The international travel and tourism industry needs a global coordinated approach that will enhance the travel experience, embrace new technologies and enact global health protocols in order to rebuild the confidence of travelers in a post-Covid-19 world, a recent report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) indicates.
Compiled in collaboration with Oliver Wyman, a global management consulting firm, and a number of WTTC members, the report explores the implications of the trends for each of four key travel & tourism stakeholders: travelers, businesses, workforce, and communities.
Notably, it highlights the need for public and private sector to work together to recover the millions of jobs impacted, rebuild traveler confidence, and build the sector’s resilience.
“We strongly believe that by taking a coordinated approach, we can beat COVID-19 and return to safe travels with world class standards of hygiene to travelers and regenerate the jobs and livelihoods of the 330 million people who worked in the sector before COVID-19,” WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara said.
The report stresses that, as we re-imagine the future of travel & tourism and explore policy recommendations, four macro-trends are expected to lead the way through recovery and beyond: demand evolution, health & hygiene, innovation & digitisation, and sustainability.
According to the report, 70 percent of North American leisure travelers say they would book during COVID-19 if changes were free.
Additionally, more than nine out of 10 (92 percent) of consumers trust personal recommendations with regards to health and hygiene, and 69 percent of travellers cite cleanliness as a critical component of a travel brand’s crisis response.
Meanwhile, digitisation has been paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report reveals that it is here to stay with almost half (45 percent) of travellers saying they are ready to move from paper passports to a digital identity.
Furthermore, almost three quarters (73 percent) of consumers state they are taking note of brands that are making a difference during COVID-19, showing that growing attention is being paid to sustainability.
The report offers recommendations on how the travel & tourism sector can ensure a more seamless recovery. These include:
- Border openings and repatriation: A harmonized approach to remove travel restrictions, with standardized contact testing and tracing requirements at departure,
- Define common health and safety standards: The public and private sector should jointly agree on the implementation of health & safety standards,
- Incentivise travel: Introduction of consumer incentives for travel spending, starting with domestic travellers and expanding to regional and international,
- Extend digital infrastructure to rural destinations: Investment in digital infrastructure of emerging destinations and remote areas will be critical,
- Stimulate sustainability practices: Develop and provide incentives to encourage the implementation of sustainability measures within the private sector.