Love to travel but are worried about uncertainties? If you grew up reading classics like ‘Robinson Crusoe’ which instilled a sense of adventure and a deep longing to explore new destinations, you are clearly on track with your travel plans! As we all know, travel and tourism is currently bouncing back like never before. The future of travel and hospitality looks brighter than ever and resilience seems to be the buzzword to take note of. Let’s take cues from the wise words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
Understanding Resilience Frameworks for Travel Plans
Travel plans are subject to changes, whether we like it or not. And that’s exactly why it is essential to consider and understand resilience frameworks while finalising travel plans.
While referring to resilience frameworks in the context of travel, it is important to understand how local factors come into play. Spanning many destinations, the synergy that exists between local communities and travellers is complex.
The following four phases are identified as part of the World Bank’s Resilient Tourism Framework and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction:
Understand the risks as much as possible
Prepare for each type of shock/risk
Define protocols to minimise the impact and duration of the risk/threat
Apply learnings to ensure growth and development align with long-term goals to embed resilience in sustainability planning
Why Travel Resilience is a Focus Area for Many Countries
Several countries are stepping up with innovative approaches to boost tourism. Noteworthy observations put forward by Julia Simpson, President & CEO, of the World Travel & Tourism Council are impactful in terms of setting the right context.
Based on her observations, here are some key points to consider:
In 2019 the Travel & Tourism sector contributed 10.3% to global GDP and it was responsible for 1 in 10 jobs on the planet.
Due to COVID-19, the travel and tourism sector experienced its worst-ever crisis.
During COVID-19, 62 million jobs were lost and countless establishments worldwide were shut down, some permanently.
The sector is now bouncing back but resilience is key.
Countries are now prioritising resilience frameworks to enable comfortable travel experiences for visitors. In this regard, Puerto Rico is a fine example to consider. The country is highly prone to natural disasters including tsunamis and earthquakes. Their coastal communities are provided with prompt and early alarm warning systems and they have pre-emptively set up mechanisms to handle such crises. Further, regular island-wide drills are conducted.
Through its ‘Agrotourism’ certification program, Puerto Rico has created beneficial opportunities for its local farmers and travellers, who are curious and passionate foodies. Wondering how this works? Travellers can explore a variety of working farms throughout the island and they can buy produce directly from the farmers.
Boosting the local economy is integral for every country that is committed to promoting tourism. Through travel and tourism, clear and focused local sourcing also helps to empower people locally and strengthens social resilience. When travellers are able to engage directly with local communities, an impactful outcome is created.
What Does a Travel Insurance Do?
Can we travel without travel insurance? Yes, most certainly. However, consider the benefits of availing a plan. Travel insurance shields a traveller from unexpected developments, shocks and offers a layer of financial resilience while grappling with challenges such as flight cancellations, baggage loss, etc. Basically, it bolsters a traveller’s resilience!
For travellers, change is the only constant and resilience is mandatory. The lessons from the pandemic and its impact on the travel sector cannot be forgotten. For the same reason, every traveller’s focus should steer towards smart decision-making and learning new ways to stay resilient. In this context, insurance is an essential safety net to boost confidence and savings in one go.
Summing up, with Warren Buffet’s wise words, “It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.”
So, yes, go ahead and travel like Robinson Crusoe, make it fun while it lasts!