The travel and tourism industry can accelerate travel recovery and become more resilient by adopting technology solutions according to a new report released today by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Vynn Capital, a Southeast Asia based venture capital firm.
The report, The Hard Reboot: Technology Powers Mobility, offers insightful analysis on the effects of health crises on the travel and tourism industry, and the potential to enable and strengthen the industry with technological transformation, providing actionable information for governments and companies on how to accelerate digital information of the industry.
“To expedite the recovery of the global travel and tourism industry, there is an urgent need to adopt new strategies and solutions to ensure the health and safety of travellers, said PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera. “At the local, regional, and global levels, travel organisations recognise the importance of integrating technology to access robust, transparent, and actionable data for better coordination. Also, as destinations reopen and international travel resumes, a host of new questions are emerging about how to build sustainability within the travel and tourism industry while minimising risks.”
The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has altered our daily life significantly by having an impact on social interactions, work dynamics, and digital use. The travel and tourism industry has not been immune to the effects of the pandemic. Indeed, curfews and travel restrictions to contain the spread of the virus were introduced in many countries, which led to a large-scale decline in travel across the world from early 2020 onwards. The global travel & tourism industry’s contribution to GDP plunged by US$4.5 trillion year-over-year in 2020, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Many businesses were forced to close due to inactivity under imposed anti-pandemic measures, while other businesses that remained opened only recorded limited activity.
The crisis has crystalized the importance of digital transformation of the travel and tourism industry. Companies across all sectors, including airlines, hotels, tours and activities, and ground transportation, have committed to the adoption of digital tools to enhance health and safety protocols and increase the sustainability of their operations. Digital adoption is no longer an additional feature but an essential component of travel.
In this report, PATA and Vynn Capital explore past pandemics’ impacts, examine potential losses of future pandemics due to the lack of a coordinated technological approach, and, most importantly, highlight noteworthy technology solutions for travel recovery, propose the framework of seamless travel journey enabled by technology, and provide adjusted Travel Tourism Index (TTCI) as a benchmark for the creation of competitive travel environment to enable mobility.
Victor Chua, Founding and Managing Partner of Vynn Capital, stated, “The travel and tourism industry has been tremendously impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. Only over a few days, international travel halted in 2020 and remained below pre-pandemic levels 18 months later. However, we have witnessed businesses and travel destinations coming together to find technology solutions to accelerate the recovery of travel and build resilience. As a result, decisions related to digital transformation are not only relevant now but also more urgent. As we reflect on the recent developments in the travel and tourism industry, we recognize the importance of the acceleration of technological transformations in the travel and tourism industry along with government support for the creation of a competitive technology-enabled environment to ensure sustainable recovery of travel.”