The whole world is under lockdown and this pandemic has definitely affected several industries. But one of these which has been affected gravely is the Tourism sector. It has already entered a crisis due to the worldwide panic. The impact of COVID-19 virus on the tours, activities, and outdoor experiences is unquestionable and how long will its duration and scope go on, is still unknown. The travel today has come to a standstill, causing massive revenue and job losses. Sadly, most of the Tourism sector in the world had only planned ahead for the trouble-free sunny days and the clear skies. Guess there is no relief in the face of rainy days like the current ones.
The outbreak has had an immense effect on the business which has resulted in ship and hotel quarantines to even the halting of the airlines in many regions. Especially in the travel-centric Asian countries like China, Singapore, India, Japan, and others, the revenue has been plummeting on a drastic speed. Hotels, cruises, and airlines are few of the hard-hit sectors mainly when the outbreak occurred during the Lunar Year, which is one of the busiest travel times in Asia. The digital platforms have been forced to cancel the upcoming reservations all over the world.
Singapore tourism has hit hard due to the Coronavirus outbreak. There is a cry of help all across the country within the travel community. According to the website bloomberg.com, China has accounted for around 20% of tourism intake in the country, which is ahead of Indian and Indonesia. But sadly, Singapore barring the Chinese nationals has led to a drastic decline in the key source of tourism revenue.
But there is a glimmer of hope here. Amidst all the chaos, Singapore as a whole country has managed to control the COVID-19 situation. The government has been rather aggressive in taking effective measures to suppress the wave. As for the tourism players in the country, the Singapore Tourism Board is working boldly on the Tourism Recovery Action Task Force. It will aid the travel industry and implement strategies to support local tourism, hospitality, retail sectors, and business events. Also, B2B companies like AGi DMC have been helping their customers in cancellations and by giving open date vouchers so that they can be used later in the next year. The CEO, Mr. Himansu R Mehta, and CTO Mr. Bharani Sai are quite hopeful and are taking effective steps to safeguard the company’s as well as the customers’ interest. In other firms as well, there is an encouragement to increase the flexibility in the travel sector so that travelers can postpone their plans and not cancel them altogether.
As the world economy is at a halt and the people are sitting tight in their homes, many researchers are speculating that the lockdown could ease up in June. The pandemic which started in China has been controlled there and restrictions are gradually being lifted. The cities and attractions in many parts of the country had been brimming with tourists as well. This may turn out to be an optimistic state before the travel industry recovers from the panic caused due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Looking at it as light at the end of the tunnel, the economic activities may start out slowly and especially the digital marketers in the travel industry can prepare for better days. Not to forget that Singapore tourism is already preparing for a post-pandemic world. Regarding this, Mr.Mehta, the CEO of AGi DMC also said, “International travel might be slow but people will prefer traveling domestically and that's why we have recently started with a new subsidiary in India to cater local market as well as we are in the process of acquiring few local tour companies to enhance our local tour vertical within India and provide the customer with more variety of tours.”
So what does the future hold for the travel? Well, the road to the “normal” will surely be a bumpy one, the travel industry will inevitably rebound. The people are still looking forward to traveling and have started making plans for their next trip. Although the airline and cruise industries will have a greater impact, the leisure travelers will travel in the same way, with more caution.