The question that everyone asks and that hangs over everyone's head "planning", as much as possible, is what will the 2021 tourist year be like? Even realistically no one has the correct answer yet, and it is known that nothing is known, yet here are some personal loud reflections.
The global tourism sector at the time of the coronavirus pandemic, and on the eve of the next tourist year, has two big challenges to try to come back confidence global travelers: rapid testing and temperature measurement at the entrance of both countries and destinations. But let's go first.
Tourism has suffered five times more losses than in the midst of the global economic and financial crisis, according to UNWTO data, and predicts that Recovery takes two to four years. Realistically, the real recovery of the tourism sector begins only when a cure or vaccine for the coronavirus is found. Only then can we talk about the beginning of recovery, with various changes and new habits, which will surely take several years, to return to the same number of trips before the epidemic.
Will tourism stop? No! People will continue to travel. As we have seen this year as well, tourism has proven to be tougher than anyone expected. Even in the global health crisis. One thing is for sure, next season will be better than this, it will be present last minute, but it will also be much more organized and structured. Of course, if the condition with the coronavirus does not worsen dramatically, which it should not, at least according to today's knowledge about it.
During the winter and fall, people will literally accept. ”new normal”Ie the fact that we have to live with the coronavirus for some time, and life, business and thus tourism must move on.
Perception security i communication, as well as a complex health system - will be one of the most sought after currencies and among the main motives for coming. Again, Croatia as a primary self-destination has this advantage, although by then air traffic will stabilize, as well as the proximity of emitting markets. Certainly a stronger focus should be placed on the markets Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.
But let's get back to certainty i communication. Playing the "corona free" card was in the beginning, and it will still be a failure for everyone who goes that way, let's just remember the example of Montenegro or Dubrovnik. No one can guarantee 100% protection, but one should turn to communication as it is made Turska, which showed the best of all countries in the world how to communicate at the time of coronavirus. Yes, we have to live on, so tourism has to go on, but we have taken all the prerequisites to protect you and to react quickly when a new patient appears - is a mantra that we must follow. Be sure to check out the video and how Turkey communicates this summer season, which can be found at the link below.
Also, we must not be "cursed" to earn every penny today, and tomorrow everything will stop. We just have to watch the distance, on all levels. Let go of the Headquarters, this season as well as today, it is quite clear to everyone how we must keep our distance and how we must adhere to all epidemiological measures. Maxes and gloves must be mandatory, and control on strict and consistent by county headquarters. We don't need Headquarters to tell or suggest that. This year, although the season was beyond all expectations, we had a good season, but unfortunately we were "arrogant" and gave up towards the end and thus closed the door. Honor the positive examples. Good season, according to the frames and announcements, but it remains a pity that it did not last longer. She was certainly not great, which is constantly imputed. We need to be aware that there was no pre-season, as well as the current post-season, that costs have risen tremendously, and that ultimately the selling price of accommodation has been much lower. And we need to be aware of that. If there was no measure of the Government of the Republic of Croatia that keeps employment in the tourism sector until the end of this year, the whole story would be totally different.
But let’s get back to communication. This year, although it was a new and extraordinary situation, the whole system failed with communication, both to the field and to the outside. Although later, communication and information rose to a relatively solid level, it continued to escalate day by day with some new problem. The translation of all important information in a foreign language was delayed, the recommendations were delayed, as well as the failed marketing campaign of the CNTB, which continued to sell "sun and sea".
Of course, the CNTB's campaigns have reach and visibility, but to brag that only the mentioned campaigns are responsible for the "success" of this season is really excessive. But that is another topic for wider discussion. To take this opportunity to praise the CNTB, which has just launched an excellent cooperation with the platform Nautical Channel, in which through 20 shows from Croatia, nautical tourism is promoted.
