Co­ro­na­vi­rus' Bru­tal Ons­laught on World Tou­rism


Excelencias Turísticas del caribe y las Américas - - Es­pe­cial / Spe­cial -

The sco­pe and sca­le of the ongoing new co­ro­na­vi­rus pan­de­mic may ha­ve led to initial as­sess­ments that were far mo­re up­beat than they are to­day. Four weeks ha­ve go­ne by sin­ce the alarm was trig­ge­red by Co­vid 19. What 21 days ago see­med to be so­met­hing mo­re con­tro­lled or ma­na­gea­ble, thirty days la­ter has im­po­sed on ever­yo­ne the need to ret­hink the shape of the fu­tu­re.

And that has es­pe­cially hap­pe­ned in the field of tra­vel and tou­rism. Many stu­dies ha­ve al­ready be­gun to co­me out in which ex­perts in va­rious fields of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, so­cio­logy, com­mer­ce, eco­nomy and "in­dustry wit­hout chim­neys" des­cri­be what we should ex­pect in the fu­tu­re, a fu­tu­re that as­su­mes that this will be a lost year and that from 2021 li­fe will change, and pro­bably a lot.

The cu­rrent pa­no­ra­ma of consumptio­n, at a ti­me when the cri­sis is in full swing and the peak in the cur­ve of the grea­test num­ber of ca­ses of co­ro­na­vi­rus is not seen un­til the first week of May, the­re are al­ready sec­tors that are badly woun­ded, such as per­fu­mery, beauty ar­ti­cles, lu­xury clot­hing and foot­wear, and of­fi­ce equipment, the lo­gi­cal con­se­quen­ce of qua­ran­ti­nes, so­cial iso­la­tion and te­le­wor­king.

Which sec­tors ha­ve benefited so far? Pac­ka­ged and fro­zen food, clea­ning pro­ducts, me­di­ci­nes and vi­ta­min sup­ple­ments, and vi­deo ga­mes.


If anyt­hing will co­me out of this cri­sis ge­ne­ra­ted by Co­vid 19 stron­ger than ever before, it is un­doub­tedly the on­li­ne chan­nel. In ad­di­tion to the establishe­d si­tes that to­day ma­ke In­ter­net sa­les, such as Ama­zon, eBay and Ali­ba­ba, many mo­re will pop up and con­so­li­da­te, sin­ce the in­crea­se in de­mand will be grea­ter and grea­ter.

But just as new channels aimed at on­li­ne con­su­mers will emer­ge, the "establishe­d" ones, plus ot­hers that before the start of this cri­sis had al­ready been emer­ging in this com­pe­ti­ti­ve mar­ket, will in­tro­du­ce in­no­va­tions in co­llec­tion and de­li­very ser­vi­ces for pro­ducts of all kinds.

The big vic­tims, by all ac­counts, will be the phy­si­cal sto­res, de­part­ment sto­res, and de­part­ment sto­res, which will be dras­ti­cally re­du­ced in several parts of the pla­net, es­pe­cially in tho­se coun­tries that ha­ve been hit har­dest by the pan­de­mic and which, by coin­ci­den­ce, ha­ve a high cul­tu­re and con­su­mer de­mand.

But even tho­se sto­res that ma­na­ge to sur­vi­ve will su­rely of­fer a new re­la­tions­hip with con­su­mers. The di­gi­ta­li­za­tion of sto­res with ro­bo­tic coun­ters, the in­tro­duc­tion of new forms of pay­ment or the strengt­he­ning of exis­ting ones, as well as the pos­si­ble di­sap­pea­ran­ce of bulk goods, could be so­me of the pro­ba­ble sce­na­rios.

All of the abo­ve would bring about sig­ni­fi­cant changes in mar­ke­ting po­li­cies. We can ex­pect a re­de­fi­ni­tion of com­mu­ni­ca­tion channels, such as so­cial net­works, as well as a trans­for­ma­tion in the work of in­fluen­cers and com­mu­nity groups, in ad­di­tion to im­por­tant va­ria­tions in content plat­forms.

