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The Impact of Covid-19 on Tourism and the New 2021 Travel Trends

Tourism has been one of the most affected sectors worldwide in the last year. 2020 is a year that will remain in history for everyone. All professionals linked to the world of tourism would have expected anything but market paralysis. There is talk of 2020 as a missed season and 2021 is also proving to be just as complicated. How to deal with this period of crisis? Let’s discover the new Travel Trends of 2021!
Highlighting the new Travel Trends of 2021 is essential. In particular, analysing the development prospects of the tourism sector that characterize the Covid era and will characterize the Post-Covid era in the coming years.

Resilience and adaptability are two fundamental characteristics for a rebirth of the hospitality and tourism sector. Recovery of the economic, social, historical and cultural heritage of the destinations is necessary. Based on the analysis by the UNWTO, the European Commission‘s report “Behavioural changes in tourism in times of COVID-19” and the OECD report “Rebuilding tourism for the future: COVID-19 policy responses and recovery” try to understand how tourism demand is changing, how to update and what strategies to adopt to transform these challenges into opportunities.

1. What travellers are looking for in the Covid-19 age
In this period, it has become essential to better understand travellers intentions and try to outline future trends. Analysts and research bodies are trying to gather as much information as possible on the traces left online by potential tourists. At the moment, travelling is not possible and we do not yet know when it will be. We must try to understand the preliminary phases of the journey – that is the “dreaming” phase – in which potential travellers inspire themselves on new future destinations.

Even during the worst times of the pandemic, travellers never stopped researching and planning their trips. The decrease of restrictions and the acceleration of vaccinations will be the starting point for returning to travel. It is crucial to be ready. The step is short “from looking to booking“.

Recovery Tip
Focus your attention on the potential traveller’s behaviour. Inform yourself and stay up to date. Crisis Management & Recovery Resources are two key concepts. Two data experts, in particular Amadeus Vice President of Data Partnerships Katie Moro and Senior Industry Analyst John Hach, shared the top travel trends emerging as Spring arrives and how they will impact hosts’ recovery strategies. Take into consideration their advice:

Look at the data available to reach the end of the tunnel;
There will be more families and group of friends travelling when vaccination will be effective;
Millennials are going to be a stronger segment of travellers and they are digital natives. Think about the power of this generation and how quickly they move;
You need to understand your distribution strategy, how people book in your market;
Transparency, credibility and trust are even more important now with the Covid-19;
Experience is going to drive loyalty. Millennials want experiences and will choose places providing experiences;
The younger generation trusts each other opinions and not the opinion of the industry.
2. The rise of Domestic Tourism and Staycation
Domestic Tourism & Staycation. Travel Trends 2021.
Domestic tourism will resume at a faster pace than international tourism. Going on a long-haul vacation is still complex. According to a study conducted by, 53% of travellers want to take shorter holidays in 2021 than in 2019. People will be less likely to travel further from their home. They will tend to travel closer to home, exploring the surrounding, low-risk, areas. The demand for domestic travel is on the rise.

What does this shift mean for hosts? Hospitality hosts will need to make operational changes that will be key to driving this transition. Capitalising on these trends requires recovery planning, attracting new demand and maintaining guest loyalty. Let’s talk about the “Renaissance of the staycation” and “minications”.  You will need to employ new marketing strategies that are relevant and targeted to your evolving customers.

Recovery Tip
Direct your offer towards the new tourism demand. Create a range of experiences and marketing activities specifically aimed at the domestic tourism market. Provide the guest with an offer that is safe, flexible and attractive. Continue to fuel contact with your past and future guests.

3. Safety and cleanliness
All activities that allow social distancing and promote hygienic conditions will be preferred by travellers in 2021. There is a significant trend concerning the “safety first” mindset. According to a TripAdvisor study, 66% of travellers consider the safety and cleanliness of their facilities to be a key factor and 79% of global travellers will take more precautions due to Coronavirus. Confidence in travel safety differs significantly between countries.

Safety and hygiene have become vital criteria for choosing destinations and tourist activities. For example, Turismo de Portugal, the equivalent of the Italian ENIT, launched the “Clean and Safe” brand in April 2020.  This label highlights Portuguese tourism businesses compliant with COVID-19 hygiene and control protocols, to promote Portugal as a safe destination. The protective actions concerned are employee training, customer information, protective equipment and international cleaning protocols. By August 2020, more than 20.000 tourism businesses had already registered.

Covid-19 has made the cleaning factor more important than ever. Facilities must be thoroughly clean. High-contact areas must be regularly disinfected, also providing essentials such as hand sanitiser throughout the venue. Scrupulous cleaning and disinfection processes will be vital to fulfilling the high cleaning standards that the “new Generation Clean Guest” will expect (a unique segment that includes Baby Boomers, Millennials and Gen X travellers).

Recovery Tip
Ensure total safety for travellers and inspire them with confidence to book your property. If you have not already done so, join the Ecobnb protocol for a Green, Clean and Safe Stay. Safety and cleanliness, first of all.

4. Digitalization of tourism services processes
The digitalization of activities, from online distribution to marketing of experiences, will continue to be part of 2021. Staying one step ahead of competitors will mean working on the online presence and on direct distribution channels. The desire to discover new worlds, open up to new cultures, and renew the mind, has always characterised the human being and will not be lacking in any future scenario.

New strategies in line with the new trends are needed to ride this change. 2021 travellers will continue to benefit from the online world, including new online or virtual experiences. This is a bet in which many Italian guides, tour operators and institutes such as ENIT are investing. The latter, for example, recently launched the project “Italy in VR” to offer travel experiences that can also be conveyed online.

Recovery Tip
Implement strategies related to new contactless technologies. Develop processes to reduce physical interaction to meet the needs of all guests.

5. Preference for outdoor experiences in nature
All experiences related to outdoor tourism are an example of safe activities, directly favouring social distancing. Travellers favour rural tourism in isolated places in the countryside or the mountains. In 2021, travellers will prefer less crowded “remote escapes” places, in the company of few selected people.

According to the Tripadvisor White Paper, after the lockdown, 70.5% of Italians opted for outdoor tourism, with a growth of 26.6% compared to the previous year. Families choose this type of activity the most. In any case, 69% of Italians say they want to go on vacation in the next 12 months. There is a strong desire to return to a normal life, of which holidays are an essential part.

A study by the Outdoor Tourism Observatory reports that the propensity to vacation is growing sharply, + 77%, among who went on vacation last year, and is growing even more, in particular by 80%, among those who have taken an outdoor holiday in a village, camping or road trip in the last year. In recent years, the profile of open-air tourists has changed. Piepoli Institute‘s survey highlights that mainly men practise outdoor tourism (45% of the total male interviewees against 40% of the total among women), including the age group between 35 and 64 years (53%) and to a fairly uniform extent among the residents of the various Italian regions.

The outdoor tourist is placed in the “Great expectations” cluster, referring to people’s desire to have psychologically rewarding experiences. It is no longer enough to be satisfied with a product or service, the goal is to be fully happy with it in terms of the authenticity of the experience.

Recovery Tip
Offer innovative and creative experiences while respecting the balance between safety and fun.

6. Flexible cancellation policies
In this period, offering flexible cancellations, allowing travellers to book and cancel their vacation at no additional cost, is a wise choice. Flexible cancellation terms can reassure guests and draw them to your property. Understandably, those who are considering travelling want more flexibility on the possibility to rebook or cancel a stay.

