The COVID pandemic has created a significant impact on every business sector. However, the tourism sector was greatly affected due to the travel ban and social distance maintenance. The sector was on the road to success by increasing its revenue generation every year. The size of the industry grows from 880 million in 2009 to 1.5 billion in 2019.
The COVID put a full stop to all the activities of the tourism sector. From flight operations to local tourism, every department suffers. See the following illustration depicting the impact of a pandemic on the tourism industry.
According to United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), global initiatives are being taken to reduce the impact of a pandemic on the sector. However, safety precautions and additional protective equipment are creating hurdle in cost-profit equilibrium.
Let’s discuss some more difficulties faced by the travel industry during the pandemic.
Analysis of Lockdown Impact
The financial and psychological analysis of pandemic in the tourism industry is difficult to estimate. As the horizon of the impact is broaden enough, affecting every sector. See the following statistics of pandemic impact presented by the Tourism Economics;
- Travel spending faces a decline of 42% from the previous year.
- International leisure travel decreases by 76%, and international business travel face a decline of 70%.
- The airline industry faces progress in the last quarter of the year. However, the safety precautions and social distancing in the airplane reduces the profitability margin.
- Although the travel spending increases by $17 billion this year but remains negative in contrary to the previous year.
Airlines Near to Crash
The global airline industry is the sector that faces a $252 billion loss due to the air restrictions and travel ban on many countries. The industry is currently facing a decline of 44% in-flight operations and forces to provide cheap flights to limited users. See the following image reflecting the impact on the airline industry.
Though, the industry was already on the edge of disaster. The giant players like United Airlines and Delta were left with cash of two months in hand to meet their expenses prior to COVID. When the countries start shutting down the border, the expected impact was intensified three times.
Road Travel Reduces Drastically
Along with the bigger picture of the tourism sector, the local tourism that includes local road travellers was also affected significantly. States like; Texas, California, Nevada, Hawaii are dependent upon local tourism, which also diminishes in a pandemic.
Although road travelling was increased a bit during summer, the obligation of getting vaccinated and the failing health care system of many states curtail it. It is expected that this road travel decline will rise in the winter holidays. However, the mass economic loss and layoff from jobs are also the contributing factors restricting road travellers across the region.
The decline in Hotel Occupancy
The occupancy rates of the hotels were affectedly differently. Not all the hotels were severely affected by the pandemic. The larger five start hotels that tend to hold conventions were derailed. Moreover, resorts at exotic natural locations and hotels in metropolitan cities based on international travellers were also impacted.
Furthermore, the lodging sectors of the hospitality management were completely shut down during the pandemic, contributing to the suffocation of hotels even more. The changes in Federal Tax Law are a savior for many hotels by reducing the burden of the tax.
Travel Industry’s Sentiment
The travel and tourism sector is majorly based on the psychology and sentiment of the individuals. It is not an activity; it is considered a sentiment and feeling by the majority of the associated individuals. The travellers’ sentiment is getting negative with time. Numerous travellers perceive pandemic as a serious health concern that restricts them from travelling in the near future.
However, there is a larger segment of the people willing to travel in these conditions. These are the people holding more positive sentiment towards travelling and consider it is relaxing in these conditions. The availability and effectiveness of vaccine also contribute in increasing the attraction towards tourism. The positive sentiment and feeling of being secure due to the vaccination is the major element for the increase in local tourism.
Almost half of the travellers are willing to travel inside their country and enjoy the beautiful scenes of their motherland. This is a positive sign for the local travellers.
Destruction of Local Tourism
The local tourism industry was equally affected by international tourism. Despite the state borders being open for travelling, there was a negligible amount of local tourism. The main reason for this is the scared population segment.
Access to mainstream and social media is providing excessive knowledge and information to the people quarantined in their homes. This excessive knowledge also sparks the propaganda and rumors spreading across the locals, increasing their resistance to travelling.
Furthermore, the governmental restrictions and obligations of adopting safety precautions are also impacting the local travel and tourism industry.
Touch-less is Here to Stay
The world is adopting a new normal inclusive of social distancing and contactless relations. But in this new normal, the profitability margin of the travel and tourism industry is severely decreased. Transportation hubs like; airports and railway stations are transforming their processes into contactless. Though it decreases the profitability margin, it is necessary for the industry to evolve from the crises.
Return of Business
The return of the tourism business is still difficult, as the majority of the global population is not willing to socialize in large gatherings and close spaces. The large sporting events or concerts are still receiving a big no from the tourists. Along with this, indoor dining and party are also not appreciated by a larger segment.
However, this perception is different as per the demographics. Young Americans are more interested in getting back to normal with or without a mask. The return of business requires the adoption of new normal like the usage of thesis writing services UK instead of visiting the library. For instance, United Arab Emirates are the first region to open for international tourism with the new normal.
The seating arrangements of airlines are as per the social distancing, and it is also maintained at tourist destinations. Moreover, open-air spaces and natural places are more promoted for tourism.
From this, it can be predicted that with the safety precautions, the tourism industry can get a revival. Though it will require additional investments, it is the only way to survive in these conditions.
Travelling in COVID-19
The first victim of the pandemic was the tourism industry. It was directly and fore mostly affected by the restrictions of COVID. The air travel which is considered as the main transportation of international travelling was ban at first.
Many local and international airports are still closed for tourists across the globe. The flight operation closure was the first restriction for the individual willing to travel.
Moreover, the ban on hotel gatherings and indoor events also contributes to suffocating the finances of the industry. According to the latest updates, the only way of returning towards the normal functionality is by adapting to the new normal, that is, the safety precautions.
Amanda Jerelyn is currently working as a blogger at Crowd Writer, the organization famous for providing dissertation writing services across the region. She is an expert analyst and a dedicated foreign policy expert. Her dedication and passion are of writing are visible from her blogs.