Tourism after COVID-19

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Locked inside, listening to Justin Bieber and Ariana Grandes “Stuck with u” on repeat in pajamas, I guess that’s how all of us feel at the moment. The pandemic was something that snuck up on us out of the blue, and before we even knew about it, we were all under lockdown. Marooned from our favorite travel spots, and vacation sights, we are all pretty heart broken. I know a lot of us thought this was the year we would go out camping, or travel in the summers, but oh God what a bummer. The summers are upon us and all we can do is sip our chilled drinks behind windows. We are all glued to our screens, so am I, I know. All we can do is imagine and fantasize about what we will do with ourselves after this end. The United Nations World Tourism organization recently stated that International tourism would shrink by 80%, pretty inevitable.

Oh wait, I came across more bad news, about a 100 million people would also lose their jobs. Being inside it’s hard to keep our hopes up. Motivation has been very dim but fear not I come bearing good news too. When a door closes a lot more doors open right? As humans we are the superior rare, always motivated and willing to come up with alternatives. We always rise, together, above anything that hits us. It’s expected that the situation will go back to normal soon after the vaccine arrives in the market.

Our hopes are high, and we are extremely motivated to return to these sights as soon as this all ends. All we have to do is take a deep breath and keep ourselves safe. The bright side is that many of these tourism sights have gone digital. Vibrant photos of their sights, extremely scenic backgrounds, and eye catching titles have been successful in providing a temporary solution. I was up till 2 in the morning yesterday, awing at photos of Swat and Kalam.

Going Digital and Digital Marketing

Amazingly enough all of this brought forward just one conclusion; digital marketing is our new best friend! Pretty much globalization and the Internet has tied the world together physically. Travel, online shopping, communications are all physical interactions. What most of us forget is that we are also tied virtually through digital platforms. With all of us stuck inside Internet usage has skyrocketed. With that, so has digital marketing.

For those of you who live under a rock, it’s my duty as a motivational speaker to tell you, digital marketing is when entrepreneurs use digital platforms to promote their businesses online. For instance, a small scale home-based entrepreneur decides to sell handmade crafts, before the pandemic, they would have earned sufficient, their targets were tourists. Now things have taken a total opposite turn. There’s no tourist, and it’s even a huge risk to sit at one’s store.

So, rather than starving and facing losses, entrepreneurs turn to digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Polyvore, Linkedin, Twitter, or even make their own websites to display their products. This way they can attract the people of interest even by working from home. Its safer for their buyers too. Just a small amount paid as deliveries and your desired product is at your door. I know in our country, many of these entrepreneurs are not very into digital marketing, due to unavailability of Internet or illiteracy or complete mistrust of the online world. But the pandemic has made it imperative that these entrepreneurs start their online presence. Its not just a need but a necessity. Or as I like to say, “an entrepreneur joining the web, is the first step!”.

This pandemic is a watershed in history. Some events changed the globe entirely, and this massive spread of the virus has unfortunately become one of them. This is the time when the Internet becomes a part of our lives forever. Physically, marketing door to door or the old methods of marketing simply do not apply in this situation.  Again, it’s now or never. It’s a huge leap but its mandatory.

Many have taken to the task and have created their online websites. Acclimatizing is very important, pretty sure that’s the only way to cope. Fear not, there’s always a solution to a problem. Humans are the superior race after all.

Tourism after COVID-19

Palma today, Barcelona tomorrow, Marseilles the day after tomorrow — and all this without the hassle once the pandemic is over. Use your digital marketing skills, go on to your social media pages and start making plans about how to explore the world’s metropolises on land, enjoy a cocktail at their favorite café’s in the evening and then always fall into the same bed.

I know it’s going to take a few months before we all get to enjoy summers properly, there’s hope. Travel is going to spring back up very soon. Some standards of procedure are going to be mandatory, but that’s the least we can do. I remember traveling and people would come and sanitize their seats and the window near them, I chuckled on the inside. I know we have all been there and done that. But surprise, they were actually pretty smart. No more making fun of people who sanitize their seats on airplanes. A lot of resorts and hotels are considering some very innovative measures to overcome the problem. Tourism cannot stay halted forever, it’s as much essential as trade is and markets are.