Due to the number of travel restrictions in place, it is not easy to plan nowadays. The option to change or cancel a trip can encourage guests to make a reservation. Usually, flexible cancellation terms allow guests to get a full refund, including all costs, when they cancel at least 14 days before check-in.

Recovery Tip
Increase transparency on cancellation policies, refund processes and travel insurance options. Adjust your prices by increasing the perceived value.

7. Use of the car as a means of transport
There is a tendency to use the car to go on vacation to the detriment of public transportation. 46% of global travellers intend to avoid public transport for fear of contracting the Coronavirus. Many travellers during the summer of 2020 preferred to go on vacation by moving less, for a few days and choosing private vehicles. This trend will also develop in the 2021 season. This will cause a long-term change in the way people travel and around their vacation destinations, with more people choosing to rent or use their car.

All of this has fuelled a renaissance of road trips to explore forgotten local gems and rediscover a sense of pride in the history and beauty that is just around the corner. In any case, travellers will not cancel the love for long-haul getaways. According to a report, 21% of people intend to travel to the other side of the world by the end of 2021, compared to only 6% in 2020.

Recovery Tip
Prepare a list of tips to give to your guests about the attractions to discover around your property. The traveller who arrives by car will be flexible and curious and will want to discover particular places outside the classic mass tourism routes.

8. Greater attention to environmental and social sustainability
In this period, nature has shown us the ability to continue living. During the Covid era, we have developed a greater awareness of sustainability issues, our responsibilities towards future generations and the consequences of our actions on the environment around us. We questioned the hit and run mass tourism model. A positive aspect of the crisis in the tourism sector is the suspension of the phenomenon of overtourism, allowing the most affected cities to reorganize the tourism model more sustainably.

In 2021, we expect to see a more eco-conscious traveller mindset. 69% of global travellers expect the travel industry to offer more sustainable travel options, and travellers will consequently visit alternative destinations by avoiding he high season. The economic impact of our purchasing decisions will be a fundamental choice criterion. Support for local communities is a factor considered by travellers of the covid era, who will choose their destinations while taking into account the desire to support local communities.

A study by reports that 70% of travellers are ready to support the industry in its recovery. They want their future bookings to help support local communities. More than 53% of global travellers want to travel in a way more sustainable in the future. More than two-thirds (69%) expect the travel industry to offer more sustainable travel options. The impact of the Coronavirus has inspired more than half (53%) of travellers to consider reducing waste and/or recycle plastic on the go once all restrictions are lifted.

Regarding the issue of sustainability, it is vital to understand why travellers prefer a sustainable accommodation facility. Explore this article to learn more about why travellers choose sustainable accommodations.

Recovery Tip
Increase transparency on the management of your revenues, implement sustainable practices from an environmental and social point of view, contributing to the development of the local community.

9. Investing in Communications & Marketing
Communication has become a fundamental part of all companies operating in the tourism sector. Taking care of your digital image, investing in the creation of brand identity and marketing strategies has become the basis for every business. It is fundamental and will be more and more so. It is necessary to provide clear information and limit the uncertainty of travellers.

Social media have a relevant part in the destination choice, but they are not the only source of inspiration for global travellers. Many travellers choose where to go on vacation and find the place to stay through word of mouth “WOM”. 36% of travellers opt for a good old chat with friends and family to bring their travel creativity to life.

Recovery Tip
Maintain communication with your past guests, they will be happy to recommend your business to their friends and family.

10. Regeneration & Bleisure
In 2021, the perceived importance of the well-being of the mind is expected to increase alongside that of the body: travellers will not fail to seek solutions in line with their “regeneration” needs, especially after such a long and uncertain year. Activities such as Yoga, meditation and mountain walks will be a real growing trend in 2021. Nature, clean air and relaxation have now become key features on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic.

Bleisure is the possibility of combining work and relaxation. It is a growing phenomenon, much appreciated by workers/travellers. In Italy, there has been a lot of talking about “SouthWorking“; a recent report by Business Insider Italy reports that in Italy there are 45. 000 south workers or workers who have had the opportunity to return to the south to work remotely. 51% of travellers prefer to spend relaxing holidays in nature, 40% holidays by the sea and only 29% prefer city trips.

Remote working became “mainstream” during the pandemic with the ripple effect of people trying to make longer trips in the future to combine work and pleasure. We will see an increase in “Workcation”, with travellers looking to extend their vacation experience to new locations by staying an extra week or two to work remotely. 37% of travellers have already considered booking a facility away from home to work from a different destination.

Recovery Tip
Prioritize offering a fast Wi-Fi network in your facility to attract this new wave of digital nomads.

Travel has a unique potential to come back stronger than ever in the years to come, as a primary engine of growth, equality and prosperity for people around the world. The hospitality sector is resilient and we look to the future with optimism, as we will see the recovery and return to global travel. In the meantime, the hosts’ mission is to continually update ourselves and try to understand new trends to offer future guests the widest choice of unforgettable experiences.

The loyalty of guests will be based on their experience, so let yourself be guided by the concept of “experience-driven loyalty” and learn from the challenges faced to find the best solutions for the future!

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Tourism Trends / 9 post-covid tourism trends
« on: June 22, 2021, 01:02:49 AM »
9 post-covid tourism trends

The pandemic has made it clear that the future of tourism and the tourism of the future will undergo change. Changes that come imposed by the new reality that is emerging and the sediment it will settle when this nightmare ends. One of the sectors that has evolved the most since its inception, and which at the same time has been punished by the crisis, cannot remain stagnant while watching the storm pass. It is time to think about the next picture, which is getting increasingly closer.

Taking into account that there are mature destinations that speak of the loss of 12 companies per day by the tourist offer, new ideas will emerge to serve that demand that is eager to resume travel, adapting to new tastes and trends. Let’s see some of those that should mark the new era of tourism:

Excellence in health and hygiene: Excellence in service and, what's more, in countries that stand out in this factor such as Spain, will be highly reflected, at least in the first post-covid years, in health and hygiene issues. The measures taken - and well communicated - will be a reflection of the concern of the providers of the different tourist services for their clients and their employees.

Communication as an ally for success: Marketing strategies and the development of new products and services adapted to new tastes and needs will continue to mark the difference between success and failure. So will efficient communication - in all its aspects - adapted to each demand niche.

Technology to get to know the client: The use of technology, both for the development of new products and services - especially everything related to contactless - and to talk efficiently with our client and continue to know their profile, what they are looking for, what they think and and which are their fears when travelling is, more than ever, a decisive matter. Other trends also stand out, such as artificial intelligence for assisted communication in the first levels, virtual reality as a marketing tool for destinations, data management or alternative payment systems, among others. All these advances will play a very important role in the development of new tourist destinations and the reinvention of mature destinations.

The return of travel agencies: In the same way, these advances usually bring back to basics, and travel agencies, at least those that apply the aforementioned, will emerge as beneficiaries thanks to their role as generators - whether in a real or perceived way - of the tranquility of your clients. Insurance, especially that involving cancellations and doctors with improved coverage, has become one of the protagonists in the era of travelling with masks and the threat of lockdown.

