I don’t really write that much on social media but I saw many people putting their thoughts out there, so I started writing mine. Before I knew it, it was too long for a normal Facebook post. Please accept this submission:
On January 26th I suggest that the Corona virus might be a really big deal, the kind of thing to push us in to global recession. So, here we are still in the midst of things almost 4 months later with the world turned upside down. But what happens next?
As things start to open up, those businesses that haven’t already fallen by the wayside face unique challenges. Obviously, from a personal perspective I am focused on tourism, one of the hardest hit sectors, so here are a few of my thoughts:
How an earth can a restaurant operate? To maintain social distancing for customers their capacity is reduced by at least 50%, ruining the dining atmosphere and the experience.How is it even possible to maintain social distancing in a commercial kitchen? Do the owners face law suits for not protecting their kitchen staff ? Or do kitchen staff now have to wear full PPE?
Will tourists even come? Yes, there is HUGE pent up demand to travel. People around the world are sick of not being able to go anywhere, they want to travel, they want a holiday. Yes, some people will not have the money to travel but I don’t believe that will prevent the majority. The fear and danger of travel will prevent everyone from going on vacation. So, how do we reduce fear and risk?
Domestic tourism is the easiest, drive yourself with no fear of getting stuck in a foreign country in quarantine. Go hiking or camping easy, no risk at all Getting on a plane, getting in a taxi, staying at a hotel, going to a bar or a tourist attraction. That is a very different premise.
Governments need to be very clear and upfront about what travel means. Will we have to fly from the UK to Thailand spend 2 weeks in quarantine when we arrive in Thailand and a further 2 weeks in quarantine when we get back to the UK? People have to feel safe. Airports and airlines need to be very clear on how they are going to keep us safe.
Renting private Villas will be more popular. Also, staying in hotels that are very clear about “no touch” policies – digital keys, no touch room service and hand sanitizer becomes the new hotel room slippers!
Letting tourist agents and your customers know how your activity or attraction is going to keep people safe. How are you reducing personal contact, but maintaining standards is essential.
Don’t think for a minute that international tourism will return to any kind of normal soon for us here in Thailand. In my mind, I don’t see things getting back to normal before the end of 2021 but hopefully a trickle of tourists will come our way towards the end of this year.