CORONAVIRUS: what to expect in the Italian travel industry?
Will the Italian travel industry change because of the coronavirus epidemy?
During these days of COVID-19 in Italy, silence haunts the cities and it gives space to thinking, to imagination, to that peculiar feeling that coronavirus brings something more than a dramatic, unusual isolation and sacrifice. No traffic, no boats, no airplanes, no noise, nothing…. But we get the bonus: pollution is falling fast, we can breathe, enjoy clear waters and blue skies. We work from home and this means, for many, to re-discover a familiar life, while looking outside of the window.
Italy will fix it. Nevertheless, do we have to learn anything from this unexpected situation? Perhaps nature is forcing us to become aware of the enormous debt we have and which we have long underestimated? Maybe.
It is no longer time for selfishness: we need to stand by one another, now virtually, soon personally, with concrete sacrifice and will to share, for a common benefit. Marketing and financial slogans (which have little to do with the original meaning of the word ‘economy’) are losing their appeal, they’re showing off their scarce value in front of human urgencies. Perhaps something went lost during our run to making money: the awareness that we cannot consume the Earth endlessly without paying any bill.
Year 2020 is not going to be a good one for Italian tourism. Many blogs and newspapers read about a deep crisis, even worse than 2008. Many of them suggest digital innovation, and the long-expected technological growth as possible solutions as well as tackling OLTA benefits and commissions…Nothing really new, in my opinion. Essential, urgent but, still, not mandatory.
What is mandatory is to change the industry approach to the environment and to human beings as members of a society, which can both co-exist only if we realize how urgent the asset conservation is.
Mandatory should be the commitment of the travel industry to create local welfare, by engaging citizens and tourists to take care of territories;
mandatory is to transmit the culture of ‘durability’ and not of consumption;
mandatory is reducing the actions of those algorithms which move only for profit in favor of big companies and choke little ones;
mandatory is that big and small companies start talking to one another in terms of collaboration and not of blind competition;
mandatory is listening to the locals, to the territories and ask them (not impose them) to integrate their existence with the travel industry’s;
mandatory is to change protocol, with courage: reduce profit and save the assets.
In Italy, it is time to go further the word ‘sustainability’ and use the ‘common sense’, which has, now yes, a lot to do with the word ‘economy’, which means ‘administration of the house’ based upon sobriety and foresight.