Revitalizing the tourism sector post-COVID – Trends and Investment opportunities
The COVID-19 pandemic struck the tourism industry severely across the globe. Destinations which previously suffered from overtourism, found themselves critically affected by the lack of tourist for several months, putting millions of jobs at risk worldwide. As such, the crisis has not only affected the way we live but also the way we travel and can be turned into an opportunity.
Whether it is airlines, cruises, hotels, restaurants or bars, since the outbreak of COVID, safety and social distancing have been absolutely paramount. In a post-COVID-19 world, travelers will be much more cognizant of the need to travel to destinations that make it easy to maintain social distancing practices. This may take the form of itineraries focusing on more remote locations or even the increased popularity of niches such as birding tours and biking tours, where travelers are less likely to come into contact with others. Niches products such as adventure tourism, spiritual tourism or even slow tourism focusing on nomad workers and retirees are becoming very popular and require specific strategies to be successfully implemented.
On the technological aspect, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are other major tourism trends disrupting the industry. Through VR, tourism stakeholders can share an experience with prospective customers showing hotel interiors, restaurant interiors, outdoor tourist attractions and more, all from their home. Augmented Reality smartphone apps can also show tourists information about the area they are exploring. This could be historical details about buildings and landmarks, listings and menus for entertainment venues and local eateries or allow visitors to view artefacts with their original appearance in museums.
This round table will address the following:
- Identifying and strategizing to reach new markets
- Fostering the creation and development of new products given the current trends
- Defining and adopting a plan to promote and support the marketing of new tourism products with the participation of all agents in the sector
- Building linkages with other rural activities
Moderator: Ms. Grandcourt Elcia, Director of the department for Africa (UNWTO)
- Mr. Mouhamed Faouzou DEME, Expert in Tourism, Technical advisor of the Minister of Tourism and Air Transport of Senegal
- Dr. Alfonso Vergara, Founder and President of Fundación Metrópoli
- Mr. Alberto Virella Gomes, Ambassador-at-Large for the Africa Plan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs