Impact of COVID-19 on the travel, hospitality and tourism industry

Impact of COVID-19 on the travel, hospitality and tourism industry

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CAROLINE CHEMALY

With the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, the political standstill and the financial meltdown, the hospitality and tourism industry in Lebanon is definitely confronting unprecedented challenges.

In the short-term, the pandemic is expected to cast a serious and substantial impact on the industry. Recovery is not expected before 12 to 18 months, assuming that the various vaccine options prove to be efficient and that a health passport is agreed upon and implemented internationally.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is working closely with most major airline companies on “The Vaccine Certificate” as a condition to resume safe travel. Notwithstanding this important safety measure, its implementation will have drawbacks on the global market. The availability of reliable vaccines, the global division on who gets it first and the reluctancy of many to be vaccinated will impact the immediate total number of travelers worldwide.

It goes without saying that COVID-19 has presented new perspectives on how we conduct safe and efficient business strategies. Top managements are focusing on viable means to turn the crisis into opportunities. Sustainable continuity is key.

These have become the challenges for all professionals in our sector—to analyze, adapt and impose new work ethics and safety precautions that accommodate the new profiles of our future guests while ensuring the safety of our staffs and communities.

With such heavy implications, the industry will have to learn to function in ways not seen before, ways that enhance customers’ willingness to patronize their business, restaurants, hotels and venue. We will need to focus on changes in the customer experience, quality asset management and shifts in consumption patterns and customer perceptions.

Community fears spread through social and mainstream media, total and partial  lockdowns, social distancing, stay-at-home orders and travel and mobility restrictions have all contributed to an unprecedented decline in the demand of the travel market, thus adding new threats to marketing and communication departments, among other departments, in order to create new strategies that will reassure customers while keeping our staffs and communities away from any harm  .

Expect more insights on the hospitality and tourism field from Caroline Chemaly.  Stay tuned.

Caroline Chemaly

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