Dr.Adyasha Das, Associate Professor
Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Bhubaneswar, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. Of India.
Tourism is a very vast, vibrant, dynamic and growth-oriented industry, the set of all business activities which serve the needs of tourists while they visit different places by way of tourism, touring or traveling. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)’s statistics, tourism generates around 200 million jobs worldwide and accounts for 10% of the world global GDP.
At a time when tourism was progressing at an unprecedented pace, the outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19 presents a major and evolving challenge to the tourism sector. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has strengthened its collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). The two UN agencies met in Geneva to further advance a coordinated response to COVID-19. Tourism is entering a great crisis due to the worldwide panic of the Corona Virus, duration and scope of which is still unknown. The Corona Virus has convulsed the world tourism industry, with large hotel chains and digital platforms such as Booking being forced to cancel reservations in the Asian country. The tourism industry faces an unprecedented confluence of threats – made up of a global health alarm; the shortage of aircraft due to the crisis of the Boeing 737 Max; the social demonization of travel; exaggerated and even false media offensives; climate catastrophes; sector taxes; bankruptcies of operators and airlines; and the political instability and economic slowdown in the large markets – which hints at least a global contraction for the tourism business in the near future.
However, the tourism and travel industry has survived previous crisis, like Swine Flu, MERS, other coronaviruses and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a form of atypical pneumonia caused by the coronavirus family, which is transmitted through respiratory droplets and direct contact with a carrier’s secretions. As a process, it will be brought under control, and things will get back to normal until the next disruption. Devising creative marketing strategies during and after Corona, increased cohesiveness of the industry, effective and successful survival strategies will pave a better future.
The author is Associate Professor at Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. Of India. IITTM is an autonomous body under Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and is one of the premier institutes in the country offering education, training, research and consultancy in sustainable management of tourism, travel and other allied sectors. It is devoted to the pursuit of higher knowledge in tourism and its dissemination to a diverse audience. Over the years, Institute has established a distinguished identity of its own and reached at a commanding position among sectoral B-Schools in the country. With its focus in meeting the changing needs of the tourism industry, it has played a pioneering role in the propagation and professionalization of tourism education.