After all of this is over, air travel agencies are going to lower their fares. Cruise tickets will also see a great decline in prices. This would be a step to attract new travelers. Agencies have been considering reshaping their policies and they plan on introducing new means of transportation that are better adapted to the upcoming health concerns. Newer models are expected to be very innovative, saving one’s customers life is a huge motivation for these agencies. Also, the air travel agencies will introduce a more flexible booking system. This all seems kind of nice.

The evolved human race will be more germophobic and well adjusted in keeping them germ safe. Thus, cleanliness will be observed more. Digital marketing of hygiene products will make cleanliness business easy to expand, meanwhile it will boost the profitability of these businesses set up by entrepreneurs. There will also be a huge shift in preferences. People will turn more towards proper hotels rather than vacation rentals. Hotels that guarantee a safer and cleaner environment will see great booms in profits. Hotels might also introduce more spacious rooms, with less individual limits. Renting out every second hotel room rather than every hotel room will also be considered. Well, that sounds interesting, more room for privacy, right?

Before corona had hit, travel spots were facing “over tourism”, and the environment was also taking a major toll. Over tourism will be curbed. Limited number of tourists, enjoying the scenes, living their best lives after this nightmare is over is a dream I’m literally counting on. Plus, who knows, people will not head towards the mainstream spots anymore. There would also be some new spots that will be considered worth traveling. Honestly, I really can’t wait!

Iceland Welcomes Tourists!

The Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir, announced recently that they were going to welcome tourists once again. The plan on welcoming tourists from June 15. This is a start, they do not mean international travel (obviously), but limited tourism is expected to begin very soon. Individuals from the Schengen Area are to be allowed initially, but soon it will extend to Faroe Island and Greenland.

Hilton reopens in China

The Hilton hotels of mainland China have also opened after quarantine. This entrepreneurial chain had to halt its business for a few months. They had a total of 225 hotels out of which 150 had been temporarily closed down due to the virus. China has claimed to have gotten over the deadly pandemic and plans on resuming its activities. They have assured complete safety and peace for their visitors. China has allowed domestic travel, which is a very hopeful step for all of us. If China can do it, then so can the world.

Travel Bubbles by Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand know that halting tourism altogether is going to very stressful. They have thus come forward with travel corridors between the two countries. These travel corridors are what they refer to as Travel bubbles. These are soon to be open. This step is to uplift small tourism based entrepreneurs, but they are being encouraged to pursue digital marketing at the moment.

Thailand and Vietnam Corridor

The two states have decided to maintain a tight knit travel corridor among themselves. Pacific Asian Travel Association has announced this step. This is obviously for the time being, as ban on tourism will put strain on entrepreneurs. Indonesia depends highly on tourism and they plan on curbing this problem as soon as possible. The step will only be regional first and will slowly advance internationally just as it had been operating before.

Issuance of Immunity Passports

Many states have been considering issuing immunity passports. It was after 9/11 that USA started considering passport checking as a need. Those were primarily for security purposes but now there’s a need for them to be in health safety realm. This will need rapid and accurate testing procedures that will make sure that the passenger is immune and is not a carrier of the disease. It relies on the assumption that an individual is immune after recovering from the virus. The passports will have a QR code that will change colors with the individual’s health status, and it will be mandatory to show one’s passport at a restaurant and an airport. 

There is little evidence that COVID-19 does not affect an individual twice. But again, if a vaccine has been produced, and the individual becomes immune, immunity passports can become the next plausible option for tourists and states alike. States are extremely motivated to decrease the burdens on their public and to save as many jobs as they can.  Governments are aware that lockdowns are hard on entrepreneurs and their businesses, even if digital marketing is pursued.  In tourism, digital marketing can only attract tourists. Thus, opening up the lockdown gradually is the policy that many states are looking to pursue.

“Staycations” The New Trend

After coronavirus, many people will rely on staycations. They will stay within their state and prefer to go on vacations through cars and their own vehicles of transport. There are many sites domestically that are worth visiting. In Pakistan especially, the Northern areas as always are a main attraction. I can see a booming business of caravans in Pakistan in near future. Oh, I’d love to own one. Seriously. What’s a caravan? Didn’t you see Shahrukh Khan’s movie Swades?

