After Covid19: Our role as travellers

Updated: May 22, 2020

The travel industry is at risk. Travel bans, travel cancellations, and people stuck overseas. But the ones who will suffer the most will be the industry workers.

Let's face it, travel is a luxury.

But those who depend on tourism to sustain their livelihoods are the most affected by this crisis.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has stated that the Covid-19 has caused a 22% fall in international tourist arrivals (only in the first quarter of the year) which could lead to a decrease of 60 to 80% in tourism exports compared to the 2019 figures.

Most destinations think that tourism will recover by 2021. However, the travel restrictions -which are now global- are the most severe crisis upon international travel that the world has seen. Obviously since tourism as we know it has only been mainstream for the last few decades. But how will the destinations survive a whole year without tourists?

Tourism has been seen as a great tool for developing, but it has also create a dependency of communities on this industry that are now experiencing a terrible situation.

"According to Secretary-General Pololikashvili, the sudden and unexpected fall in tourism demand caused by COVID-19 places millions of jobs and livelihoods at risk while at the same time jeopardising the advances made in sustainable development and equality over recent years" (UNWTO)

In this episode, Heather and I continue to discuss the impacts of the Coronavirus crisis on the travel industry, and we reflect on how as we can help the industry recover.

Click here to listen to this episode!


UNWTO (2020) International tourist numbers could fall 60-80% in 2020, UNWTO reports.

UNWTO (2020) 100% of global destinations now have Covid19 travel restrictions, UNWTO reports.

About our guest:

Heather Poppelier has had wanderlust ever since her first solo overseas journey in 1999. Since that time, she’s travelled across all seven continents…but her number one love remains Latin America. That love led her to pursue travel as a career and she has worked as a Latin America Travel Specialist since 2007. While acknowledging that tourism has its problems, she strongly believes that it also affords a unique opportunity for learning, development and an exchange of cultures, ideas and attitudes and can be an incredibly positive experience both for locals and travellers alike.

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