With world arrivals forecast to be down 50% by the end of 2020, the global travel supply chain is under immense pressure. A global recession and new waves of the virus are forcing countries to use innovation to accelerate recovery, according to global market research company Euromonitor International’s new report, ‘Accelerating Travel Innovation After Coronavirus .’
In Europe, a strong rebound of 5% real GDP growth and a 76% increase in inbound receipts are expected in 2021.
The Euromonitor report suggests that sustainable tourism will play a big part in the recovery process, with countries looking to achieve net positive impact for local communities, especially in destinations suffering from over-tourism, like Barcelona.
With a rise in nature-based activities, known for its cognitive benefits, other destinations, like Scotland, are developing a therapeutic recovery programme to improve mental wellbeing post-lockdown.
In Asia Pacific, recovery is expected within three years; relatively quicker than Western Europe. Home to the world’s largest population of internet users, innovation in the region is already thriving, with concepts already in use for tackling various needs during lockdown, including customer journey, mobility and sustainable destination management. By 2025, Singapore will lead online travel sales with an average spend of US$1,200 per person a year.
In the Americas, Panama and Argentina are forecast to experience a 20% annual rise in inbound receipts in 2021-2025, ahead of the USA at 12%. Digitalisation is accelerating with a wide range of technology incorporated into new travel concepts, including AI, automation, blockchain and the Internet of Things, to create a safer, more sustainable and seamless travel experience.
Insights from Euromonitor show that 61% of US travel companies expect AI to impact their business in the next five years.
Countries in the Africa and the Middle East are introducing new health and hygiene protocols to reassure people’s safety. Mosques in Saudi Arabia are using Ozone technology and thermal cameras for mass disinfection and temperature scanning. While in Africa, the potential for smart connected cities is close to reality in countries such as South Africa and Nigeria, with the acceleration in digital identity creation and rolling out 5G.