OPPORTUNITIES FOR TOURISM BUSINESSES? ECO AND COMMUNITY TOURISM

Laura Loss - May 25, 2020
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Tourism and entertainment, two industries with a lot in common even amid the pandemic, have suffered together since the beginning of the outbreak and, coincidentally, will be the last to recover.

Bars and clubs, for example, were among the first to close, and they will also be the last to open because physical contact and being able to gather are essential for these businesses.

While industries such as restaurants have continued to offer services through delivery, the hotel sector is completely at a standstill. Rooms remain closed, and the situation makes investors uneasy. Many saw an opportunity during the peak of the pandemic to turn their hotels into hospitals and shelters, that is, adapting them to treat patients, but what about after the pandemic? What are the opportunities for tourism?

At first, the gradual opening will have a very strong impact: there will be a total or almost complete absence of international travelers. Until December and a good part of 2021, travel and tourism will be mostly domestic in many countries, which will have an effect in terms of services, rates and experiences for everyone working in the industry.

The paradox here is that while big players will be facing many challenges, the situation can represent an opportunity for the small ones.

Since airlines will struggle to work with low demand, financial viability will work against destinations that require air travel. On the other hand, destinations that can be reached by land transport, with distances between 3 and 8 hours travel time, will be more attractive due to costs and biosecurity since families will travel in the safety of their vehicles, and will want to stay in rarely visited hotels.

This will open opportunities for tourism of the eco sector and community tourism to create experiences where learning about rural life and other activities become the center of attraction without any crowds.

In this new scenario, those that win will be the ones who can assure sterile spaces, low density and varied entertainment. The issue will be to see who will bear that cost, but in a middle ground context, this would be a shared responsibility between businessmen and tourists.

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