all stakeholders in the industry. Small independent players and big corporations are faced with the same challenges but also the same opportunities going forward.
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