A new world out there, a new chance in the Alps! Although the coronavirus has exposed the fragility of our societies and is a chance to build a more sustainable future as well as take advantage of the opportunities presenting themselves, say several leading international experts on the subject. The coronavirus crisis has proved that radical change can happen in a short period of time. But can we harness this awareness to bring about systemic transformation? Some of Germany’s leading transformation researchers say it’s possible — and sttress that the real challenges not only ly ahead, but also are in hidden opportunities.
The tourism economy has been especially heavily hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and more importantly, by measures introduced to contain its spread. Depending on the duration of the crisis, revised scenarios indicate that the potential shock could range between a 60-80% decline in the international tourism economy in 2020. Beyond immediate measures to support the tourism sector, countries are also shifting to develop recovery measures. These include considerations on lifting travel restrictions, restoring traveller confidence and rethinking the tourism sector for the future.
Tourism generates foreign exchange, drives regional development, directly supports numerous types of jobs and businesses and underpins many local communities. The sector directly contributes, on average, 4.4% of GDP, and 21.5% of service exports in OECD countries. The big quesiton however remains. How can the toursime industry in the Alps bounce back and get out of the crisis even stronger?
One example is Vienna, where the Mandarin Oriental Group, a southeast Asian hotel chain that operates luxury 5-star hotels, is establishing a hotel in Vienna and invests 100 million euros.
Thats one way to use the crisis, by expanding and growing while everything else is stopped anyway.
Austria is also now presenting itself as a particularily safe travel destination and is therefore planning up to 65,000 corona tests per week. That way they are looking to get ahead of the game and draw holiday makers to the alpine regions. The aim is to give foreign guests a feeling of security and lure them away from traditional destinations in the south.
The austrian national office is also preparing intensive advertising campaigns and will have a budget of 40 million euros for this purpose.
Since jobs in the Alps now are plentyfull, the next move of making use of the crisis is to stock up on great staff and work force, since a lot of highly qualified tourisme and hotel employees are currently out of a job. That way companies and hotels are offering long term contracts and special, high salary conditions to convince skilled workers to relocate to the alpine regions either temporarily or permanently. This way they are getting people interrested in working in the Alps and also prepare for the next winter season already which is expected to be Huge.
In many ways a crisis like we have witnessed during the better part of this year is giving human creativity a boost and often times you come out better then you went intop it.
Nonetheless, everybodies safety and health is still the top priority, no matter what. Only healthy people can travel and enjoy whats on offer. Thats why the restricitons need to be respected and upheld.