George Polyzos - Senior Purchasing Manager, TUI

The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in numerous socio-cultural, economic and psychological impacts on various tourism stakeholders – consequences of which will remain. The (covid) crisis presents one of the most challenging environments ever seen for Tourism professionals & investors, an environment with events described as “unprecedented” & “once in a lifetime”. But despite the unique challenges the current situation presents, the industry players still need to invest; from the smallest to the biggest tour operator, hotelier, Governments & private investors themselves.

The hospitality and tourism industry for a long time have been characterized as global growth industries though the pandemic has made the industry aware that there are certain limitations to this growth model. It is a unique chance to ask whether the current business portfolio is adapted to future travel needs, increased safety regulations and growing environmental concerns. Digital components will definitely play a significant role in the future, allowing for virtual closer proximity to the customer and an increase in the service experience for guests. Authenticity, technology and creativity will become important competitive aspects that will shape and influence future hospitality concepts.

Investment and financing will be an essential part of this & the possibilities are wide-ranging, including public and private investment in low carbon transport options, the construction of resource efficient tourism infrastructure, as well as initiatives to support innovation, promote the adoption of responsible business practices and encourage the integration of tourism businesses into low carbon and sustainable tourism supply chains.


So with growth expected to return in global tourism once we’ve overcome the crisis, significant investment will be required to provide the accommodation, transport and other tourism-related services and infrastructure necessary to meet expected demand, while enhancing economic, social and environmental outcome.

This will require an integrated approach across many departments (e.g. transport, environment, agriculture, innovation, education, tourism) and levels of government (national, regional, local), with input and support from industry. Investment will also be critical in managing this growing tourism in a sustainable manner.

Travel & tourism has been the backbone of economies around the world. It brings in essential currency and inward investment, creates jobs and stimulates every sector, so it’s important that we all understand that tourism investments will allow the industry to develop and expand further in a sustainable way.


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