Destinations created for the 12 months of the year: The seasonal adjustment has always been a basic factor in some tourist destinations with a very marked season, mainly those that have based their offer on sunny beaches and have not varied their services in existing undervalued tourist resources in order to extend the seasons for tourism. The new offer that must emerge gives birth to the opportunity to co-create the destination taking the 12 months of the year into account and in the whole territory (tourism 360º / 365 days).

Remote working as a formula to expand the offer: It is one of those trends that has grown exponentially, as shown by some destinations that are already looking for their niche in the market. Collaboration between the different entities that make up the destination and the different types of accommodation will be essential when it comes to attracting a demand that seeks new destinations and which is a fundamental factor in the seasonal adjustment.

Tourism for all: Accessibility, increasingly on the rise due in part to an aging population, will continue its fair growth and will provide greater comfort not only to people with special needs, but also to the rest of the population. Let’s not forget that accessibility is essential for 7% of the population, good for 40% and comfortable for 100%.

Regenerative and conscious tourism: Sustainability was already a growing trend before the tragedy happened. Now it must become a sine qua non for different destinations and operators. It is not about not growing, but about doing it intelligently, taking advantage of all resources without compromising them. Giving them value thanks to tourism itself is one the keys and that is one of the fundamental pillars of regenerative tourism. Travellers who opt for this type of tourism no longer want to leave a place as they found it. Now they want to improve it after their stay due to participation in typical activities of the area, respecting the destination as if it were their home and investing their money to contribute to local economic development. Rural tourism and variants such as astrotourim will be decisive in this new era of tourism.

Necessary joint work: Synergies and public-private, public-public and private-private collaboration will be necessary more than ever in the reconstruction of a sector that belongs to everyone and for everyone.

And for you, what will be the keys to post-covid 19 tourism?

At Ideas for Change we have launched Destinations That Rock, a section focused on helping territories that want to become tourist destinations and destinations that want to transform themselves leaving behind previous and obsolete schemes.

If you want to be part of the new reality,

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Event Management / Leisure & Entertainment
« on: November 24, 2020, 01:00:46 PM »
Leisure & Entertainment
Instant customer service has never been more important.

Leisure and entertainment demands are changing all the time, and keeping up with travel and hospitality trends is a challenging task.

Whether it’s more personalized experiences or faster responses during travel complications, the leisure industry is being pushed toward rapid change by emerging technologies.

Drive Innovation with Technology
All inclusive travel management platforms are synchronizing flights, hotels, car rentals, navigation, and travel plans for travelers. As companies make it easier for customers to venture out into new experiences, the variety of travel is increasing. The technology integrations that make all of this possible can be taxing, and as new technologies like Virtual Reality and Travel Bots become an expectation among consumers, companies will need experienced partners to keep their systems up-to-date and adaptive. With the established popularity of peer review and travel recommendation sites like TripAdvisor, providing a positive, seamless experience is critical.

Today, the majority of consumers research and plan their vacation on a mobile device. The addition of virtual reality will mean more travelers want to virtually “try out” a destination before they commit. Making that experience easy and positive will mean companies have to divert significant resources to building out that virtual destination catalog, automating on-demand support, and other customer experiences. This new demand does not eliminate the need to keep booking systems, fare calculators, and other customer services up-to-date and operational. CAI can help optimize the management and development of your existing systems to allow your teams to better and more quickly respond to industry demands.


Airport Management / Integrated Airport Management System
« on: November 24, 2020, 12:31:36 PM »
Integrated Airport Management System

AIS is a leading supplier of Integrated Airport Management Systems, successfully providing solutions for 30 years.
Our products represent the very latest in airport management software and consist of a set of integrated modules to fully provide for an airport’s operational and financial data management needs.
Our prime mission is to work in true partnership with our airport customers, through the ALDIS User Group (AUG) and to continuously strive to enhance our products and services to ensure we meet our customers’ evolving requirements.
Available Software Systems
ALDIS – Airport Landing Dues Information System
ALDIS is an Airport Management System with the capability of Aeronautical Billing.
ALDIS functionality includes configuring multiple discounts and surcharges as well as commercial target incentives and the system has been successfully implemented in over thirty airports worldwide.

For More, please read attached

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Tourism Trends / The Future of Tourism Post-COVID19
« on: November 24, 2020, 11:07:46 AM »
The Future of Tourism Post-COVID19

At least 90% of the world’s population has been affected in one way or another by the current pandemic. Borders have shut down, social distancing has required citizens to isolate in their homes, and economies have been put on hiatus.

While many industries have been impacted, the travel and tourism industry has been particularly hard hit. Travel and quarantine restrictions coupled with tight budgets and fears of infection have significantly reduced tourism. By the end of 2020, international tourism is expected to decline by 80%, resulting in up to $1.2 trillion in lost revenues. Additionally, an estimated 100 million tourism and travel and 25 million aviation jobs are at risk.

This has left many industry experts, employees, and travelers unsure of what the future will hold for tourism. Currently, the travel industry and its providers are adapting day by day but some are now looking to post-COVID-19 recovery. This article explores expectations companies and tourists may have surrounding travel in the near future, and key travel technology trends that may change the face of travel in the long term.

In this article:

How will tourism look in the near future?
Tourism tech trends post COVID-19
Looking to the future of tourism
How Will Tourism Look in the Near Future? 
It is not yet clear when the pandemic will be over, however many governments are already trying to restore health to national economies. This means deciding which industries should go back to normal operations, and redefining what “normal” means for each industry, including tourism.

Focus on local tourism and hospitality
Post COVID-19, countries need to strike a balance between public safety and economic recovery. Many countries are trying to achieve this balance by restricting international tourism, setting their sights instead on domestic tourists.

An example of this can be seen in Airbnb rentals across Europe. In France, Denmark, and the Netherlands, rental rates are beginning to return to normal but with almost exclusively local residents. This also seems to be the trend going into the summer. This was after a near 90% drop created when borders were initially restricted.

This type of local-first tourism approach may diminish traditional tourism offerings, but it can also promote the following niches:

Health tourism: As people become more health-oriented, many are expected to seek wellness, restoration, and healing vacations. Yoga retreats, spa treatments, and other pro-health activities should be particularly appealing for tourists.
Heritage and culture tourism: When limited to nearby locations, heritage and cultural experiences can gain the spotlight. This means an increase in interest of museums, restaurants, history tours, and other local sites.
Outdoors tourism: Without a vaccine, social distancing and isolation remain the main COVID-19 prevention method. This may lead to a rise in outdoor vacations, including camping, hiking, or watersports.
Family and friends tourism: In places where lockdowns have been enforced, and families and friends have been kept separated, tourism packages focusing on day outings, might see an increase rather than week long excursions. 
Remote or secluded locations
While remote locales have always been popular with certain tourists, these vacation options are sure to see more interest post-coronavirus. As flights return and border restrictions are lifted, isolated locations with limited access can provide an uncrowded vacation setting.

Such locations could include remote islands, mountain lodges, or even backcountry campsites. The actual location isn’t as important as the ability to enjoy the luxury of a vacation without fear of the virus due to an influx of tourists.

A focus on small groups
Whether it be accommodations with limited rooms (like bed and breakfasts) or private tour groups, tourism in the post-COVID world should start small. For instance, instead of cruises with thousands of people on a single ship, tourists may start seeking out charter boats. Or, rather than crowded theme parks, tourists may look for individual attractions.

Likewise, tourists will probably prefer private transportation over public and vacation rentals over hotels. Such private options provide tourists more control over who and how many people they interact with on their vacation, limiting the risk of infection and increasing peace of mind.

