WTTC Launches New Report on the Future of Travel & Tourism is a Post-COVID World
In late September, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) unveiled a new report that explores the implications of the trends for each of four key Travel & Tourism stakeholders: travelers, businesses, workforce, and communities. WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, worked closely with Oliver Wyman, a global management consulting firm, along with number of WTTC’s members from key areas of the Travel & Tourism sector, to bring together this important body of work.
The report emphasizes the importance of taking a global coordinated approach to recovery: enhancing the current seamless travel experience, embracing the integration of new technologies and enacting global protocols for health and hygiene to ultimately rebuild the confidence of travelers. Notably, it highlights the need for public and private sector to work together to recover the millions of jobs impacted, rebuild traveler confidence, and build the sector’s resilience.
The report stresses that, as we re-imagine the future of Travel & Tourism and explore policy recommendations, four macro-trends are expected to lead the way through recovery and beyond: demand evolution, health and hygiene, innovation and digitization, and sustainability.
According to the report, 70% of North American leisure travelers say they would book during COVID-19 if changes were free. Additionally, more than nine out of 10 (92%) of consumers trust personal recommendations with regards to health and hygiene, and 69% of travelers cite cleanliness as a critical component of a travel brand’s crisis response, and it is expected that travelers will continue to pay heightened attention to health and hygiene even after there is a COVID-19 vaccine. This signifies a need for destination readiness, as consumers priorities evolve, along with the need to adopt new protocols for health and safety measures to keep up with the demand evolution we are seeing.
Digitization has been paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the shift to remote working, as well as lockdowns around the world, there has been a rapid shift towards digitization, with people increasingly feeling comfortable with a touchless travel experience. The report reveals that it is here to stay with almost half (45%) of travelers saying they are ready to move from paper passports to a digital identity. From widespread unemployment and anti-racism movements, to the restoration of natural habitats, the world has been reinvigorated to tackle social, environmental, and institutional sustainability.
Furthermore, almost three quarters (73%) of consumers state they are taking note of brands that are making a difference during COVID-19, showing that growing attention is being paid to sustainability.
Matthieu De Clercq, Partner at Oliver Wyman, said “The Travel & Tourism sector already accounts already for one in 10 jobs globally, and will continue to be critical to the economic development of many economies. Creating inclusive opportunities for women, youth and minorities alike does not only make sense economically, but is also what tourists of the future want, especially post-COVID. “It is imperative to move beyond the crisis and continue to support systemic change in the industry to enhance its resilience to future shocks and improve its positive socio-economic positive impact.”
According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million in total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.