DURBAN – Airlines, along with the rest of the travel and tourism industry, are facing an uncertain future. Despite the current doom-and-gloom headlines industry watchers like Lovell, predict a quick bounce back for tourism. They point out that travel rebounded quickly after other pandemics and disasters, including 9/11.
The World Travel and Tourism Council projects that up to 75 million travel and tourism jobs are at risk due to coronavirus. While a new report from Stifel, an investment banking company, predicts that air travel demand will not return to pre-outbreak levels until at least mid 2021, best-case, it will rebound, as it has in the past, after the financial crisis of 2008 and 9/11 for example, two other events that had a huge negative impact on air travel.
According to Lovell here’s how people will travel after the coronavirus:
- They’ll stay in the country. International travel will fall out of favor as people stay closer to the safety of home.
- They won’t travel far from home. “Staycations” and road trips will be favored over flying or cruising.
- They’ll make it quick. A softer economy will mean the traditional two-week summer vacation could turn into a long weekend.
A statement issued by online travel company TripAdvisor said: “People’s desire to travel is resilient. What we’ve seen through SARS, Ebola, terrorist attacks and numerous natural disasters is that the travel industry has always rebounded.”
While author and globally recognised futurist Ross Dawson, believes the road to “normal” will be a bumpy one, filled with setbacks, he has no doubt we will get there.
“I think this has very little impact on the leisure traveler. I think it has a big impact on the industry. I think it can destroy the cruise industry. Airlines are going to see a huge shakeup, but I think the leisure traveler is going to travel in the exact same way. Humans need to travel. That is a fundamental aspect of what it is to be human,” he said.
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