COVID-19 and Travel & Tourism Industry – What Opportunities Await Post-Pandemic?
The world is completely exhausted with the COVID-19 pandemic. The corporate sector has lost enough and now it’s time to redeem. Every sector is fighting its way through the rough patch but one of the severely damaged industries is travel and tourism. A WTTC report reveals that the travel and tourism sector generates 10.4% of the global GDP. Being the key contributor to the world’s GDP, we all can imagine how the entire world has suffered. Apart from the global impact, many economies are dependent on travel and tourism. Ever since the pandemic struck the world, states have been falling apart. Let’s take a look at what future the travel sector holds in the post-pandemic world.
A Glimpse of the Current Situation
Reviving cross-border travel and opening tourist spots is the primary focus of all the countries. For that, vaccine passports have been introduced that allows Covid-free individuals to visit public spaces across borders. However, bad actors are figuring out ways to manipulate these documents to visit their dream vacation place without getting jabbed. Nevertheless, systems like Digital COVID Pass are all set to fail such ill plans, but privacy still remains a concern for many of the nations. Many Americans do not trust the government with their data and are not in favour of getting a vaccine passport. Even if they do, showing it at every public place is not at all their motive.
However, Digital COVID Pass and other alternatives by the government are being taken with primary focus on privacy and security. There is no chance that the data is misused.
Apart from this, an IMF report revealed that numerous tourism-dependent countries have started working on new projects or temporary solutions for revival amid the new normal. For instance, Barbados has introduced a one-year residency permit called “Welcome Stamp” visa that allows remote employees to live and work from the country.
What is the Future of Travel in the Post-Pandemic World?
Although it takes time for the world to recover from a crisis, expert insights reveal that the post-pandemic world will be favourable for the travel and tourism sector. A McKinsey report reveals that it took almost five years for the travel sector to double revenue after the 2008 crisis. Amid the challenges, there is a brighter side of the story that the market leaders have yet to discover.
Opportunities in the Post-Pandemic World
Given all the current circumstances, analysts have pinpointed many positive sides of the situation. Numerous opportunities for organisations in the travel and tourism sector are waiting.
Contactless Passenger Experience
Airlines and hotels try their level best to ensure their customers have a great time. However, moving in the post-pandemic era means everyone has to be touchless. Would this affect customer experience? Yes, it will. The COVID-19 aftermath for the travel and tourism industry also includes contactless passenger experience. None of the passengers or tourists would agree on touching objects, especially for verification purposes.
Through face verification and other identity verification measures, the travel and tourism sector and its customers can follow the SOPs. On the other hand, complying with the regulations would not be a problem. Enhanced customer experience, SOPs and compliance all under one umbrella.
Increased Organisational Resilience
Companies will work on creating more resilient plans and solutions so that they do not have to suffer from any such circumstances in the future. Flexibility in corporate planning is important because there are many forces that influence a firm. Take the pandemic as an example. The unforeseen virus attack locked everybody in their homes for months. Every sector suffered (travel being at the top of the list). Now, all organisations are emphasizing on adopting digital solutions and plans that can be moulded under certain circumstances.
More Data Sharing and Collaboration
Border agencies, airports, etc. can work on bringing more ways in action that can increase collaboration among them. Take a look at some cases of collaboration:
|Consumers in many regions are willing to share data with authorities||Many companies have united to combat the coronavirus pandemic||Competition laws have been relaxed to contain COVID-19|
|Half of the Germans said that they are willing to share data with apps to trace contact with an infected person||Apple and Google (leading technology competitors) have teamed up to track the spread of the virus||The UK has relaxed competition laws for the retail sector so that companies can work together against coronavirus|
Ecotourism will Gain Popularity
Facilitating tourists who wish to experience nature is ecotourism. It makes sure all the visitors have a fantastic view without disturbing or damaging the habitats. After the pandemic, ecotourism will gain more popularity. It will open more opportunities for the industry and gates to employment as well.
Opportunities Redefining the Regulatory Landscape for the Travel Sector
Opportunities come with some challenges as well and currently, the travel and tourism industry has to cope with the changing landscape of ID verification laws. Facial recognition is said to be the most effective method for verifying identities, but certain countries have banned the use of this technology due to many privacy concerns. Moreover, many areas of the world are still in barbarism and find facial recognition bias.
On the other hand, numerous regulatory bodies have amended the KYC/AML laws. The changing landscape of these laws is making it a bit difficult for the corporate world to comply effectively.
In a nutshell, the travel and tourism sector has suffered significant losses due to the pandemic and the aftermath seems scary. However, predictions for the post-pandemic scenario of the industry are not all doom and gloom. Contactless passenger experience, increased organisational resilience, more data sharing cross-border, and ecotourism are some major plus points as per experts. On the contrary, the changing landscape of customer due diligence laws and numerous privacy concerns are making it difficult for this industry to cope with the current circumstances.
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