Travel and tourism in the Land of Smiles – 12 predictions


OPINION by Andrew Wood

Casting our eyes into the crystal ball has never been so difficult with so many varied issues clouding the post-coronavirus future. For Thailand, the future of world and domestic travel has never been so critical as tourism drives much of the Thai economy. Will the tourists come back? Will they be allowed back? When? And under what restrictions? What will happen with all the empty hotels? How long will it take for Thai tourism to recover?

Skål International Bangkok President, Andrew J Wood, has been looking into the crystal ball and shares what we can expect to see once the Coronavirus starts to dissipate in Thailand, and the world.

Whoever said the virus will not change the world are WRONG. There have been so many changes in the past three months our industry is still reeling as all marketing and business plans go out the window as the whole world applied the brakes and came to a complete standstill.

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So when the wheels finally start turning again what are we likely to see? Here’s my 12 predictions for the travel and tourism industry. It is based on my experience in Asia however we are a global industry and I believe there are global ramifications.

• Coronavirus will dissipate becoming less deadly but will not disappear.

• Rebounds are a very real danger and countries such as NZ and AUSTRALIA are already discussing keeping borders CLOSED for 12 MONTHS to avoid any rebound. Stopping both INBOUND and OUTBOUND visits. They will not be alone – other countries will restrict access also.

• Domestic tourism and travel is set to EXPLODE.

• Family travel will also boom. The decision makers – will be the kids! Gear activities and menus around the decision makers.

• Activity and experiential vacations will be key.

• Hotels will take firmer control of room inventory – having best available rates only on their websites for direct bookings and their own social media platforms.

• OTA’s will finally lose their stranglehold on hotel bookings and their huge 25% commissions.

• Travel Agents regrettably will see even further business declines in their business volumes post Corvid-19. Potential travellers will continue to D-I-Y digitally as they are becoming increasingly computer proficient and savvy surfers.

• Green travel and care of the environment will see record volume growth as the travelling public now ‘get-it’ after the effects of a virus that stopped the world in its tracks.

• Business travel and daily commuting will decline as we embrace work-at-home. It works! We will see, in city locations, corporate business shrink to 4D3N (4 days, 3 nights) during the week and leisure relatrd business increase to 3D2N.

• Video conferencing and webinars will increase but face-to-face meetings and conferences along with trade shows and congresses will survive. We are human and we like human interaction.

• As domestic and family travel grows, 5-star hotel occupancies will decline. Mid range hotels will see the fastest growth.

Stay safe, stay well.

Andrew J Wood


About the author…

Travel and tourism in the Land of Smiles - 12 predictions | News by Thaiger

Andrew was born in Yorkshire England, he is a professional hotelier, Skalleague and travel writer. Andrew has over 40 years of hospitality and travel experience. He is a hotel graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh. Andrew is a past Director of Skal International (SI), National President SI Thailand and is currently President of SI Bangkok and a VP of both SI Thailand and SI Asia. He is a regular guest lecturer at various Universities in Thailand including Assumption University’s Hospitality School and the Japan Hotel School in Tokyo.

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