Controlled acceptance of international tourism
Once virus fear has decreased, companies and governments are going to start competing to draw international tourists back in. This will require careful filtering of who is allowed to come in and under what conditions, as freely allowing visitors could lead to new infections.

One possibility for managing this return is the use of screening certificates or immunity cards. These proofs of good health or immunity could be issued under internationally sanctioned conditions. For instance, some countries and airlines, such as Emirates, are conducting on-site rapid COVID-19 tests based on internal standards. Additionally, many countries also have quarantine restrictions in place, requiring multiple rounds of testing upon arrival or for visitors to remain in isolation for up to 14 days. At this time, most European countries are in the process of reopening borders and this is where the real test for measures will be seen.

Tourism Tech Trends Post COVID-19
As countries and travelers prepare for the future, many companies are also working to build and integrate tech to make the transition smoother. While there are many types of technology that can help, below are a few of the most promising areas.

Contactless technology
Reducing points of shared touch and face-to-face interactions is a primary concern for travelers and tourism providers. To reduce these issues, many organizations are looking for ways to incorporate contactless technologies.

For example, some airports are investigating alternatives to handling tickets, passports, and other travel documents during check-in and boarding. A number are considering the use of biometrics, such as IATA’s ONE ID. Biometrics can include contactless fingerprinting, iris scanning, or facial recognition. Other options include touchless entry, including gesture controls, document scanning, or voice commands.

Another area that is gaining popularity, especially with hotels and accommodations, is the use of mobile applications. These applications can enable guests to check-in or out of rooms, unlock doors, or pay for services. Applications can also be used to replace information cards or room service menus, remotes, or environmental controls all of which have the potential to spread the virus via their surfaces.

Enhanced cleaning technologies
Cleaning and sanitation are another main focus for both travel providers and customers. Travelers expect companies to take precautions to ensure clean environments and employees want to be reassured that they can work safely.

To address these concerns, providers are implementing stricter standards. For example, Marriott hotel chain recently created the Marriott Global Cleanliness Council.This council is focused on creating a standard for global hospitality, including best practices for minimizing risk for visitors and staff. It includes the use of electrostatic sprayers with hospital grade disinfectants, enabling a more thorough disinfection of difficult to clean surfaces such as lobbies or gyms. It also incorporates ultraviolet light technologies to help make sterilization more effective. This article on how hotels can get ready for business post-COVID-19, provides useful guidance on steps to help meet customer expectations alongside the new requirements.

Airports are too using a variety of technologies to improve sterilization. In Hong Kong, this includes full-body disinfection booths, antimicrobial coatings on high touch surfaces, and cleaning robots. According to reports, the booths can disinfect a person and their clothing in 40 seconds and incorporate photocatalysts or “nano needle” technology, designed to kill pathogens. Meanwhile, the robots are equipped with ultraviolet light and air sterilizers making cleaning efforts more efficient.

Learn more about the technologies advancing travel in our article on airport technology.

Automated processes
With many providers struggling to meet revenue goals or expenses, companies are likely to have less staff available to help customers. To work around this, incorporation of automation is a possible solution.

In addition to the self-service that customers can access through the mobile apps mentioned previously, some stores may begin implementing automated checkout processes for easier and interaction free purchasing. For example, by incorporating Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, airports and hotels could switch to self-service gift shops or cafeterias. Airports are also likely to include additional automationed processes. For example, incorporating thermal cameras into security monitoring to detect fevers. Or, integrating data from contact or symptom tracing databases to help screen passengers.

Another option is to adopt universal identity documents, such as that proposed by the Known Traveller Digital Identity initiative. This initiative suggests creating a coalition between individuals, governments, authorities, and the travel industry to enable providers to share data and resources. This would significantly speed screening times and health verifications.

Smart door-to-door transportation
Another trend expected to increase in popularity is door-to-door transportation services. With many travelers concerned over the safety of public transport, they are seeking alternative ways to get around. Smart transportation services help travelers to find the transport solution that best meets their needs, in terms of safety, budget, and convenience.

For example, smart transportation services can be integrated into a hotel or online travel agency website. Such as in the recent partnership with HERE Mobility and, which sees HERE Mobility's smart transportation technology integrated into the platform. Through the collaboration, users have more possibilities to order their rides from the airport or their hotel, at the same time they make their travel reservation.

Looking to the Future of Tourism
Although the present may seem challenging for tourism, most experts expect the industry to recover in 2021. While this recovery may look different from the industry pre-COVID, people’s desire to travel is unlikely to disappear. In particular, experts foresee an increase in leisure travel and visits to friends and family as citizens seek to unwind and reconnect socially after prolonged periods of isolation.

However, to enable this recovery, the industry and destinations need to take steps to safeguard travelers and workers. Companies will have to operate with tight budgets but be willing to invest in new processes and technologies, and to be flexible to changing needs and requirements. Assuming they are able to do so, they should be equipped to effectively adapt to the post-COVID-19 world and its “new normal.”


International Travel & Tourism Trends in 2021 After COVID-19

The pandemic has hit many industries hard, and among the biggest to have been affected is the travel and tourism industry.
Since the beginning of 2020, we’ve seen a huge decline in passenger travel; deserted hotels and tourist spots went viral; and some of the world’s biggest events were cancelled. But as with every adversity, the industry looks set to turn things around.
As of August 2020, more countries have reported a success in flattening the curve, and more are on the way to reopening their borders, while pockets of the world are slowly resuming holiday activities, starting domestically.
With the further easing of border restrictions and lockdowns, travel and tourism leaders and business owners are creating new opportunities through change and are pushing new boundaries and strategies to bring the industry back to life.
As we anticipate more good news from this front, let’s take a look at 6 travel and tourism trends to expect in a post COVID era, and signs of recovery in the industry.

What are the emerging travel trends post-coronavirus?
The trying times has a double meaning in this unprecedented phase. Business may be struggling, but it has also open up avenues for them to attempt new things and keep their service and offering interesting for consumers.
Restaurants step up with their takeout menu, hotels throwing staycation packages and culinary deals, and airlines resorting to creative “flights to nowhere” like Taiwan’s EVA Air, to name a few.

1. Staycations and local travels
Perhaps one of the most significant changes in the local travel scene is the rise in popularity of staycations.
In Hong Kong, luxury hotels were fully booked for their staycation offers, largely due to the special packages at an affordable price that appeals to the travel-starved population. Travellers get a holiday treat while being assured of the safety from the hotels’ rigorous sanitation processes.
The same phenomenon is also observed at beach and island getaways where private villas are snapped up for more intimate, smaller parties.

2. Next level takeout
The renewed interest in domestic holiday locations such as local beaches, hiking trails, camping grounds, and parks not only attracted more customers to relevant businesses, but it also drew attention to “picnic basket” experiences, where restaurants cater wicker basket filled with goodies to pleasure-seekers at selected destinations.
To stay competitive and relevant, restaurants are coming up with interesting ways to get customers excited about eating from beyond their premises – from Michelin-starred chefs for private hire, picnic takeout, to cocktail orders made fresh upon delivery, and whole high-tea experiences packed up to go.

3. Crowd control
One trend that will likely gain favour is better crowd management. With many once-bustling tourist destinations reduced to minimal activities, people are seeing the positive effect on the environment and this has given authorities something to consider in terms of controlling the crowd in the future. This win-win move will help tourists enjoy a more pleasant visit to popular spots, while also keeping the environment in good shape.

