Written by Quadri. R. Atanda
The travels, tourism and hospitality industry has been on the receiving end of the negativities of Covid-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic which has brought governments and countries down on their knees. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council(WTTC),more than 174 million jobs have been lost with a $4.7 trillion US dollars loss in global GDP in 2020 alone.
As a result travels, tourism and hospitality with allied services such as accommodation, transportation, food and beverages, entertainment, hotels, casinos, restaurants along with financial and IT services that support the travels, tourism and hospitality industry are badly hit, not forgetting tour operators, transporters, taxi drivers and those whose means of sustenance is directly or remotely linked with the travels industry.
Major travels and tourism event such as ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin) the largest global tourism trade fair has been cancelled for the second year running thereby denying hotels, tourist boards, tour operators, system providers, airlines and car rental companies and others opportunity for networking and showcasing their products and services.
Aside being the leader in global travels and tourism trade shows, ITB Berlin propagates the value of Corporate Social Responsibility, advocates environmental and ecological responsibility as sustainable practices while advocating respect for human and animal rights, environmental protection, tackling sexual exploitation of women and children in tourism, while also promoting interaction between travels and tourism research institutes/researchers and various stakeholders in the industry.
The devastating impact of Covid-19 will certainly have a reverberating effect on the travels, tourism and hospitality industry even in post-covid 19 era, as such, the need arises for industry stakeholders to strategise ahead on how the industry can make a quick rebound in post-covid 19 era for recovery or mitigation of loses so as the help reduce the strain on national and global economies brought about by Covid-19 impact on travels, tourism and hospitality industry, since it is obvious the absence of physical gathering of the travels and tourism industry practitioners in ITB Berlin is a serious draw back to the industry.