BANGKOK, 17 April 2020: Whoever said Covid-19 would not change the world were wrong.
There have been so many changes in the past three months our industry is still reeling as all marketing and business plans went out the window as the whole world applied the brakes and came to a complete standstill.
So when the wheels finally start turning again, what are we likely to see?
Here are my 12 predictions for the travel and tourism industry based on my experience in Asia. However, we are a global industry, and I believe they are equally relevant to other regions and have global ramifications.
Looking forward post-Covid-19
- Covid-19 will dissipate becoming less deadly but will not disappear.
- Rebounds are a very real danger, and countries such as New Zealand and Australia are already discussing keeping borders closed for 12 months to avoid any rebound. Stopping both inbound and outbound visits. They will not be alone – other countries will restrict access also.
- Domestic tourism is set to explode.
- Family travel will also boom. The decision-makers – will be the kids! Gear activities and menus around the decision-makers.
- Activity and experiential vacations will be key.
- Hotels will take firmer control of room inventory, having the best available rates only on their websites for direct bookings and their own social media platforms.
- OTA’s will finally lose their stranglehold on hotel bookings and their huge 25% commissions.
- Travel Agents regrettably will see even further business declines in their business volumes post Covid-19. Potential travellers will continue to D-I-Y digitally as they are becoming increasingly computer proficient and savvy surfers.
- Green travel and care of the environment will see record volume growth as the travelling public now ‘get-it’ after the effects of a virus that stopped the world in its tracks.
- Business travel and daily commuting will decline as we embrace work-at-home. It works! We will see, in city locations, corporate business shrink to four days, three nights) during the week and leisure related business increase to three days, two nights.
- Video conferencing and webinars will increase, but face-to-face meetings and conferences along with trade shows and congresses will survive. We are human and social in nature.
- As domestic and family travel grows, five-star hotel occupancies will decline. Mid-range hotels will see the fastest growth.
(Source: Andrew J Wood)