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Mon, 28 September 2020

WTTC Publishes Report on Recovery of Travel and Tourism Industry

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has published a report that explores the implications of the trends for each of four key travel and tourism stakeholders: travellers, businesses, workforce, and communities.

The report, produced with with Oliver Wyman, emphasises the importance of taking a global coordinated approach to recovery: enhancing the current seamless travel experience, embracing the integration of new technologies and enacting global protocols for health and hygiene to ultimately rebuild the confidence of travellers.

Notably, it highlights the need for public and private sectors to work together to recover the millions of jobs impacted, rebuild traveller confidence, and build the sector’s resilience.

The report stresses that, as we re-imagine the future of travel and tourism and explore policy recommendations, four macro-trends are expected to lead the way through recovery and beyond: demand evolution, health & hygiene, innovation & digitisation, and sustainability.

According to the report, 70% of North American leisure travellers say they would book during COVID19 if changes were free.

Beach in Bali, Indonesia. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Additionally, 92% of consumers trust personal recommendations with regards to health and hygiene, and 69% of travellers cite cleanliness as a critical component of a travel brand’s crisis response, and it is expected that travellers will continue to pay heightened attention to health and hygiene even after there is a COVID19 vaccine.

This signifies a need for destination readiness, as consumers priorities evolve, along with the need to adopt new protocols for health and safety measures to keep up with the demand evolution we are seeing.

Digitisation has been paramount during the COVID19 pandemic. Given the shift to remote working, as well as lockdowns around the world, there has been a rapid shift towards digitization, with people increasingly feeling comfortable with a touchless travel experience. The report reveals that it is here to stay with 45% of travellers saying they are ready to move from paper passports to a digital identity.

From widespread unemployment and anti-racism movements, to the restoration of natural habitats, the world has been reinvigorated to tackle social, environmental, and institutional sustainability. Furthermore, 73% of consumers state they are taking note of brands that are making a difference during COVID19, showing that growing attention is being paid to sustainability.

Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC said, “This comprehensive research paves the road to recovery for the travel and tourism sector. While there is still work to be done, this gives us insight into how we can best approach recovery and offers a vision and hope to the sector. It is crucial that we continue to learn from previous crises and come together in a coordinated way to make a real difference in reducing both the economic and human impact.

“The economic pain and suffering caused to millions of households around the world, who are dependent upon travel and tourism for their livelihoods, is evident.

“We strongly believe that by working as and by taking a coordinated approach, we can beat COVID-19 and return to safe travels with world class standards of hygiene to travellers and regenerate the jobs and livelihoods of the 330 million people who worked in the sector before COVID19.”

Some of the recommendations the report offers, include:

Border Openings and Repatriation: A harmonised approach to remove travel restrictions, with a previous risk assessment in place, as well as standardised contact testing and tracing requirements at departure.

Incentivise Travel: Introduction of consumer incentives for travel spending, starting with domestic travellers and expanding to regional and international as quickly as possible and appropriate.

Domestic and Regional: To capitalise on the initial recovery, governments, tourism boards and organisations should direct their early marketing and promotional efforts to incentivise domestic and regional travel. Importantly, they should also prepare and provide early marketing and promotional incentives to stimulate the earliest possible regrowth and recovery of internal travel and tourism.

Extend Digital Infrastructure to Rural Destinations: Investment in digital infrastructure of emerging destinations and remote areas will be critical, as well as enhancing digital skills within local communitie

Digital Id: Accelerating the adoption of digital identities and solutions will be key to maximise accuracy for health and safety protections, while reducing bias in border control and expediting the movement of passengers.

According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, travel and tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million in total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.

Download the 19.8 MB report in .pdf format here.

See latest Travel News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, WTTC, Travel, Tourism.

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