September 30, 2020

To Recovery & Beyond: The Future of Travel & Tourism in the Wake of COVID-19

The world has and continues to suffer sizeable losses and setbacks due to COVID-19. Not least among those setbacks is the shock to the Travel & Tourism sector. As 90% of the global population adjusted to life under travel restrictions and others stayed home in fear of the virus itself, the sector came to a near-total standstill. Yet, Travel & Tourism leaders have remained strong and steadfast in the face of adversity.

This important report published in collaboration with Oliver Wyman explores the impact and implications of COVID-19 on the Travel & 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 are:

  • Demand Evolution: Traveller preferences and behaviours 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 behaviour in the short- to mid-term. Businesses will have to collaborate even more closely with their extended value chains to ensure readiness.

  • Innovation & Digitisation: COVID-19 is proving to be an unexpected catalyst in the Travel & 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.


Key statistics:

Key statistics

While the road ahead may appear uncertain; we anticipate that the challenges along the way, can and will be converted into opportunities by the Travel & Tourism sector. The sector will pivot, stretch, and adapt and ultimately return stronger.

Copyright 2020 World Travel & Tourism Council. All rights reserved. From https://wttc.org.

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