4. Travel bubbles
Countries that have been successful in containing the pandemic have demonstrated how tourism can quickly pick up again. In Baltic States like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, they championed the “Travel Bubble”, which is essentially partnerships that opens their borders and allows their citizens to travel freely within these countries without quarantines upon arrival. This free passage is not exclusively for tourism, but also to ramp up business activities and save their trade sectors.
This quarantine-free travel is also opened between Austria and Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hungary, and is expected to increase when more countries and their neighbours find consensus with their epidemiological situation.

5. Touch-less travel and automation
Touch-less travel – this is probably the most immediate thing people will prioritise and may also be the most visible change in the travel and tourism industry. Even with the strict health and safety protocols, exchanging travel documents in the airport and hotels still present risk of infection. The same goes for touching surfaces by the check-in counter, security checks, border control, as well as hotel front desks.
This means automation are expected to become a part of the new normal of travel trends in 2021. Biometrics (facial recognition, contactless fingerprint scan, etc.) will replace physical fingerprint and hand scanners.

6. Shift to private mode of transport
In terms of tourism products, vacation rentals are looking to appeal to the masses in equal if not more than hotel bookings due to lesser capacity and greater privacy. The same is expected with car rentals, as tourists are more likely to shy away from public transport like buses and trains.
Given the current situation, travel advisors and travel insurance will also be in demand for obvious reasons.

How does recovery look like in travel industry?
Borders and airports’ re-opening show signs of potential recovery in travel industry.

Nearing the end of 2020, airline companies are starting increase flight frequencies, and while it is still a fraction of their pre-pandemic schedules, passenger activities are starting to pick up a little bit more in the airports.
Currently, the whole world is stepping up in their border entry guidelines to welcome back travel and tourism activities. Baltic countries like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have opened their borders in mid-May to allow their citizens to move freely.
In EU, many countries reopened their international borders with emphasis to their non-discriminatory guidelines. Australia and New Zealand had a similar agreement, while France and the United Kingdom agreed not to quarantine each other’s citizens. By July, travellers from outside EU are allowed in to a certain extent. Some countries, like Ireland, will conduct tests for tourists at the airport.
Singapore have started allowing essential travel for passengers who have tested negative from the virus. Passengers now use contact-tracing apps and can go about freely as long as they do not deviate from their itineraries.
Some countries like Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, and Vietnam also have reopened their doors for tourism. Africa, Europe, and Oceania are leading the way to ease up lockdowns and reopen their countries for business. This leaves North and South Africa to catch up.

While some countries have given the green light for tourist entries from select lower-risk locations, countries with a good track record of the pandemic control, healthcare system, and governance are definitely more likely to be in a traveller’s top consideration of places to visit.
It is worthy to note that with some destinations may have a period of isolation upon entry, travellers are likely to take fewer trips but embark in longer stays.

For a more detailed look into your region, please visit your local travel advisories.

If there is one thing these emerging trends are showing us, it’s that people can turn challenges to chances and evolve to create opportunities that will well survive the pandemic. With the full recovery of the travel and tourism sector on the horizon, the world will look forward to the new ways to travel.



The outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19 presents the tourism sector with a major and evolving challenge.
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.
UNWTO calls for solid international leadership and for tourism to be included as a priority in future recovery efforts.
UNWTO also calls upon the sector and travelers to address this challenge with sound judgment and proportionate measures.
Tourism is currently one of the most affected sectors and UNWTO has revised its 2020 forecast for international arrivals and receipts, though emphasizes that such any predictions are likely to be further revised.
Against a backdrop of travel restrictions being introduced, UNWTO underscores the importance of international dialogue and cooperation and emphasizes the COVID-19 challenge also represents an opportunity to show how solidarity can go beyond borders.
The tourism sector, like no other economic activity with social impact, is based on interaction amongst people. UNWTO has been guiding the tourism sector’s response on several levels:

By cooperating closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), the lead UN agency for the management of this outbreak;
by ensuring with WHO that health measures are implemented in ways that minimize unnecessary impact on international travel and trade;
by standing in solidarity with affected countries; and
by emphasizing tourism’s proven resilience and by standing ready to support recovery.

UNWTO continues to coordinate closely with WHO and other United Nations agencies, and UNWTO’s Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili maintains regular contact with governments and tourism sector leaders.


Culinary Arts & Gastronomy / The History of Culinary Arts
« on: March 11, 2020, 12:49:08 PM »
The History of Culinary Arts

Cooking was once seen as either a hobby or a chore. Up till now, it is regarded as a highly skilled line of work within a multi-billion industry. Students taking up culinary arts are equipped with different levels of skills and knowledge, but they all share the same thing and that is the passion for cooking. You will never go further and study culinary arts if, in the first place, you don't have interest in cooking, now would you?

Food is the one thing that has always been and will continue to be a big part of our daily lives as a result of the family recipes that we carry with great care from many generations passed. For some, they learn new cuisines while others even go to culinary schools to perfect their skills and experience and obtain a degree in culinary arts. Knowing that everybody needs food is so much easy to understand, but aren't you interested to know as to when and where do the different types of taste, presentations and features of the food started? If you are, then lets us discover the history of culinary arts.

The history of culinary can be traced back in the 1800s when the very first cooking school in Boston was teaching the art of American cooking along with preparing the students to pass on their knowledge to others. The first cookbook ever published was written by Fannie Merrit Farmer in 1896, who also attended the Boston cooking school and whose book is still widely used as a reference and it remains in print at present.

The next phase in the history of culinary arts was taken through the television where in 1946 James Beard, who is also recognized as father of the American cuisine, held regular cooking classes on the art of American cooking. On the other hand, the French cuisine was brought to life in the American society by Julia Child in 1960s when, through the power of the radios, she entered all the kitchens nationwide.

Later on the history of culinary, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) was founded and was the first culinary school to hold career-based courses on the art of cooking. Its first location was in the campus of Yale University in Connecticut, which was later moved in 1972 to New York. But before the CIA was established, those who wanted a career in culinary arts normally had to go through apprenticeships under seasoned chefs to gain on-the-job training. This learning method was a traditional course in Europe, but rather a challenging arrangement as organized apprenticeships were a quite new concept in the history of culinary arts in the US. However today, apprenticeships continue to offer an excellent culinary experience to aspiring chefs.


How the coronavirus may hit the tourism industry

According to the World Health Organisation, there have now been over 3,000 deaths associated with the coronavirus outbreak across the world. What may have been seen as a Chinese issue is now very much a global problem. A reflection of the fast pace of change has been the steep falls in global stock market indices linked to the spread of the virus.

This new development marks a significant change in sentiment and clearly shows the global potential of the virus to disrupt both global supply chains and the conduct of all other business outside of manufacturing. Ironically, the virus may have a greater negative short run impact on "globalisation" and the conduct of business than the protectionist sloganeering of "Trump" and the "Brexiteers".

A crisis can often focus attention on important issues and activities that generally go unnoticed when the world is functioning normally. The outbreak of the virus has put a clear focus on just how globalised and interconnected economic activity has become, particularly since the emergence of China and other emerging economies to world commerce since the 1980s.

