OUR LIFE IS CHANGING. THE WORLD IS CHANGING. TOURISM WILL ALSO CHANGE. IT WILL NO LONGER BE WHAT WE KNEW UNTIL THIS YEAR.
Apart from the daily tense expectations about the development of the pandemic and the measures that are being introduced or relaxed, other news has fallen into the background. We have almost forgotten that Croatia holds the presidency of the European Union, that Rijeka is still the European Capital of Culture, that our national football team is still the world runner-up…
There are no regular coffees with friends in your favorite cafe, only the first coffees are drunk shyly, we don't go on a "regular tour" of fashion stores, we just peek shyly into the shop windows, we grow into thick hair and beards and conclude that it's not bad or rush to the first free appointment at the hairdresser.
Women's cosmetics are dealt with at home, even our pets are sharper than usual at this time of year. Slowly and patiently, these things are waiting their turn. We are trying to awaken creativity in all areas of life, so we are coping in some new ways. We live a "contactless life", ie a "life at a social distance". It is certainly a new situation. Our lives have, indeed, changed radically.
THE MORE WE THINK, THE SLOWER WE ACT
Limited in movement and the realization of direct, live communication, we are slowed down with actions and reactions. The messages we receive and send are less and less spontaneous, decisions are "cooked", "crunched", even longer than it was before the "crown of the crisis".
Our emotional being wants to live as before, travel as before, socialize as before, but our person or "persona" still rearranges priorities from scratch. In the foreground is a credible source of information.
What is really going on? When will it be possible to travel freely in the region, then in the country and then abroad… Have we already gone through the most difficult period or are real difficulties still waiting for us? Who to trust? Conspiracy theorists, epidemiologists, staffs, government officials, the media…?
In such uncertainty, it is difficult to make medium-term decisions, even plans. Our priorities are "narrow". The health of all family members, the most basic means of subsistence, "cutting" costs, giving up all unnecessary "consumers", postponing plans… We really live from today to tomorrow, until the new news.
WHERE IS TOURISM IN ALL THIS?
Tourism on the supply and demand side is still tied to that of our emotional ego. Tourist trips symbolize all that is dearest to us, and denied. Casual socializing, a feeling of complete relaxation, the pleasure when everyone tries to please you, freedom of movement, research, learning and constant learning about others and different, carefree, sun, sea, beach… This is our goal, our "escape from prison".
Tourism is freedom, and freedom is now limited, controlled; temporarily with a very stretchable notion of that temporality. Tourism is increasingly equated with getting out of the "crown of the crisis". Yet the desire for freedom is stronger than all obstacles. It seems that the break between the "two halves" of the "crown of the crisis" will still be used for a short escape to freedom, to tourism. Summer is a concept of freedom.
AFTER A SHORT REST, A RETURN TO REALITY?
We have already slowly learned that it is easier to endure a longer period of self-isolation in the countryside than in the city. We are also used to less work, remote work, less shopping, shopping through web platforms. We change shoes and clothes less, we buy and pile things less, we have no one to show off in new clothes, a new car or a boat. Of course, incomes have also decreased, we are less and less creditworthy.
So far, our only real way out was a walk in nature. We like that. We also did a little more cooking, so we discovered that not all foods are equally delicious, but not healthy either. More than ever we spend time with our family, we get to know our children better and we respect them more and more. Their advice will be more and more important to us, our children live the reality while we are for the most part of our thoughts tied to the past.
AFTER THE PERIOD OF GOING TO THE CITY, RETURN TO THE VILLAGE?
Most of humanity lives in cities. Some have become mega cities, bigger than many countries, including Croatia. These cities are a symbol of progress, business opportunities, career advancement… But cities are also huge consumers of energy, food, water, garbage producers and air pollution.
The largest number of people suffering from the Covid 19 virus infection is concentrated in cities. Air saturated with pollution particles, with a high concentration of people, is an ideal carrier of infectious diseases, especially in optimal conditions of humidity and air temperature.
Life in the city is comfortable, but not particularly healthy. The attractiveness of cities is declining sharply with the decline of the economy, job losses, lack of personal income. In the city you can't sow beans on the balcony, raise chickens in the toilet - where they will lay an egg every day… In the city you can very quickly become a helpless social case.
The village is "IN" again
Today's villages are quite well equipped with infrastructure, which includes high-speed internet. The freedom and dose of independence provided by the village becomes an advantage over the comfort of living in urban areas. Maybe people are starting to return to the countryside?
GREAT CRISES BRING BIG CHANGES
All the memorable great crises so far have brought radical changes in the way of life, the organization of society, the new economy. New, different tourism. Tourist travel recovered ten years after World War II and almost as much after the Homeland War.
Tourist travel after World War II did not return to the ways and goals of pre-war travel. The number of tourist arrivals has been growing since 1955. Holidays on the Adriatic have become accessible, desirable and stimulated for workers as well. Tourism was entering the era of mass tourism.
After the Homeland War, but also major geo-political changes in Europe in the late eighties and early nineties of the last century, the structure of passengers changed and so did the structure of supply. The era of "apartmentization" begins. To this day, we have not come even close to tourism as we knew it in the seventies and eighties of the last century.
Everything changes again. Tourism will also change. It will no longer be as we knew it until this year.
What will happen to "City breaks"? How will cruise travel take place? When will long journeys return? How will group trips be performed? What will happen to school excursions, to retirement trips?… A whole range of open issues has not even been touched on, the functioning of hotels, car, boat and house rentals, the way restaurants operate is currently being discussed…
The only answer we can give is to follow the developments day and night and to keep you informed. We will share with you our experiences, our practice. Let's go together step by step.
Author Nedo Pinezić, www.nedopinezic.com / Photo: Unsplash.com