Gary Bowerman was invited to write a guest column for Skift to mark the anniversary of the WHO declaring a pandemic on 11 March 2021.
The global travel industry portal adapted Issue 31 of Asia Travel Re:Set – The Pandemic 12 Months On: 10 Shared Learnings for Travel & Tourism – for the guest column.
Gary’s article featured in Skift’s Viewpoint series, which “invites thought leaders and independent voices to identify and shape what global trends and through lines will define the future of travel.”
One year ago, on 11 March, something happened that changed the face of travel as we know it. In the spirit of looking back and pressing ahead, Gary analysed 10 Shared Learnings for Travel & Tourism from 12 dark months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Pandemic” is a scary word, made more sinister by the fact that we only previously encountered its impact by watching disaster movies. Governments and corporates that read the pre-Covid-19 real-life risk reports placed them back in a drawer. The travel sector paid no attention to the potential destruction that a pandemic would inflict.”
- No-one was Prepared
- Vaccines AREN’T the Only Tool in the Recovery Box
- Island Destinations are in the Hot Seat
- The Quest for “Comeback Markets” Will Get Very Competitive
- Governments and Tourism Boards Must Not Ditch Domestic Travel
“Governments, which for the last year kept most borders closed on the premise that it is unsafe to unlock them until vaccines are administered, find it difficult to shift their overall stance on testing. It was far easier to lock down nations than it is proving to reopen them.”
- Everyone is Rethinking the “Meaning of Travel”
- Economic Realism WILL Apply
- Ancillary Costs of Travel Are Changing
- Journeys Will be Made in an Increasingly Contact-Free World
- The Environmental Crisis is Next
“People have had a year to consider the perilous state of the planet, and they’re unimpressed. As borders reopen, sustainable, responsible, and regenerative travel will need to be reimagined, because the tourism sector is about to be in the eco-cross hairs.”