In the midst of an unprecedented decade of tourism growth when hoteliers, tourism-related businesses and destinations successfully tackled a number of challenges, industry stakeholders around the world are gearing up to address anticipated new challenges and share active solutions to help steer a course through uncharted waters.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of people, and brought about a huge impact on the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.
Some experts reveal that the industry will recover by Q4 2020 while others say it will recover by early 2021. The only certainty is that the industry will recover but whats worrisome is how long it will take for this.
Industry leaders around the world are sending messages to their employees and the holiday makers in a bid to raise hope.
Rafat Ali CEO and Co-founder of Skift says that there is no V-shaped recovery waiting at the end of this, we don’t even know what the end is or what it will look like. For now, an L-shaped recovery awaits, the luxury of elective travel will have to wait years, maybe decade, to come back in pre-covid form, if at all.
He further added, “A huge number of travel businesses, majority of them small businesses, will be gone. Majority of our livelihoods are stopped, maybe gone. Events are done, for most of this year. Human habits have changed in an instant, business travel will forever be lower than the peak we had.”
In an emotional video message to Marriott International employees, CEO Arne Sorenson characterized the coronavirus crisis as more severe for the hotel chain than the Great Depression and World War 2. He added that the chain’s global business is running about 75 percent lower than normal, hundreds of hotels have closed, and some may never re-open.
Tripadvisor CEO and Co-founder, Steve Kaufer says that they are adapting and to take a fresh look at TripAdvisor’s suite of paid subscription and media products in order to identify how they can ease the financial strain on the most impacted businesses at this time. The group has also introduced take-away or delivery options on its platform in places where people are advised to stay at home.
He concluded the message by saying, “When the time comes, people will dine out and travel again. When they do, Tripadvisor will be there to guide them to your door.”