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  • Writer's pictureAnam Umanah

World Tourism Day: Exploring the Transformation of Tourism in the Post-2020 Era

Every year, on September 27, the world observes World Tourism Day to recognize the importance of tourism and its ability to promote global understanding and sustainable development. This day serves as a reminder of the significance of the tourism sector, which links nations, cultures, and economies.

In this article, we examine how tourism has changed in light of the seismic shifts that took place after 2020. Prior to and following the COVID-19 pandemic, we will examine the current situation of global tourism, underlining the elements that have transformed this sector. Additionally, we will go through important lessons learned and suggest potential fixes to strengthen the adaptability and sustainability of international tourism.

The world's tourism business was booming before the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism was seen as a catalyst for both economic growth and cross-cultural interaction, in addition to being a leisure activity. People all across the world desired to travel to exotic locations, immerse themselves in foreign cultures, and have priceless experiences. Significant technical improvements in the sector, such as online booking tools and smartphone applications, made trip planning easier and more accessible. The desire to travel abroad and the rise in its popularity contributed significantly to globalization's role in boosting tourism. Additionally, ecotourism and sustainability initiatives grew in popularity as tourists began to favor more environmentally friendly activities and locations.

The global tourism landscape underwent a significant change as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. An extraordinary drop in tourism activities was caused by travel restrictions, lockdowns, and health worries. Massive setbacks were experienced by the sector, which resulted in the loss of millions of jobs and the survival of countless firms. Governments all across the world enacted stringent travel laws, which led to border closures and a steep decline in international travel. It appeared that the flexibility and discovery that are at the heart of tourism had been curtailed.

The COVID-19 restrictions started to be lifted, and tourism slowly began to rebound. But there were substantial changes after 2020. The cautious nature of travelers led them to select locations with strong health and safety regulations. The popularity of remote work has aided the phenomenon of "workcations," in which people mix leisure travel with remote employment prospects. Travelers were increasingly choosing eco-friendly options and locations that placed a high priority on environmental conservation, and there was also a growing emphasis on sustainable tourism.

There are significant changes in the situation of tourism before and after 2020. The sector thrived on mass tourism prior to the pandemic, as tourists sought out busy cities and packed attractions. The post-2020 era, in contrast, saw a shift toward more private and outdoor activities. With tourists becoming more conscious of their impact on the environment, sustainability has become a major theme. The epidemic hastened the use of technology in the travel industry, enhancing convenience and safety with contactless check-ins and virtual tours.

Stakeholders must continue to give sustainability top priority if they want to boost global tourism. This entails encouraging environmentally responsible behaviors, protecting cultural heritage, and reducing the detrimental effects of tourism on nearby communities. To ensure that tourism benefits all parties while causing the least amount of environmental harm possible, governments, companies, and tourists must collaborate.

World Tourism Day is still a representation of hope and resilience in the face of difficulty. The COVID-19 epidemic presented the tourism sector with previously unheard-of challenges, but it also demonstrated its ability to adapt and change. Moving forward, it is important that we adopt sustainable tourism strategies, put a high priority on safety, and make sure that tourism is advantageous to both tourists and the areas they visit. By doing this, we can support the revitalization and long-term growth of international travel, transforming it into a force for good in our globally interconnected world.

WRITTEN BY Anam Umanah

Anam is a tech enthusiast, a basketball fanatic, and a passionate cook. He currently works at a bank as a fraud analyst, where he is always seeking out new ways to incorporate the latest technologies into our daily operations. When he is not at work, you can usually find him in the kitchen, experimenting with new recipes and cooking up a storm. Basketball has been a passion of his since he was a child, and he loves following his favorite teams and players. With his diverse range of interests and talents, he is always up for a new challenge and eager to continue learning and growing in all areas of his life.

EDITED BY Chizulu Uwolloh.

'Zulu is a writer, self-proclaimed bibliophile, lawyer, and international development professional passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities. She is also the founder of Kurerie, a digital platform, and community that amplifies the voices of youth making an impact in their communities. Kurerie educates young people on how they can become active stakeholders in the achievement of the SDGs. She is passionate about showing young people that they can change the world with the smallest actions.

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