As We Emerge from Fear, Where Do We Go Next?
At no other time in history have we understood so swiftly and clearly how critical travel and tourism are to the global economy. Factually, we knew that the tourism industry made up more than 10% of the global GDP last year, valued at nearly $9 trillion. But when travel simply stopped we didn’t just see the impact; we felt it reverberating across every aspect of our industry. Here’s what else we now know: As a driver of economic growth and job creation, travel and tourism will be on the front end of recovery as we emerge from a fear-based state and into the next phases of understanding, action and rational behavior. Forging ahead is our best path to recovery, and as we continue to analyze traveler behavior it’s clear that this is becoming a more widely shared sentiment. Psychologically, Americans are becoming increasingly comfortable with pursuing travel-related activities. Even the most negatively impacted activities, such as theme parks, meetings and conventions, and cruising are seeing positive signs. We have learned how to incorporate safety measures such as wearing masks, social distancing and washing our hands into our day-to-day lives, and that is fast becoming a natural part of travel as well. As confidence rises, and with the holidays just around the corner, the desire for attractive travel deals is also on the upswing at last – meaning we are in a pivotal time to start shifting strategies and shaping mindsets in the weeks and months ahead.