From RTÉ Radio 1's News At One, Tourism Ireland's Niall Gibbons assesses the likely impact of the coronavirus on tourism events, including the St Patrick's Day festivities

The manufacture and distribution of products increasingly involves integrated supply chains that require inputs from many countries before final assembly and distribution. The recent collapse of supply chains associated with the closure of factories in China has already led to shortages of certain products across the world and has underscored the globalised nature of the international economy.

The spread of the virus has particularly focused attention on the globalised nature of international tourism and how the sector may be affected by the spread of the virus. The growth of international tourism has been one of the enduring and most significant forces driving the world economy since the 1950s. From a mere 25 million international tourism arrivals in 1950, the numbers reached 450 million in 1990 and then quickly exploded to 1 billion arrivals by 2010. By 2018, the number of arrivals had increased to 1.4 billion and is estimated by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation to account for $1.4 trillion and 7% of the value of world goods and services.

This phenomenal growth has been driven by various factors over the years, most particularly the growth of new technologies, new lifestyle trends associated with growing global prosperity and the advent of low cost airlines, which made international travel affordable for the masses. The explosion of tourism numbers over the last 30 years can also be attributed to the emergence of the middle classes in the newly affluent and highly populated countries of the world such as China, Brazil and India.

The movement of such a massive number of people and the associated expenditure of such tourists (for leisure and business purposes) has a profound impact on national, regional and local economies across the world. Moreover, tourism activity often happens in places that industry finds unattractive as a location for investment. Spending by visitors on sporting and cultural events, shopping, accommodation, restaurants, visitor attractions and as business visitors at conferences, provides a massive stimulus to local economies and employment.

Such expenditure is vitally important in a country like Ireland and Failte Ireland estimates that foreign exchange earnings from international tourists amounted to €7.4 billion in 2018. Add in expenditure by domestic tourists and the overall value of the industry is in the region of €9.4 billion. As a result, any disruption to tourism activity can have a major impact on employment across the country.

The news that the virus had spread to Italy and to other countries in Europe has caused considerable anxiety for tourists, potential tourists and the wider tourism industry. Research from the Global Business Travel Association shows widespread business meeting cancellations and postponements are taking place worldwide. The International Air Transport Association has predicted that the coronavirus will reduce global airline revenue by $29.3 billion in 2020, arising from a contraction in global air demand. While this is the first such contraction since the global financial crisis of 2008 to 2009, it needs to be recognised that virtually 95% of this projected loss will be for Asia/Pacific carriers.

Increasing incidents of tourists having to be quarantined in apartment blocks and hotels has added considerably to anxiety and uncertainty. Google searches reveal a surge in enquiries related to insurance cover related to the virus if trips are cancelled. Potential tourists are more likely to adopt a "wait and see" approach before booking as the crisis unfolds. In Ireland, we have seen the virus cause the cancellation of the Ireland/Italy international rugby fixture in order to protect "public health". We may yet see curtailments around the St Patrick's Day festival.

As this crisis unfolds, our policymakers are faced with the predominant concern of protecting public health, yet must also be mindful how any decisions made will impact on business. Last week, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and the World Health Organisation issued a joint statement which underlined "putting people and their well being first" and emphasised that the World Health Organisation "did not recommend any travel trade restriction based on the current information available". As of now this is the best advice to guide decision-making.

As information is relayed and decisions are made in relation to the spread of the virus, Irish policymakers would be wise to be cognisant of the interests of all stakeholders in tourism. For the last 70 years, the tourism sector has always rebounded quickly once a crisis has been averted so let's hope that our public health officials can soon contain this crisis.


Tourism's contribution to mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies

1. The understanding and promotion of the ethical values common to humanity, with an attitude of tolerance and respect for the diversity of religious, philosophical and moral beliefs, are both the foundation and the consequence of responsible tourism; stakeholders in tourism development and tourists themselves should observe the social and cultural traditions and practices of all peoples, including those of minorities and indigenous peoples and to recognize their worth;

2. Tourism activities should be conducted in harmony with the attributes and traditions of the host regions and countries and in respect for their laws, practices and customs;

3. The host communities, on the one hand, and local professionals, on the other, should acquaint themselves with and respect the tourists who visit them and find out about their lifestyles, tastes and expectations; the education and training imparted to professionals contribute to a hospitable welcome;

4. It is the task of the public authorities to provide protection for tourists and visitors and their belongings; they must pay particular attention to the safety of foreign tourists owing to the particular vulnerability they may have; they should facilitate the introduction of specific means of information, prevention, security, insurance and assistance consistent with their needs; any attacks, assaults, kidnappings or threats against tourists or workers in the tourism industry, as well as the wilful destruction of tourism facilities or of elements of cultural or natural heritage should be severely condemned and punished in accordance with their respective national laws;

5. When travelling, tourists and visitors should not commit any criminal act or any act considered criminal by the laws of the country visited and abstain from any conduct felt to be offensive or injurious by the local populations, or likely to damage the local environment; they should refrain from all trafficking in illicit drugs, arms, antiques, protected species and products and substances that are dangerous or prohibited by national regulations;

6. Tourists and visitors have the responsibility to acquaint themselves, even before their departure, with the characteristics of the countries they are preparing to visit; they must be aware of the health and security risks inherent in any travel outside their usual environment and behave in such a way as to minimize those risks.


Air passenger departures set to hit 4.5b in 2019

The Star Online, Malaysia

Air travel passenger departures are projected to rise from 4.34 billion to 4.59 billion in 2019, according to new statistics released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The world’s airlines expect a 10th straight year of profit next year, with a projected surplus of US$35.5bil (RM148.3bil), the association said.

Although IATA can foresee the potential risks posed in 2019 by trade friction and Britain’s exit from the European Union, the group said it is confident that the industry can improve on the expected US$32.3bil (RM135bil) profit for 2018.

The increase will be based on robust global economic growth and lower fuel prices, IATA said at its European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

However, the growth rate for the airlines’ passenger business will slow from 6.5% to 6%, according to IATA.

Global air cargo business will also slow, IATA said, pointing to the “weak world trade environment impacted by increasing protectionism”.

Another potential obstacle on the horizon would be a Brexit without a Britain-EU agreement in place to regulate the divorce, the industry group said, warning of possible passenger delays at security and passport control.

“Speed in finalising arrangements is essential,” IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac told reporters.

De Juniac also warned governments that even slight increases in taxes or fuel prices could eat away at the slim profit margins of the airline industry, which supports nearly 66 million jobs.

“We are in a different league from Apple, for example, which makes US$400 (RM1,672) for every iPhone XS sold,” he said.


Tourism sector needs policy support to thrive: experts

Star Business Report

The tourism and hospitality sector of Bangladesh needs policy support from the government to boost its contribution to the economy, said sector people yesterday.

“We are ready to provide world-class hospitality and tourism facilities. We need policy support from the government,” said HM Hakim Ali, chairperson of the Bangladesh International Hotel Association (BIHA).

He said people have no idea about the contribution of the sector – it broadens the country's image globally.

His comments were backed by Masud A Khan, chairman of the Better Bangladesh Foundation (BBF).

“At least 13 people directly benefit from a tourist, so it is too easy to calculate the contribution of the sector.”

They spoke on the first day of the “Food and Hospitality Bangladesh Expo 2019” at the International Convention City Bashundhara in the capital. The BIHA and the Wem Bangladesh Limited jointly organised the three-day event.

