17 February, 2021

Tourism demand in times of/ after SARS-CoV2: What does one have to observe?

 Under the current volatile conditions, the extent of tourism demand this year is difficult to estimate. However, the analysis of the state of various indicators provides at least some degree of orientation.

The "environment" for tourism is currently very volatile due to the dynamics surrounding SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, it is also difficult to estimate the expected demand in the warm season of this year. But there are a number of factors, observation of which helps to at least gauge the direction of development. 

From the perspective of the observer in a given country or region, those factors are (in parentheses: extreme values/ expressions of continua, with the unfavorable mentioned first):

  • Vaccination rate in the selected foreign country (low - high)
  • Incidence of ongoing infection rate in the selected foreign country (high - low)
  • Vaccination rate in the selected domestic country (low - high)
  • Incidence of ongoing infection rate in selected domestic country (high - low)
  • Personal immunization status of traveling individuals (not vaccinated - vaccinated)
  • Level of immunization of SARS-CoV2 vaccination (individual protection - germicidal/ sterilizing)
  • Cure prospects of persons seriously ill with COVID-19 (bad - good)
  • Economic prospects in the selected foreign country (negative - positive)
  • Economic perspectives in the selected domestic country (negative - positive)
  • Entry and return conditions in the selected foreign country (constrained - unconstrained)
  • Entry and return conditions in the selected domestic country (constrained - unconstrained)
  • Accessibility by air between the selected countries (relations) (bad - good)
  • Psychological wellbeing of people (bad - good)
  • Dynamics of virus mutations (high - low)

Depending on the state of these criteria, they have either a neutral effect (=0), a positive effect on  visitor flows , i.e. they promote demand (+1), or they have a negative effect and dampen demand (-1). Those flows are (1) domestic within a selected country, (2) inbound into a selected country, and (3) outbound to a selected country. A table with those effects is presented below. When reading and interpreting this table, take a perspective from your own country or region.

Depending upon above described possible configurations, outcomes of tourism demand will be quite different.  A state of a factor which increases risks or inconveniences associated to travel will have a dampening effect - and vice versa with a state of a factor which decreases risks and minimizes inconveniences. Time will tell what states and outcome will finally materialize. Lets hope for the best.

10 January, 2021

Mobility of the future: Euphoria will give way to disillusionment sooner or later

Against the backdrop of technological developments, we can dream of a supposedly better future for mobility. However, if we consider the "big picture" and ask ourselves where scarcity could prevail in the future, euphoria quickly gives way to disillusionment. This article presents a chain of arguments that lead to a very cautious assessment of the future of mobility.

A large number of studies paint a picture of the future of mobility, which is characterized by a greater diversity of mobility tools (available means of transport and forms of access, e.g. a car or a general subscription), high proportions of sharing business models (increasingly fewer mobility tools are owned by those who use them; e.g. mobility car sharing) and a networking of different modes of transport, with MaaS (mobility as a service) as the ultimate business model. Many players in this happening therefore dream of being at least an intermediary with their own platform and thus quasi "asset-light" at the center of future mobility and transport systems and their networks. And the manufacturers of various mobility tools (namely the carmakers) are counting on being able to compensate for future slumps in sales with the aforementioned "sharing" offerings. Automated driving also offers productivity potential, since humans are no longer needed to operate these vehicles. Last but not least, the owners of transport infrastructures assume that these infrastructures can be operated even more productively in the future. So we are all on our way to a promising mobility future.

Really? Below I allow myself to make a few reflections that shake this ideal image.

29 September, 2020

The future of tourism with and potentially after SARS-CoV-2 - Continuous small steps and drawbacks towards a temporary new "normal"

The AIEST*, the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism, has embarked on allocating, interpreting as well as reporting about key ramifications of the SARS-CoV-2 crisis.
The forth short report, provided by a joint work of 25 co-authors, including myself, is out now. It topicalizes the future of tourism in the wake of relaxing SARS-CoV-2 shutdowns.
This report can be downloaded at https://www.aiest.org/news/

AIEST assesses with this report the current situation as of end of September 2020. At the moment, the situation is volatile, and the duration of the crisis cannot yet be conclusively assessed. Hence, any type of forecasts can only be made with limitations. Nevertheless: the report tries to give you an idea of the situation with the help of some considerations along the following issues:

  • Observation of travel and tourism in the past three months: Changes in individual (travel)  behavior, changes in the appearance of tourism and tourism related services;
  • Short and medium-term changes in guest behavior;
  • Long-term perspective: terminated previous travel trends, new travel trends.
*The AIEST is the oldest international association of scientific and practical experts with particular interest in tourism. It is a unique social network with around 300 members in 49 countries on all continents. This network is devoted to an interdisciplinary approach to serving the needs of research in tourism. It includes an Academic as well as a Practitioner stream that allow an international scientific and practical exchange. The AIEST has contributed much to an objective understanding of the modern phenomenon of tourism, and to the scientific acceptance of studies in this field. Its members help to pinpoint the latest developments and trends in tourism, and to devise farsighted solutions for new problems as they arise.
Find more at https://www.aiest.org/aiest-profile/profile/.