As the world adjusted to life under travel restrictions and quarantines where people largely stayed home in fear of contracting the virus, the sector came to a near-total standstill. Now industry leaders are focused on breaking through in the face of adversity and setting the industry back on the road to recovery.
Governments around the world must align their policies and work hand in hand with the private sector to revive travel and tourism, so we can restore jobs and help revive the global economy.Matthieu De Clercq
Developed in collaboration with The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), this report explores the impact and implications of COVID-19 on the travel and tourism sector through a data-driven examination of four interlinked trends, putting forward recommendations that will support the sector now and build its resilience into the future. These four intertwined trends include:
- Demand Evolution: The preferences and behaviors of travelers have shifted toward the familiar, predictable, and trusted. Domestic vacations, extensive planning, and the outdoors will reign in the short-term, with tourism businesses and destinations already adapting.
- Health & Hygiene: Health, safety, and trust are paramount in this new era. Personal experiences, the fear of being stuck in another country, and concerns for distancing will guide consumer behavior in the short- to mid-term. Businesses will have to collaborate even more closely with their extended value chains to ensure readiness.
- Innovation & Digitization: COVID-19 is proving to be an unexpected catalyst in the travel and tourism sector’s quest for innovation and the integration of new technologies. Amid stay-at-home orders, digital adoption and consumption are on the rise with consumers now expecting contactless technologies, among others, as a basic prerequisite for a safe and seamless travel experience.
- Sustainability: From widespread unemployment and anti-racism movements to the restoration of natural habitats, the world has been reinvigorated to tackle social, environmental, and institutional sustainability. In particular, heightened public awareness of wildlife markets and poaching has boosted advocacy for wildlife protection.
While there are many challenges as the industry rebuilds, many opportunities to create a stronger, more resilient, and dynamic sector exist.