How will we travel tomorrow? Discover the world after COVID-19

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

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Society as a whole needs to rethink how we will travel tomorrow. [Mesut Kaya / Unsplash]

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. Not only tourism sector but the economy as a whole has come to a standstill. There’s no doubt we are confronted with an outstanding challenge.

The first quarter of 2020 has seen a drop of 67 million international arrivals, which represents a loss of US$ 80 billion for the tourism industry. The drop has been felt like a domino-effect across the world: airlines, tour operators, hotels, restaurants, many of which might be on the brink of bankruptcy. A catastrophic scenario including a widespread emergency of companies going out of business.

On May 13th, the European Commission released a package of guidelines to help Member States lift travel restrictions. This will be the first step towards recovery because it includes not only safety measures but also economic and social considerations such as ensuring liquidity for tourism businesses. The European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee has welcomed the Commission’s package and on May 28th, a strong EU recovery plan of €750 billion as well as targeted reinforcements to the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027 will bring the total financial firepower of the EU budget to €1.85 trillion.

The season can be partly saved if we take into account how the initial outlook was. The question now is: How do we come out of this crisis as a society that has learned from its errors and difficult moments? How do we achieve balance between urgent sustainability and economic recovery? Society as a whole needs to rethink how we will travel tomorrow to boost not only economic recovery but also trust in human cooperation, resilience, and the continued nourishment of cultural bridges that tourism brings about.

A new model of tourism: towards a sustainable travel 

Sustainability is key for the tourism of tomorrow. Conservation of biodiversity, respect for the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, securing the social welfare and economic security of the host communities, and sustainable use of environmental resources need to be the pillars of the new model of tourism.

This crisis is an opportunity to place stronger emphasis on tourism strategies to coordinate action across all stakeholders. Integrating a circular economy model in the complete tourism value chain, involving producers, distributors, consumers, and environmental protection agencies is crucial. The transition to resource-efficient and low carbon tourism operation is necessary, while keeping a strong focus on resilience and competitiveness of the sector.

Travel Tomorrow: regain trust in a post-COVID world 

It is in this context that Buscardini Communications, a Brussels-based agency, launched a new global media focused on travel experiences, sustainable tourism and the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry. Travel Tomorrow aims to offer value to its audience. We want to deliver up-to-date content on government measures and recommendations, new health and travel advisories, and other relevant information on travel and tourism.

Standing at this crossroad, Travel Tomorrow wants both to inspire travelers and to give voice to every stakeholder in the tourism industry who has been affected by the COVID-19 travel restrictions: airlines and tour operators, hotels, museums, cultural and historical sites, restaurant and coffee-shop owners, among others. We want to show how they have been impacted, how they are responding, and what they will do differently in the future.

Find your destination: #TravelTomorrow

And last but not least, we want our audience to dream. We want to stimulate their senses, to awake their imagination. Travel Tomorrow will be your guide to discover cultural treasures, ancient traditions, diverse gastronomy and lifestyles, breath-taking landscapes, and all the world has to offer. Travel Tomorrow will stimulate your appetite for big cities and towns alike. We want to surprise our audience by showing new angles to a destination they thought they knew.

But all of this through a new lens. Travel Tomorrow believes there has to be a change. A substantial change. Society needs to learn from this experience, the tough yet important lessons the pandemic has delivered to our lives.

To sum-up, we want to help travellers and the tourism industry to be inspired and regain trust in a post-COVID world.

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