2020 was a devastating year for tourism. Canceled trips dominated the landscape, and many tourist locations worldwide had to close down. But nothing lasts forever, and the world is starting to show signs of recovery. This means that the tourism industry needs to bounce back, too. However, after the massive blow of last year, it is not going to be easy. Here’s a quick look at the strategies the tourism sector is looking at to boost its chances of recovery.
Promoting Domestic Tourism
The primary method that a lot of countries are taking is to boost their domestic tourism numbers. A lot of pre-COVID tourism was driven by international tourists, thanks to the global travel network that allowed for smooth movement all over the world. However, the post-COVID world is going to be much different, with a lot of air travel being heavily restricted. Many countries are turning to their domestic populations so that they can recover. Promoting domestic tourism, especially when done with the help of a good marketing strategist, can be a great way to boost tourism. Programs like exclusive discounts and packages are a great way to encourage local people to start traveling again. The problem is that it still faces the challenges of local lockdowns and the fact that a lot of these locations are geared towards the international tourist.
Implementing Travel Bubbles
While domestic tourism is great, the real driver of the tourism industry is the international market. But even with recovery ongoing, the world is still very careful about travel and the possibility of a COVID resurgence. This is where travel bubbles come in. These are exclusive travel lanes that limit travel to a certain area. The first one was the China-Korea travel bubble that was launched back in May 2020. It was mainly limited to business travelers that received invitations from the other country. But this approach can allow for greater international travel and works great if one country is the source of most of the other’s tourists. The current aim is to have regional bubbles that will allow for greater travel and the return of tourism. But this is still pretty fragile.
Financial Support From The Government
In the short term, a lot of governments are using resources to support their local tourism industry. Financial handouts are the usual vehicle for this. There are several ways that countries have bailed out tourist destinations and the industry. Basic loans and grants are just one way while payment deferrals and freezes of the various taxes ensure that the expenses that these locations have don’t completely drain them.
These locations mustn’t close permanently. If they do, then when the tourism industry finally opens up again, a lot of locations would not be there. This would make recovery a lot more difficult. Government support ensures that all destinations will be ready for when the tourists come back.
Besides keeping the tourism sector afloat, a lot of governments are looking at the industry and are thinking of changes to it so that it can become more resilient and sustainable. The lack of tourists provides them with the opportunity to completely change everything. For example, some countries are moving towards making a more digital experience. Korea is pushing forward with smart and personalized travel using apps that help guide tourists. Additionally, they are pushing for non-contact tourism. This new approach emphasizes avoiding large crowds and the focus on large outdoor attractions so that everyone has a sufficient amount of space. Indoor areas are now out of favor as the tourism sector favors the outdoors so that tourists can be as healthy as possible.
Don’t Forget The Pandemic
The pandemic is still at the top of concerns for many people. It will be making a lot of tourists wary of traveling. As a way to revive the tourist industry, an increased focus on health and safety is being pushed. Implementing new health protocols can be a big help in reassuring everyone that they can safely travel, as long as they are careful. Requirements for mask-wearing and easy access to sanitizers are going to be normal. With a vaccine soon to be out, tourists can expect the requirement of a vaccine shot before they are allowed to travel.
Tourism is an essential part of any economy. It employs thousands of people all over the world and earns billions of dollars every year. Recovery for the industry will ensure that the economy will get back into good condition again. Everyone who loves to travel should show their support to the industry getting back on its feet.