Sustainability, new technologies and inclusive services are key priorities for policymakers and tourism stakeholders in the post-Covid-19 era, found a report released this week by Alpha Bank, which maps out actions required by the tourism industry to meet emerging customer demands.
Looking to the future, the “Greek Tourism Industry Reloaded” report underlines the need for the tourism sector to implement green policies, incorporate new technologies and create products and infrastructure that cater to the needs of older travelers and all these actions must be reflected in tourism and government policies.
According to Alpha Bank analysts, the world and consequently the tourism sector are entering a new post-pandemic era. The population is ageing, climate change is here, younger generations are more informed and aware, and overall consumer patterns are changing – all must be taken into account to create policies that will reflect the needs of the future.
The report adds that the pandemic will continue to impact the sector creating at the same time both threats and opportunities, key among these helping shift traveler preferences towards going green, learning something new, volunteering, living an adventure, or nomadic sabbaticals, among others, that will in turn prompt the tourism and travel industry to adapt and transform.
More specifically, the megatrends that generate both chances for the sector’s development and risks that must be addressed are:
- policy-related focusing on sustainability and the green transition and on the promotion of accessible tourism
- technological – centered on the digital transformation and the expansion of remote work options
- changes in behaviors which means incorporating pandemic lessons into the final product – social distancing, the importance of health measures, accessible tourism, the need of people to take time off work or a sabbatical
- demographic changes prompted by an ageing population that paves the way for the development of a whole new tourism segment.
The Alpha Bank report goes on to add that these megatrends are set to be reflected in customer preferences as travelers:
- become more ‘green’ oriented
- opt for local destinations and small-scale tourism activities
- use technology in all aspects of their life, as well as during their holidays
- seek new adventures, wish to combine work and holidays, demand accessible infrastructure at tourist destinations.
In turn, businesses active in tourism will be required to adapt in order to remain viable or gain comparative advantages. This should include:
- changing their business model based on revised behavioral patterns
- enhancing safety and cleaning protocols
- investing in green and accessible infrastructure
- developing alternative forms of tourism.
“Even before the pandemic crisis, the need to address important social, economic, and environmental issues was widely recognized. In the post-pandemic era, these concerns are timelier than ever, given the economic turbulence that it has caused,” said Alpha Bank in the report.