Kickstarting the Tourism Industry Again

What is the tourism industry doing to overcome COVID-19?

  • The tourism industry must plan for both short and long-term.

  • Responsiveness and collaboration is important for the tourism economy.

  • Digitisation is the key to the future of tourism.

In the early months of COVID-19, the once unstoppable force of the international tourism industry was left paralysed, leaving a gruelling 100.8 million tourism workers worldwide jobless.

The initial trajectory proposed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated a decline of up to 80% in the international tourism economy if action isn’t taken by the end of 2020.

But, seeing as the initial wave of the pandemic is beginning to slow its momentum, countries like Malaysia and New Zealand are starting to ease restrictions on domestic travels.

These small steps implicate the eventual revival of the tourism sectors. As frameworks are being set in place for immediate and long term recovery plans, let’s skim through some of them!

Responsive and immediate relief

While macro-managing the pandemic, some countries have extended resources to alleviate financial distress among smaller businesses and workers.

These initiatives vary among countries; some come in stimulus checks (a return of a percentage of tax paid), or government-assisted packages such as loans and tax subsidies. These alternatives in income provide a short continuity for businesses and workers to keep afloat as the industry continues to find stabilisation.

Hospitality at its best

During the peak of COVID-19, there were instances where hotels were transformed into makeshift quarantine zones, like how our very own hotels were adapted to absorb the influx of international arrivals.

This joint effort between the tourism and health sector expands the total capacity and efficiency towards curbing the pandemic, while creating a series of job opportunities for frontline workers and tourism alike.


A silver lining in these times, e-Tourism is a modernised approach to tourism that utilises the aid of digital applications. This can provide long-term solutions to overcome the anxiety of travelling in the future.

Presently, mobile apps are making strong waves in the post-covid tourism industry, as hotels have begun to digitise and automate processes like check-ins and administrative work with apps such as CitizenM. This minimises the amount of physical contact and boosts consumer confidence.

A new norm for tourism

The immediate impact of COVID-19 has caused many nations to reevaluate the operations of certain industries, and to develop the potential for a pandemic-proof system in the long run.

The success of tourism in the future depends on how confident a consumer is with travelling and what kind of travel experience they seek; this is evident with Royal Brunei Airlines’ (RBA) Dine & Fly experience. Marking a new change in how tourism perceives trends in consumers.

Bah! The pandemic has left us itching for suntans and sparkling cityscapes. It may take some time before we get there, but when we do, it may be a tad bit different from what we remembered.