Tourism is one of the sectors hardest hit by the global Coronavirus health crisis. In 2020, tourist destinations received 1 billion fewer international arrivals than the previous year. The health crisis has put 100 to 120 million jobs in tourism at risk, most of them in small and medium-sized businesses.
A situation which has an impact on the way of “rethinking” tourism. Let’s see how this health crisis can have a positive impact on the tourism of tomorrow.
Mass tourism before the pandemic
An environmental impact
Long before the health crisis generated by the Covid-19, the situation of mass tourism was out of control. So out of control that the tourist activity gave the impression of being on some kind of “human safari”. Who says increased attendance says saturation of places, damage created to natural spaces and to biodiversity that does not have time to renew itself. Not to mention pollution and the increased use of natural resources. Air transport generates a lot of greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to global warming. As the plane remains the main mode of transport, the carbon impact is considerable. Remember that the aviation sector represents 2 to 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and that its use should double or even triple by 2050. What remains less than digital (in particular streaming with video, etc.) whose greenhouse gas emissions are at the same level and should double by 2025 …
A social impact
In addition, mass tourism allows populations with low purchasing power to travel inexpensively, but at the cost of environmental degradation. Mass tourism is therefore a threat to the planet.
Seasonality linked to tourism also leads to job insecurity and makes cities unlivable during certain periods, even for tourists themselves. Finally, another scourge is the rise of sex tourism, especially in the countries of Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, which increasingly involves minors.
Tourism that wants to be more responsible
An impact in favor of the environment
The global pandemic has turned tourism upside down. So much so that it provoked a real reflection on the subject. Indeed, the forced cessation of mass tourism has fueled reflection on the damage that this tourism causes. Now, environmental issues are stepping up. On abandoned tourist sites, nature has taken back its rights. For example, in Thailand, where the number of foreign tourists fell by more than 83% in 2020, more and more marine animals like dugongs, endangered turtles and whale sharks are seen.
The trend is towards a way of traveling that is more responsible, ecological and human, both for the good of the planet and for the human beings who inhabit it.
Local tourism: a highly sustainable trend
The development of relatively local and sustainable proximity tourism could also benefit from renewed interest after the crisis. Local tourism gives rise to hope. It is an opportunity to favor visits close to home rather than to travel miles in order to spend holidays at the end of the world. Choosing a nearby destination appears to be a safe bet. Sanitary protocol, ease of access, flexibility, are all reassuring elements to be valued.
Practice positive tourism
Positive tourism corresponds to the development of a tourism offer combining economic profitability with lower environmental impacts and social benefits.
As the secretary general of the World Tourism Organization says: “This crisis is an opportunity to rethink the tourism sector and its contribution to humanity and the planet; This is an opportunity to make a better reconstruction of a more sustainable, more inclusive and more resilient tourism sector that allows the benefits of tourism to be reaped widely and equitably “.
Glamping: Alternative tourism
More original and often unusual, glamping is a form of camping that combines nature, comfort and ecological awareness.
Glamorous camping is a new trend in responsible outdoor tourism that combines luxury, comfort, nature and respect for the environment. It revises upwards the phenomenon of camping. Without completely breaking away from traditional camping and while retaining its authenticity. This form of travel allows you to discover unique spaces and live in designer habitats, made of noble and ecological materials.
A little touch of luxury in a sustainable journey.
How to avoid overtourism in the future?
1.8 billion tourists, or 1 in 5 people in the world, is the impressive figure that should be reached in 2030 according to UNWTO, the World Tourism Organization.
Tourism begins to be a problem when, instead of contributing to the economic prosperity of a city, it degrades the living conditions of its inhabitants. The latter may then feel dispossessed.
In Tourism, it is about showing tourist places as they really are, but also about adopting a strategy of silence. To avoid overcrowding, the territories stop promoting certain tourist places. In other words, tourism demarketing aims to discourage tourists on a temporary or permanent basis.
This is already a strategy adopted by some places in tourist saturation. As is the case with Amsterdam. Faced with the unmanageable influx of tourists (an average of 20 million tourists per year), Amsterdam City Hall intends to return the city to its inhabitants. To do this, the city is considering using major means such as: bans on guided tours of the Red Light District, tax on other visits to the capital, heavy penalties for incivility committed by tourists. Also taxes or tolls to access natural sites (eg: Calanques de Cassis park), prohibition of access to certain areas or the mooring of boats in the endangered ecosystem.
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It is therefore a question of integrating a responsible approach to make tourism an increasingly less degrading sector.