With much of the world still in the grip of the pandemic and fears of a second wave looming elsewhere, the future of tourism has never been more uncertain. During their fifth live webcast, on Wednesday June 10, the SNF DIALOGUES dove into the uncharted waters in which tourism finds itself.
Dimitrios Buhalis, Professor of Tourism and Technology Strategy at Bournemouth University, said, “When we look at tourism analytically, we see it in three different stages: the area from which the tourist starts, the ‘transit region’ that is in the middle of the journey and mainly covers transportation and the mode of travel and, finally, the destination. In order for tourism to work, all three areas must be open. If one of them doesn’t work, it means that tourism can’t work.” Alexandros Vassilikos, President of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, stressed that “COVID-19 will act as an accelerator for existing trends already primed to change the way people approach tourism. Very soon we will see a change in the tourism model.” On the future of tourism and to the new operational environment that is bound to emerge, Georgia Zouni, Tourism Marketing Lecturer in the Tourism Studies Department at the University of Piraeus, mentioned that “we have to take advantage of every stage of a customer’s journey. The first stage is at home. Most decisions have been made before arriving at the destination. We must find opportunities and business models that take into account tourists in their homes.”
The DIALOGUES are curated and moderated by Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou.