Recently, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) hosted an online global forum focused on post-pandemic tourism prospects for Hong Kong, mainland and international travel markets.
The online event “Beyond Covid-19: Global Tourism’s New Normal” brought together participants from the global tourism and travel business industry, hospitality, aviation regulator, MICE, the media, among others.
The event saw speakers from different industries discuss the latest feelings and behaviors of consumers. Information on the challenges facing the industry and how the industry is expected to respond, and trends to expect as people resume travel after the pandemic were the main discussion points of the forum.
HKTB President Dr YK Pang stressed the importance of restoring consumer confidence. “As an industry, our central mission must be to give every traveler the confidence and assurance that their trip is safe from start to finish.
“Our cooperation must cross geographic and trade borders. We need to pool our knowledge and expertise and tap into our collective ingenuity to meet the challenges that lie ahead. “
Dr Pang also highlighted several initiatives adopted by HKTB and announced that the tourism board will join forces with the Hong Kong SAR government and business partners to create “Open House Hong Kong” – a platform for travel to tell the world that Hong Kong is a Covid-safe destination ready to welcome visitors again with compelling offers and exciting experiences.
Elaborating more on the tourism sector, Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), said: “The pandemic has had a devastating global socio-economic impact. Our recent research shows that over 197 million jobs are at risk, resulting in a loss of over US $ 5.5 trillion in global travel and tourism GDP.
“Our recently launched Safe Travels stamp will allow travelers to recognize companies and destinations around the world that have implemented WTTC’s global protocols and will encourage the return of Safe Travels around the world. “
On the aviation front, Alexandre de Juniac, CEO and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) stressed that reviving the travel and tourism sector is vital. He said: “Millions of livelihoods depend on it. As parts of the world start to reopen their economies, I have no doubt people will still want to travel. But adapting to the realities of Covid-19 and regaining people’s trust is a challenge that must be met head-on with cooperation.
“Aviation is one example. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has developed global guidelines to mitigate the risk of transmission during air travel. Now governments must align to lead implementation with the full support of industry.
In terms of hospitality, guest speaker Peter C. Borer, COO of Hong Kong and Shanghai hotels, said the industry will move towards a “new normal” with health measures in place. and unprecedented security.
Speaking of the MICE industry, Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director and CEO of the World Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) adds: “Trade events will become more digital. But the main driving force of success is and remains direct exchange, face-to-face. Clicks don’t discuss deals and eyeballs don’t sign orders.