Travel Sites Worth Visiting After this is all Over

As soon as traveling opens, I know we all are going to grab our sunscreens and run. I know being cooped up has had us all frustrated and sad, but those days are going to be over very soon. Many destinations are going to soon seek many tourists. For instance:

Santorini

Santorini is the first on many people’s bucket list. Who doesn’t like Greece and its beautiful sunsets and the amazing infinity pools? Just a day ago Santorini has been the first one to introduce plexiglass screens on the beach. These glass screens will surround two sunbeds and are going to be a total of four feet’s apart. They know that health is a major priority and the motivation behind this idea is prioritizing health & safety.

Bermuda

The beautiful island of Bermuda is only a two hour flight from New York is a major attraction site. The locals are extremely friendly and welcoming. They plan on talking tourists as soon as the pandemic is under control.

Sicily

The government of Italy have been looking forward to opening up their sites as to increase tourism. Many of the entrepreneurs in Italy rely on Tourists and its important that the government considers their livelihood. Italy recently eased its lockdown and plans on easing it further. Thus, Sicily is going to be a major attraction. I’d like to relive Al Pachino’s Godfather scenes.

Jamaica

Jamaica seems very optimistic and plans on opening its travel sights very soon. The Jamaican tourist minister has expressed a great deal of insurance that Jamaica will soon welcome tourists from all across the world.

Domestic Travel

Domestic travel is going to be in fashion very soon. This is going to boost domestic trade and economy to many folds. Pakistan in this state of crisis will benefit from it. Small entrepreneurs will earn profits and thus the middle class will benefit. I think that this is a high time to motivate our people this way. They have been working very hard through out these years and they deserve a chance to be recognized. If this motivational boost is given to them, they might get enthused enough to take greater leaps towards their development. They are our people and it is our duty to give them a ray of hope and motivation in these dark times. They have tried digital marketing but that’s just the beginning, they need our support.

Clean and Green Countries

The tourism industry will have to make special amendments in terms of cleanliness, prices, and flexibility. Even still, certain countries in the world will do better than others, for example, Scotland. The country is clean, green, and low-key in terms of crowds. All of these are just what tourists are going to be looking for: entertainment and safety. Another country that will be a massive tourist attraction once this coronavirus ends, is Brazil. Specifically, Rio De Janeiro. It is home to beautiful beaches, massive mountains, and energetic culture.

Next on the list is California. The Big Sur is a famous highway that is known for its scenic driving experience. Tourists will prefer such a place because they can catch fresh air, and stay away from crowds.

Most importantly, I want you to know that due to lesser pollution, since we humans, the pollution creators are observing a lockdown, a positive point for travelers is that NATURE IS HEALING ITSELF, CLIMATE IS GETTING BETTER EVERY DAY, GREENARY IS GETTING GREENER EVERYDAY.

 

We are going to enjoy a lot more after the pandemic is over.

Building Hope

On the whole, the pandemic is not just my problem or yours; it’s the entire globe’s problem. As humans we must form a tight bond of love and motivation so that we stay connected. We need to keep in focus that small entrepreneurs are the ones facing the most troubles these days and we must always consider their hardships. We are the only ones who can stimulate them fully. They are our people and we are here for them.

Sending you lots of prayers and love.

Please stay inside for now. I know it’s going to be very rewarding in the end, once this all clears up. It would be very nice if we tackle this completely and listen to what our governments have planned out.

Its important that we cooperate.

We never know what the future holds; we didn’t even anticipate a global pandemic of this massive scale. But we have curbed it. We are going to overcome this very soon. For that its important to stay motivated.

Eat, Pray, love and most importantly, stay safe.

 

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Imtinan shares his thoughts through his blogs, and vlogs. He shares his teaching & experiences in his online courses, available only askimtinan.com. For speaking engagements, please contact his PR team.

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About Imtinan Ahmad​

Imtinan Ahmad is an award winning Entrepreneur. He has built multiple 6 and 7-figure businesses for himself and for his clients, & that's in dollar terms. He has helped over a 1,000 entrepreneurs through private coaching, & still ready to give back. He holds an MSc. degree in Marketing from The University of Manchester, UK, a Chartered Marketer, UK, and he's also an MBA in Marketing. Learn how to sharpen your online business game with him.

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