But due to the poor and slow reaction of the system with key information, especially in English, they jumped in to help from the private sector. Viber community as an informative crisis tourism headquarters for foreign tourists , and it is HUT launched the Corona Region Tracker website, which epidemiologically mapped Croatia by regions. For the next season, it is the state that must provide one such map, which will give the moment a fox from each county and all cities individually, not regions.
Later, the EU also reacted with an excellent platform Re-open EU. Currently The EC proposes a fairer approach to closing borders, common criteria as well as mapping of regions tj. common criteria and thresholds Member States to introduce travel restrictions at EU level, and to avoid the problems and political games that have dominated this year, especially towards Croatia. The Ministry of the Interior should also be praised when it is on borders introduced a special entry lane for foreigners who have registered through the EnterCroatia system, as well as mentioned EnterCroatia platform.
Therefore communication will be key. And we need to prepare well and organize the whole system, from the public to the private sector, both nationally and destination-wise. This year was really an extraordinary situation, not seen in recent history, so we had both mistakes and good things in operation and communication. But we have to admit where we went wrong and correct those same mistakes. Only then can we move forward. Also, this year has shown that there must simply be synergy and dialogue between the public and private sectors, of course primarily with the aim of market development. As always, tango requires two. The new Minister of Tourism and Sports took the first real step, sat down with the profession and talked openly. Which is the first prerequisite for moving forward. Also, this year all the flaws of the system were seen, who jumped out and who failed.
In conclusion, clear and transparent communication will play a key role. This year we learned a lot, what was good and what was wrong, now we have corrective and we have to set things, ie communication, to be clear and accessible to all in one place, and not to find key information on multiple channels. Especially for foreign tourists.
Hospitals, protocols, testing, health system readiness, safety perception….
Next year readiness, seriousness and preparedness of the health system will also play one of the key roles. Proximity to hospitals, secured accommodation in case of corona, covid tourist clinics, fast testing in destinations, clear protocols, number of respirators, travel cancellation insurance policies, co-financing of testing costs, etc.… I definitely see our advantage here, only the system this time, especially in the field we need to arrange it much better, as well as internal and external communication. Fortunately, this time we have time to be ready. Nonetheless, we have learned a lot this year. I hope that we will apply this in the field and for the preparation of the tourist year 2021.
However, two important factors have emerged as key challenges for the entire tourism industry, as I mentioned in the introduction: rapid testing and temperature measurement at the entrance of both countries and destinations.
It is these two themes that dominate the global narrative in the tourism industry, in preparation for the 2021 season. As we know, tourism will not stop, but the challenge is how to prepare protocols for mass control when entering countries.
Just last week, U.S. Senate for Trade, Science and Transportation member Mary Cantwell of Washington and Senator Rick Scott of Florida unveiled a bill proposing that the U.S. Traffic Safety Administration (TSA) conduct temperature checks at existing airport checkpoints in to increase passenger air safety in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Otherwise, the Transportation Safety Authority (TSA) is responsible for protecting the nation by ensuring safe travel. The TSA does this with various checkpoints at airports, railway inspections and subway patrols. Created after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the TSA is working hard to maintain a balance between freedom of travel and security for all.
Airport temperature checks would be carried out using innovative, contactless technologies thermal cameras capable of automatically viewing a large number of passengers passing through existing TSA checkpoints. It is simple and non-invasive, and such systems have already been shown to be effective in identifying infected individuals and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in other countries.
- As our economy reopens and Americans begin to travel more, we must do everything we can to make travel safe. ”said the senator Rick scott and added that consumer protection must also be ensured against unfair airline pricing tactics. “This law will make it possible to check the temperature, while at the same time ensuring the flexibility of airlines with customers who get sick after buying a flight. If passengers are not allowed to fly due to fever, airlines will need to work with the client to transfer or cancel the flight free of charge."Scott points out.
