COVID-19 is the biggest global threat the travel and tourism Industry ever faced. It’s global and it will change how travel will operate and tourism will function. But, it’s also an opportunity to relaunch and reshape our industry. Juergen Steinmetz, founding chairman of the African Tourism Board shares his thoughts with us.
A POSITIVE FROM COVID-19 IS rethinking the way tourism will function. It has given us an opportunity to make our tourism products better, more sustainable and more environmentally friendly.
DURING THIS TIME IT IS IMPORTANT TO stay in touch with fellow industry professionals and clients. Temporarily branch out to other activities. For example, get people involved in activities like making face masks. Important is to keep income flowing to pay for the most basic needs.
AFRICAN TOURISM BOARD HAS LAUNCHED Project Hope Travel, a global initiative to get the world talking, discussing and implementing. We don’t know where it will take us, but the discussions have started. One such discussions has already resulted in talks to possible donors.
THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL will be different. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do think niche markets have the best chance to survive. Travelling will be more expensive but will also have increased qualities. Unfortunately, the principle of the strong one survives, may be the case here. Medium and small businesses need to maintain their voice and place. For Africa, this is one of the goals for the African Tourism Board.
Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a CEO of The Travel New Group. Travel News Group owns eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP and CEO of TravelMarketingNetwork. In 2018 he was a founding member of the newly established African Tourism Board and remains their Founding Chairman. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organisations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation.