How the Next Pandemic May Impact the World’s Tourism Industry seen in 2009

How the Next Pandemic May Impact the World’s Tourism Industry seen in 2009

In 2009 during the height of the H1N1  Dr. Peter Tarlow published an article entitled “How the Next Pandemic May Impact the World’s Tourism Industry”   Dr. Tarlow is a Medical Professor and international accepted as an authority on travel and tourism safety. More on Dr. Tarloe at : 

In that article, Dr. Tarlow wrote: “World tourism faces a myriad of global challenges in the event of a world pandemic. Among these are: the possibility of location quarantines, fear to use airports and other centers of mass gatherings, fear of not knowing what to do in case of illness in a foreign land, the need for cross-border medical insurance. To add to these difficulties tourists and convention planners are acutely aware of how hard it can be to change or cancel reservations both at hotels and on airlines. The change and cancellation fees mean a higher degree of travel risk in uncertain times. Lastly, should a pandemic occur during an economic turndown, the tourism and travel industry may be hit doubly hard? The fact that many potential tourists have opted for what is being called “staycations” or at home vacations, ought to be a warning to the travel and tourism industries. To help tourism professionals prepare for a potential pandemic here are a few things to consider”

Today Dr. Tarlow writes:

Eleven years have passed since I wrote that article and no one would have predicted then the havoc that the Covid-19 virus has caused the worldwide tourism industry.  In fact not since the Black Plague began in Italy in 1347 has Europe and the world faced a public health crisis with such intensity.  It is of interest that many of the reactions in 21st century Europe are not terribly dissimilar to those of 14th century Europe. When some day historians of tourism write the history of tourism in the year 2020, they most likely will describe that year as the “Year that wasn’t”.  They will speak about headlines such as on the CNN website “Health officials warn that US is at a tipping point” or the BBC’s “Canada to bar entry for most foreigners” or the headline on the tourism journal eTurbo-News “President Trump: No more vacation travel in the United States“.  If tourism professionals scanned the daily headlines they would see almost nothing as positive. They would read about stores closing, restaurants and places of entertainment shut down, and stock markets reflecting fears with record declines, and the cruise and airline industry brought to almost otter destruction.  Tourism professionals cannot help but think of the words of an American patriot, Thomas Paine who declared: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman”.

Seeing photos of empty cities tourism officials are bound to recall the words of the poet  who wrote the Book of Lamentations (Sefer Eichah) when the poet stated:  “Eichah yashvah ha’ir badad rabati am…/How lonely sits the city that was once full of people…”  Certainly, most tourism professionals in the days of Coronavirus (Covid-19) feel from a business perspective alone.  Much small business, and even large corporations wonder if they will survive this universal plague that attacks not only the body but also the very soul of tourism.  In fact we can argue that the current crisis is the most severe and widespread crisis that the modern tourism industry has ever faced. To make matters worse, no one knows when the crisis will come to its conclusion or what the results will be once the crisis has become a dark note within the history of tourism.

The following article is divided into two parts.  The first part provides information on how people around the world are creatively facing this ongoing crisis.  The second part will provide some suggestions on how the tourism industry might begin not only to recover but also to prosper once again.

Research on how tourism. your destination and business can survive with examples from around the world – click here to get all the details

Read the full article by Dr. Peter Tarlow of