The tourism and hospitality sector directly and indirectly accounts for 8.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), according to sector players.

The sector has huge potential to flourish along with other sectors, they said. Ali said only the private sector can bring significant change to the tourism sector through food and hospitality.

He gave the example of Thailand and Nepal where the major revenue for the governments comes from the tourism sector.

According to Ali, global chains of hotels are eying the Bangladesh market and are operating five-star hotels in the country. “This indicates that the country has good opportunity to grow the sector.”  BBF's Khan suggested the government be more liberal about the sector to attract foreign tourists.

Land Minister Saifuzza-man Chowdhury, who inaugurated the exposition, said: “Without the private sector, the tourism sector will not advance in Bangladesh. The sector can unfold the natural beauty of Bangladesh through hospitality and food.”

Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir, chairman of the Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, and Mohd Noor Ali, managing director of Unique Group, were also present. Around 70 exhibitors from seven countries including India, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Italy, Spain and Bangladesh are taking part in the fair.

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Meet the 52 Places Traveler for 2019

“I’m ready to embrace all the uncertainty that comes with an opportunity like this and see where it takes me.”
Last year, for the first time, we sent one intrepid traveler, Jada Yuan, to all 52 destinations on our Places to Go list. This year, we decided to do it again. Once again, we got applicants from around the world and from a variety of backgrounds (meet some of them here). After weeks of assessing them, we settled on a handful of finalists. From that group, we chose Sebastian Modak, one of our finalists from last year, and a journalist with an impressive background and résumé. Just weeks before he sets off to his first destination — Puerto Rico, which took the No. 1 spot on the list this year — we asked him some questions about himself and the trip ahead.

So, how does it feel to be the 52 Places Traveler for 2019?

In a word: surreal. It’s a lot of emotions at once — gratitude, excitement, anxiety — but mostly I’m still finding it hard to wrap my head around it concretely. I’m starting to think the sheer scope of what I’m doing won’t hit me until I make landfall in the first destination and start reporting. Luckily, data scientists at the travel aggregator Kayak have helped us sketch out an itinerary for the year in advance — as they did last year for Jada — so I have some sense of what the structure of my year looks like. That said, this trip wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if I knew exactly what to expect, right? I’m ready to embrace all the uncertainty that comes with an opportunity like this and see where it takes me.

Have you been following Jada Yuan, our 2018 Traveler? Anything in particular you’ve picked up from her dispatches?

I’ve read every one. It’s been a real pleasure following along and I know I’ve got some big, well-worn shoes to fill. My favorite moments from Jada’s dispatches were the interactions that, on the surface, may seem everyday, but in actuality tell much bigger stories about a place: a night out in Kigali, a meal in La Paz, a haphazardly assembled trip-planning committee in China built out of nothing but the kindness of strangers. Those stories get at the heart of why we travel. I’m hoping to bring the same openness and down-for-anything attitude that led Jada to those moments.
In a couple of ways, you have a background uniquely suited to this gig.

I do feel like I’ve been working toward doing something like this my whole life. I was born in the United States to a Colombian mother and an Indian father, but we left for Hong Kong when I was 2 years old and continued to move every few years. My brothers and I didn’t really grow up with the concept of “home,” because we understood every place was temporary. It made travel the only real constant in our lives. January marks five years in New York City, though, and that puts it in a joint first-place spot for the longest I’ve stayed anywhere — tied with Indonesia and India.

For me, travel is all about immersing yourself in the unfamiliar, and embracing the feeling of humility that comes with that: There’s always something to learn from someone else, from somewhere else. That’s what made me choose a career in multimedia storytelling. I was a Fulbright-mtvU fellow in Botswana, where I spent a year documenting the local hip-hop scene. I was a producer on an MTV series that looked at the role of the arts in protest movements around the world. Most recently, I was an editor and then a staff writer at Condé Nast Traveler, where I was often sent on assignment to find and report stories that resonate with a global and globally curious audience. I think the thread that connects all of these experiences is an insatiable sense of wonder at the world around me.
You’ll be starting your journey in Puerto Rico, which took the No. 1 spot on the list. Have you been?

I haven’t been, but I’ve wanted to — in part thanks to some of the island’s cultural exports that show up in New York, where I live: heaping portions of arroz con gandules and the sounds of hip-hop duo Calle 13, for example. I can’t think of a better time to finally make the trip. Working in travel journalism, I’ve seen and reported on how natural disasters can devastate economies, not just in their immediate aftermaths, but for months or years.

As has been the case in the wake of Hurricane Maria, tourism is often one of the hardest hit sectors. But I’ve heard about how resilient the people of Puerto Rico have been in the face of not only hurricanes, but economic and political crises as well. I can’t wait to try the island’s coffee at its source and follow the sound of rolling bomba drums to a countryside dance party. But, most of all, I’m looking forward to meeting the people whose perseverance has made Puerto Rico the No. 1 slot this year, just a year and a half after tragedy.
Is there a destination on the list you are most looking forward to?

There’s nothing I’m not excited about, but I think Iran takes the top spot. More than any other place on the list, or even in the world, Iran is somewhere that I’ve only ever been able to look at from afar, through the lens of scary newspaper headlines. I’ve found that there’s often a huge gap between the everyday lived experience of people on the ground and the country as we understand it through geopolitics. I’m ready for any preconceptions I have to be totally shattered, and I’m excited to share my experience with New York Times readers.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges for this job?

I know the hardest part of this trip is going to be the abrupt end to any stability or normalcy I’ve created over the past few years. To say “see you in a year” to my (unconscionably supportive) partner, my friends and the routines I’ve developed here in New York is going to hurt. I also know I have to recognize the immense privilege I’ve been given and channel that sense of unmooring and the inevitable loneliness that will set in from time to time into motivation to keep going, keep learning, and keep telling stories. If past travels are anything to go by, you often find on-the-go support networks in the most unlikely of places.

How are you preparing for the trip, practically and emotionally?

I’ve found myself zeroing in on really small, likely inconsequential things. Do I finally give up on my sentimentality around physical books and buy a Kindle? (Probably.) Will I even have time to read books? (Probably not.) I get that a versatile pair of shoes is going to be important and I should probably start researching that, but “how many pairs of socks do I bring?” I think it’s in part a way for me to avoid the larger existential questions, but I also think it’s a good approach. I’m starting small and then gradually working my way up, because I know “where am I?” is going to be the question I end up asking the most.


Economic, Social impact / Tourism Economic Impact
« on: October 03, 2018, 10:59:48 AM »
Tourism Economic Impact

The economic importance of tourism to a destination is commonly underappreciated and extends well beyond core hospitality and transportation sectors. Tourism Economics offers a solution to destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and to industry associations that marries rigorous methodology and compelling communication to raise the profile of tourism as an economic engine.

Our approach combines visitor survey and industry data to provide maximum credibility and to ensure no component of tourism activity is overlooked.

Tourism Economics' impact models also capture the critical secondary benefits to the tourism supply chain and the economic gains through the local spending of tourism wages.

This provides a comprehensive view of tourism-generated sales, production, employment, wages, and taxes. But the best research is only as good as its communication. Our clients enjoy a presentation style of clear and compelling narrative, charts, tables, and maps. In this way, the message of tourism's importance is clearly conveyed and our clients' objectives are realized.

