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Is Travel and Tourism Post-COVID-19 a Brave New World or Apocalypse Now? This you have to read!

September 17, 2020 Headline News No Comments Email Email

As a Welsh-Australian, it saddens me to have to admit, albeit begrudgingly, that it takes a Scot to give us the clarity of vision we are all seeking in these challenging times. [Only kidding about the Scot bit!]

Why because Tom Buncle, former CEO of Tourism Scotland and now MD of global destination consultancy Yellow Railroad in an excellent and highly topical article you have to read below asks will it be “a new normal”, “a Brave New World” or “Apocalypse Now?”.

In the meantime, my rant for today – how many of us have become tired of those who have overnight either become experts in COVID-19, or appear to have become epidemiologists overnight, authorities on practically everything COVIS, and equally so I am fed up with the conspiracy theorists, the naysayers and the anti vaxxers.

I recognise and value greatly the right to free speech, but someone telling me last weekend that there is no COVID-19 it has all been created by Governments and the swab is just a way to inject microchips in us, does make one scratch ones head as to where some people get these ideas, with also freedom of speech a joke really when we consider that most media [not eGTM of course!] now appear to be driven by different political and financial interests…and I think I will scream if I hear another news reporter uses the phrase, “these are unpreceded times.”

So back to Tom Buncle, with Tom is his usual Scottish clarity and clear vision, eschewing all these overnight specialists and naysayers and mainstream media produced rubbish and “breaking news” or special reports”, with Tom saying. “The COVID-19 pandemic is being tipped to precipitate worldwide economic and social change as momentous as the invention of the printing press, the industrial revolution, the end of two World Wars, and the internet.”, adding  A “new normal’ is about to be unleashed”.


He quite rightly, as I do and imagine many of you, asks the questions, “Is this mere media hype? Or, in talking about a ‘new normal’, are we kidding ourselves about the very concept of normality, which, elusive at best, defies description and is more commonly understood as a setting on the washing machine rather than any discernible pattern of human behaviour?”

Well, for anyone with any interest in any sector of this great industry this is the time to check out Tom’s excellent thoughts and views, by clicking on this link and reading on: –

Come you can do it and you will end up highly enlightened and with a significantly greater degree of clarity for the future than you had before, as Tom sorts “hope from hype and lays down some plausible parameters for speculation about a possible road to recovery for the global tourism industry – from behavioural change at home to potential civil unrest in developing nations”, with tantalising subject headings including: –

  • On the Cusp of a Global Revolution?
  • Acknowledging Reality
  • Widespread Implications
  • We’re All Epidemiologists Now
  • Reassurance Is Critical
  • Reopening Isn’t the Same as Recovery
  • Recipe for Recovery
  • Right People, Right Time, Right Message
  • Forget ‘New Normal’ – Focus on New Opportunities
  • Staycations
  • Flexcations:
  • Seasonal extension:
  • Business travel:
  • Conferences:
  • Blended working:
  • Cities:
  • Countryside:
  • Retail:
  • Slow tourism
  • Responsible travel:
  • Group and cruise travel:
  • Travel companions:
  • Accommodation
  • Public transport:
  • Advance booking:
  • Cancellations and refunds:
  • Consumer credit as cash flow:
  • Prices:
  • High tech – low touch:
  • Trust:

Finally, Tom’s closing says it all.

“While a vaccine might be the light at the end of this tunnel, we will have to learn to live with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future.”

“Fortunately, experience suggests we are a pretty resilient species.”

“We are good at navigating a course between reason and hope.”

“And that has to be something for the tourism industry worldwide to hang on to“

“The question is not whether we will travel widely again, but where and how soon.”

“And that will be determined by medical developments, personal confidence, business credibility, and astute destination management.”

“But, if tourism is to recover its full potential, both as a driver of economic development and as a contributor to sustainable communities, national and local government will need to grasp the nettle of strategic leadership and develop robust, transformational plans, not piecemeal, ‘finger-in-the-dyke’ tactics and challenge funds masquerading as strategies.”

Never was anything truer in tourism and all its sectors – thank you Tom.

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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