When asked about the motto for 2021 at the end of last year, I answered with a quote from one of my heroes, Eric Hobsbawm: “If you’re in a ship that’s going down anyway, you might as well travel first class.”
Now it seems the ship is not going down as fast as expected and everybody in the tourism industry seems much more optimistic than just a few weeks ago, everybody outside Asia, to be precise. Just as the numbers of infected persons and persons dying from CoViD-19 are going down globally, in the Americas and in Europe, and staying at low levels in Africa and Oceania, many Asian countries, unfortunately, see their numbers rising. More than half of the victims succumbing to the virus last week ended their life in Asia, two-thirds of them in India.
Vaccination in many East and Southeast Asian countries has just begun, with noticeable exceptions like Bhutan. Even Japan, which is still hoping to host the Summer Olympic Games this year, got just 2% of its population vaccinated until now.
Nevertheless, with the effectiveness of the vaccines proven many tourism service providers get ready for a re-start of global tourism. Many discussions in the last months came to the same conclusion: A simple back to 2019 with its overtourism, environmental pollution and decreasing levels of satisfaction of both guests and hosts are not possible, a more sustainable, a more Meaningful Tourism has to be developed.
Better tourism for tomorrow needs more knowledge and understanding, combining vision with practical activities. This is true for the Chinese outbound market, but also for the general development of global tourism. To support this development, trainings are needed for the tourism and hospitality industry, especially in LDCs and NDCs.
That’s why this week the World Tourism Forum Institute started the HATT Business School Institute of which your humble editor has the pleasure to be the Founding Dean. You can find a video introducing the HATT BSI and its leaders as well as presenting a panel with the colleagues providing trainings about the second-biggest tourism source markets in the world, namely the Muslim world, about the empowerment of 50% or more of the people working in tourism, namely women, and about the key challenge in the post-pandemic development, namely leadership. Of course, the COTRI CTT China Tourism Training Edition 2021 online trainings are also a major offer of the HATT BSI. “Creating Capacity for Meaningful Tourism” is the motto guiding the work, in line with the overall objective of WTFI of “Reshaping Economies Through Tourism”.
The video version of this editorial is available on COTRI YouTube Channel
Best wishes to all our readers, as always, from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the COTRI Weekly team, welcoming Gaia Zanella as our new team member.