Our staff has completed nearly one hundred tourism economic impact studies for cities, states, regions, and countries across the world. We have also assessed the impacts of particular sectors such as aviation, film, and cruising.

Our team possesses particular experience developing Tourism Satellite Accounts (TSAs) as ratified by the UN as the global standard for measuring the economic value of tourism. Our staff has implemented Tourism Satellite Account research for over two-dozen clients over the past decade, significantly raising the profile and understanding of tourism's role in the economy.

Source :

Community Based Tourism / Community based tourism
« on: October 03, 2018, 10:46:10 AM »
Community based tourism

Tourism is no longer a dirty word in Mae Klang Luang, a small village in the Dol Inthanon National Park in northern Thailand and a couple of hours drive from the city of Chiang Mai. In the past, Thailand’s tourists – numbering some 13 million a year – had little interest in such places with their modest clusters of bamboo and thatch homes set on gentle slopes among rice fields. Instead, they piled into the beach resorts of the south, forged to succour the dreams of stressed out westerners. Thailand is good at providing such respite, but it is not so good at nurturing a tourism that benefits the many Thais who have seen their traditions and communities overrun by hordes of hedonists.

What a handful of Thai villages – and Mae Klang Luang is one of them – are now offering is quite the opposite of mass tourism. Community-based tourism is where visitors stay in local homes, have a glimpse into traditional life, and, most importantly, where management and benefits remain with the community. This means that villagers are properly paid, their culture is respected, and decisions about what the tourists do and see remains with the villagers. No longer, as used to happen in Mae Klang Luang, do tourists arrive unannounced, ask for drugs, show no respect, gawp at the villagers, and depart leaving garbage but no money. Instead, a radical shift in the balance of power means that tourism now benefits the village while the visitors glimpse the ways of local people. There is a hike through the forest learning about the use of plants, a visit to the village organic garden and the fish farm, sipping cups of freshly roasted coffee (fairly traded to the Chang Mai Starbucks, say the villagers), and, of course there is plentiful food, and the hospitality of a village family for a night’s sleep. There is even a small museum full of household equipment and old tools. Even in Mae Klang Luang plastic is replacing terracotta and bamboo and Som Sak, one of the key villagers behind the tourism initiative, knows that the village must hold on to its heritage.

Indeed, at Mae Klang Luang, tourism has replaced a negative dependency on poppy-growing and the degradation of the forests. As Som Sak said: “If tourism is one part of our economy we can save the forest. It is sustainable.” Essentially, tourism has become a tool for development. It is a way for the village’s rice-growers, organic flower farmers and foresters to become decision-makers and to continue their lives in a sustainable way.

The same positive reaction to tourism has also been gathering momentum in the often over-exploited fishing communities of Thailand’s south. In Koh Yao Noi, for example, one villager recognised how tourism could strengthen their culture. “The sea is normal to us,” he said, “but interesting to tourists. In the past we didn’t see it as important but taking visitors fishing makes us see things differently. Our tourism is not what you get from a hotel, but our service is from the heart.”

What is happening in Thailand is a completely new approach. But such positive results do not happen by accident. Progress in Mae Klang Luang and Koh Yao Noi was made possible through a radical partnership between tour operators, both local and international, and the communities themselves, initiated by a small Thai NGO called the Community-based Tourism Initiative (CBTI). Their work creates an important model, and one that provides a power base for the hosts: as Peter Richards, a CBTI worker, said: “Villages are not products – they are being empowered by the process.” It also nurtures a fruitful relationship for the tour operators – and a fascinating holiday for the tourists. CBTI is also responding to what a small but growing body of holidaymakers want. As one tour operator who works with the CBTI told some community leaders: “Our guests are looking to discover your way of life, not a prefab additional or one that you think they might want. They could go to a theme park for that.”

New role for consumers
Community-based tourism is just one of a number of terms used to describe holidays that benefit both the traveller and the destination. Hard and fast definitions may not exist but the words “green”, “responsible”, “fair trade”, “positive” or “ethical” tourism (“ecotourism” is another term but now often associated with greenwash and limited to environmental concerns) are all about treading lightly on people’s homes and cultures, about a positive interaction between guests and host countries, and about an awareness of our impact on the well-being of the places where we take our holiday. Essentially, such holidays seek to minimise the negative impacts of tourism and maximise the benefits to hosts.

Sometimes this might sound sanctimonious or a bit po-faced. Those who use the phrase politically correct to denigrate such experiences like to sneer at the terms “ethical” or “responsible” tourism. Critics say that those who promote ethical tourism are snobbish elitists, who are idealising some pristine age before Tuscany, Barbados, or “that little place in Kerala” had been “ruined” by “ordinary people”. The implications are that the holidaymakers who try to be ethical are holier than thou and that their holidays are not really holidays at all but some sort of wearisome social-work project disguised as pleasure.

This could not be further from the truth. Holidays such as those at Mae Klang Luang are as much fun, and can provide as much excitement and wonder as any other sort of holiday. As the website says: “If you travel for relaxation, fulfilment, discovery, adventure and to learn – rather than simply to tick off ‘places and things’ then responsible travel is for you.” Responsible tourists can make a difference by getting closer to local cultures and environments and by involving local people.

Travelling to benefit the destination as well as the traveller has become a talking point. The growing crisis of climate change has focussed our attention on the environment and the damage we do our planet and its peoples. It also makes us reflect on what we as individuals could and should be doing about it. That’s not looking backwards. That represents the cutting edge of thinking. While the travel pages of newspapers have been slow to pick up on this, they no longer ignore the debate. Travel articles about “green” skiing, about the problematic growth of golf courses or whether it’s acceptable to swim with dolphins now crop up more regularly, at least in the “broadsheet” newspapers. As the Observer newspaper commented: “Go on holiday and save the world may sound like a title of a Ben Elton sketch, but the idea seems to be catching on.” Such articles at least sow the seeds of the idea that tourism is a human rights issue.

A brand-new role for consumers in the tourism market has emerged from three trends: first, there is a thirst for different and more “exciting” holidays; second, there is a growing realisation of the negative impacts of tourism – its clod-hopping footprints in other people’s homes in the deserts, forests, sea-shores, mountains of the world, and, thirdly, of course is climate change. These moods have come together to build a demand for a new type of holiday encapsulated perhaps in the “slow travel” movement, which emphasises the pleasures of the train over the plane, the reflective moment rather than instant gratification.

However, the ideas behind ethical tourism are also part of something broader – a global consumer movement, which is strengthening as people flex their muscles and make conscious choices about how they spend their holiday money and why. These ideas may be strengthened as economic recession and climate change trigger unprecedented naval-gazing into the choices we have to make for a sustainable future. At the same time there is also evidence of a change in business practices, evidence that some companies are beginning to embrace a “social good” element in their policy thinking. These ideas are, too, filtering down to the tourist industry.

The fair trade movement is a pioneer of this; it is proof that there is a new wave of people power that can provide producers in developing countries with a fair share of the returns from the sale of their produce. Just as more consumers are choosing fairly traded coffee or bananas because they know that such a purchase supports a small coffee grower or banana farmer rather than a multi-national company, so they are beginning to seek a “fair trade” type of holiday.

While fair trade products benefit the producers on the ground so fair trade tourism maximises the benefits to the host countries and their workers. The fact that you can now not only read about “fair trade”, “responsible” holidays or “ethical” holidays but also go on something approximating one shows how far tourism is changing for the good.

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