'Most significant crisis in the history of travel': where to now for tourism?

16 April 2020

The tourism industry has been dealt heavy blows before. December's eruption on White Island in New Zealand and Australia's summer bushfires hampered tourism efforts, but the coronavirus pandemic shows no clear signs of when tourism can operate again, which has forced the tourism industry consider what's next?

UQ Business School tourism disaster experts Associate Professor Judith Mair and Associate Professor Gabby Walters, who advised on tourism recovery after the 2009 Black Saturday fires, discuss with the Sydney Morning Herald how the industry will survive what is being dubbed, a ‘black swan’ event.

"It [the tourism industry] really only became a mass movement of people post-war, in the 1960s and 1970s," Mair says.

"So unlike industries that have been around for centuries and survived world wars, it's never had to deal with anything of the scale of COVID-19 that provides a model for how to deal with and recover from this."

Walters adds that she considers the industry resilient. "Tourism won't fundamentally change,” she said….the majority will be champing at the bit to travel as soon as it's over."

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