Coronavirus & Travel Industry: how to respond to the Outbreak Impact
Since first being identified in late-2019 in the Wuhan region of China, Coronavirus COVID-19 has spread to dozens of countries around the world.
Here are some of the key details:
- Over 183,800 cases have been confirmed.
- Almost 7,180 deaths recorded.
- 162 countries impacted.
- Number of cases “recovering” from symptoms over 79,900. Remainder still under observation or quarantine.
- The World Health Organization defined the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 as global “pandemic” from March 11.
Every economic shock leaves a legacy. The deadly coronavirus will be no different.
The Travel Industry is facing a huge stress test and immediate disruption to business, due to public health concern spirals and entire populations encouraged or even forced not to travel.
In just a few weeks, people in affected areas have become accustomed to wearing masks, stocking up on essentials, canceling social and business gatherings, scrapping travel plans and working from home. Even countries with relatively few cases are taking many of those precautions.
CORONAVIRUS – HOW TO RESPOND TO THE OUTBREAK IMPACT
The Travel Industry is experiencing the most drastic impact, with flights, cruises, hotels and the entire web of businesses who feed off the sector struggling. While tourists will no doubt be eager to explore the world and relax on a beach again, it may take some time before the industry that hires about one in 10 people recovers.
A flight between Shanghai and Chongqing now costs $4, about the price of a tall latte at Starbucks. Flights from New York to Miami were on offer for $51 last week, roughly the same as the cab fare from the airport to Manhattan. You could have taken off from Miami to Paris for just $278. The problem for the airline industry is: will anyone take them?
CORONAVIRUS – HOW TO RESPOND TO THE OUTBREAK IMPACT – WHAT TO DO?
REACT, REINVENT, REVOLVE
Clearly, this is not to be intended as an invite for speculative unethical behaviour.
This is the time to reinvent yourself, to think out of the box, to change old and safe paths into new and unknown ones, the only possibility to survive this uncertain time.
Drop complaining, stop blaming: use your energy in a proactive, constructive way. It’s a time of struggle, yes, but it’s also a time for new opportunities.
So, how should we start?
- Analyse today’s needs in your niche. If you can’t align, find the best way to get closer;
- Communicate: in this moment people are looking for quality informations, authentic contents, reassurance about the future;
- Improve your digital skills, now more than ever you need to work hard on you online presence;
- Invest your time in education, training courses, e-learning;
- Don’t neglect your network;
- Think ahead: what’s gonna be needed the most in you niche when the alarm will be over?
- Synergies: Travel Industry is all struggling, but deals among insiders can be made to find new strengths;
- Mindset: it’s like a catastrophe no one could predict, therefore it requires actions no one has thought of yet;
In a few months, or years, we’ll look behind us and we’ll see someone who made it, who did have one great idea and flipped a difficult situation into a great opportunity.