The implementation of such high-volume temperature testing programs is actually already underway at some U.S. airports, but not all airports, which this law seeks to achieve. According to the data International Air Transport Association (IATA), over 140 countries and territories around the world have already implemented protocols to check temperatures at airports, including eight of the world’s ten largest aviation markets, with the U.S. and Germany being the only detentions.
If the law is passed, it could play a major role in restore public confidence towards air traffic while the pandemic continues. A recent IATA report found that 80 percent of passengers surveyed said temperature checks would make them feel safer while traveling, and those countries that have already introduced thermal display systems have experienced a relative return in air travel.
Executive Vice President of the American Travel Association Tori Emerson Barnes said that although health care must remain a priority, travel should be possible with strict protocols.
Thus, by using innovative, contactless thermal camera technology, it is possible to automatically view a large number of passengers, without contact and creating crowds.
Also, there are already large devices on the market, which disinfect the person who passes through them, but these are expensive solutions and they need a lot to be able to withstand the relatively fast flow of tourists. But it is ideal for hotels and restaurants, if of course there is a bill.
On the other hand, the big problem is that on test results on covid19 waited too long. But by next season, a solution may be found for that challenge as well.
Namely, as announced by the Israeli government, the company Nanoscent has developed a test for coronavirus that lasts only 30 seconds. Although the exact price of the test is not yet known, if it proves successful after testing, it would be a real game changer. Also, many other companies are trying to come up with an effective solution, as in the case of the Israeli company, in order to get the test results as soon as possible.
With rapid tests as well as non-contact temperature measurement technologies, things would improve significantly and gain the confidence of both passengers and the state to open borders.
With the already mentioned communication, security protocols in destinations, tourism would get a sustainable platform to day development, despite the coronavirus. People will continue to travel, and no one knows exactly what the changes will be. Next year will be dominated by individual arrivals, last minute, and the focus will be on additional content and quality. Quality, not quantity. Just this year, it was once again shown that quality accommodation has a much better occupancy. Focus on smaller individual programs, not masses, as well as quality programs again. There is also an opportunity for travel agencies. It will take a lot more effort around the guest and in communication, especially before arrival, ie in sales. The focus and imperative will be on direct booking, and for that we need quality, different and authentic content or storyteeling. This year it finally showed up as well synergy of the profession, and until yesterday's "competitors" became partners and exchanged information and supported each other on a daily basis. This new habit I hope will stay forever.
- We have been working for 30 years to return to the tourist results from '89. … now we will work for 30 years to go back to the results of 2019… and once we try to move forward without looking back maybe we would achieve something nešto this way we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. That is our reality, he emphasized in one of his loud reflections Zoran Pejović, from Paradox Hospitality, a hotel management consulting firm.
Also, the technology will also play an important role. Simply, the rhythm will be able to follow only those who have grappled with digitalization.
-I think that in the time after Covid, technology will play a key role in maintaining market competitiveness. Simply, we are going through a kind of system reset. This is an opportunity for all tourist facilities to review internal processes, arrange the so-called tech stack, working on automation, etc. Whoever does not keep up with trends with quality, technology, approach, will find it much harder to recover. And that’s why I believe right now is the right time to dedicate to adapting to what’s coming to us in the future, he pointed out Marko Mišulić from Rentlio recently interview.
Although I already hear the narrative from the field that many will now stop many investments and raise the quality, under the prism, that the next two years must return what was lost this year. It’s definitely a bad move, because right now is the time for raising quality i digitization. Paraphrasing Pejović's statement, have we finally learned anything from this crisis? I hope we are and will finally turn to the future and the new tourism paradigm. We cannot change history, but the future is in our hands. As always, it’s all up to ourselves.
No more selling on your own and you will need to have the nerve to fight day in and day out. It is certainly good that everyone has prepared several different scenarios, so that in the event of the closure or opening of new markets, they can react immediately. We will have to be ready for intense changes, as this year. In conclusion, I think that next year will be a good season, better than this one, according to the current framework.
Tourism will be safe, it's just a question of what and how much.