The SEO and SEM of on­li­ne plat­forms will play a mo­re sig­ni­fi­cant ro­le. And it is to be ex­pec­ted, sin­ce the bro­chu­res will "pass" to a bet­ter li­fe, ha­ving a mo­re ac­ti­ve ro­le in the pre­ser­va­tion of the lar­ge fo­rest areas that to­day are cut down to pro­du­ce pa­per. Ins­tead, on­li­ne ca­ta­lo­gues will pro­li­fe­ra­te mo­re than before, and ex­perts pre­dict the crea­tion of con­su­mer and user com­mu­ni­ties around brands and pro­ducts.


It is no se­cret that tou­rism in ge­ne­ral is suf­fe­ring and will con­ti­nue to suf­fer from the Co­vid 19 pan­de­mic, the worst that hu­ma­nity has faced in the last hun­dred years, not even com­pa­ra­ble to the so-ca­lled "Spa­nish fe­ver" that ki­lled tens of thousands of peo­ple in 1918.

Ho­tels, crui­se ships and com­mer­cial avia­tion are the th­ree ele­ments that ha­ve been poun­ded par­ti­cu­larly hard.

The co­ro­na­vi­rus has de­vas­ta­ted the ho­tel in­dustry, for­cing ho­tels to take dras­tic measures to sur­vi­ve. Ma­rriott has said it has suf­fe­red can­ce­lla­tions at un­pre­ce­den­ted le­vels, for­cing the com­pany to lay off thousands of wor­kers. The In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Ho­tels Group (IHG), which owns the Ho­li­day Inn and Crow­ne Pla­za brands, among ot­hers, re­cently sta­ted that "de­mand for rooms is the lo­west it has ever seen.

The sa­me has hap­pe­ned with ship­ping companies and air­li­nes, pla­gued by can­ce­lla­tions and tra­vel sus­pen­sions. But worst of all, ex­perts say, will be the ex­ten­ded re­co­very pe­riod for all of them.

Ac­cor­ding to several stu­dies, such as tho­se ca­rried out by Mo­ni­tor De­loit­te, Coun­ter­point Re­search and the Bos­ton Con­sul­ting Group, af­ter ha­ving reached the bot­tom in the months of April and May, the re­co­very of the­se th­ree sec­tors will be slow and tor­tuous, with in­di­ces still in ne­ga­ti­ve va­lues in the month of De­cem­ber and with the be­gin­ning of the re­bound fo­re­seen for the month of February 2021.

And the beha­vior will not be the sa­me due, in good mea­su­re, to how con­su­mer con­fi­den­ce will re­co­ver. From now un­til ap­pro­xi­ma­tely February 2021, tou­rists will pre­fer the "stay­ca­tion" or va­ca­tion at "home", wit­hout run­ning the risk of making ten-hour trips in a "crow­ded" pla­ne.

Con­se­quently, ho­tel re­ser­va­tions in dis­tant des­ti­na­tions for the main is­suing mar­kets will suf­fer the con­se­quen­ces as long as po­ten­tial tra­ve­lers do not feel the im­pro­ve­ment of the pro­gres­si­ve hy­gie­nic sen­sa­tion, an in­di­ca­tor that -stu­dies as­su­re- will only start to show im­pro­ve­ment in the midd­le of Au­gust this year.

MICE tou­rism, al­so bat­te­red by a flood of sus­pen­sions of fairs and events, may be­gin to re­bound from No­vem­ber, but un­cer­tainty about the ex­tent and con­se­quen­ces of this epi­de­mic world­wi­de leaves that as­sess­ment in doubt.

Fi­nally, it re­mains to be seen how many con­su­mer ha­bits and cus­toms will di­sap­pear or be trans­for­med af­ter Co­vid 19. If this is the ca­se, the in­dustry will ha­ve to set about trans­for­ming and rein­ven­ting it­self and ad­jus­ting to the new ti­mes that will co­me when this "ons­laught" has cea­sed.

In the mean­ti­me, Ca­rib­bean News Di­gi­tal sug­gests that we stay at home and that the so­lu­tion should not be to can­cel trips, but to post­po­ne them for when the ti­me co­mes bet­ter. Let's sa­ve our­sel­ves to­day so we could tra­vel to­mo­rrow.

Fuen­te / Sour­ce: coun­ter­poin­tre­

Fuen­te / Sour­ce: for­ward­

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