The new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, characterized by its rapid transmission and infection, as well as its high lethality, appears in China in 2019, but it is in 2020 that it will be recorded in the lives of all human beings, as a period full of emotions, feelings and even psychological suffering. It is true that confinement allowed a greater rapprochement between families, to carry out pending tasks at home, to study, to advance work projects, to connect with our friends and to make new ones, using technology.
However, the social distancing imposed on us by this virus, the necessary confinement, the burden of information, the rumors that are often spread by misinformation and increasing the fear of contagion, the use of nasobucos and other devices, increased stress, anxiety, frustrations, excessive anguish, tachycardia, the feeling of lack of air, the pain of losing family, friends, acquaintances or strangers, the need to postpone plans, the fears of economic and social change (possible loss of jobs, reduced income), the wait for the prodigious vaccine, and the realization that we will have to live with this deadly virus until scientists find the weapon that protects us.
This time has allowed for a greater perception of how we human beings are, values and imperfections, how much there is to do in the family and the society in which we live, and we learned or ratified the importance of solidarity in times of crisis. We are social beings and we need to live in society.
This pandemic, suddenly took away people’s ways of life, having to give up social activities, visits to family and friends, parties, studying in the classroom, work, sitting in a park to enjoy the beauty of life or reading a good book outdoors, among other things, introducing a regime of unaccustomed existence that hurt people. Many specialists agree that a prolonged period of distancing could make the process of inserting oneself into society much more difficult.
Faced with this reality, although some think that everything will remain the same as before, many more assure that the world will change because people, at least for a while, will need to reorient themselves, to know what they want to do with their lives, how to adjust their lived experiences to a new reality.
Faced with this scenario, tourism professionals will have to put all their intelligence, knowledge, experience and collective wisdom, in order to face this reality, assuming strategies in line with the changes that are coming.
For people who traveled before and have resources, they will begin to project shorter, safer and more economical trips, probably giving priority to nearby destinations, where they can move around by their own means. It is up to the authorities and workers in the sectors that affect travel to convince them, showing that they are adjusting to the new times.
Faced with the new reality, Tour Operators and Travel Agencies will be much more demanding in their commitments, so they will ensure that the destinations and hotel facilities, comply fully with the protocols, in it goes their prestige and the future of their operations.
It is essential that we take into account how our potential clients will be based on their recent experiences, and that we create products and services that are in line with this reality, and that the workers who will provide services are well trained to offer the best of their work in the new realities and demands.
Then let us take into account some characteristics that will be able to distinguish post covid-19 tourists.
- People with a desire to travel, but more careful in choosing destinations to visit.
- They will demand evidence that substantial changes have taken place in the destinations according to the new circumstances.
- They will demand higher standards of hygiene and the maintenance of safety protocols.
- They will seek out more economical destinations that guarantee quality and safety.
- They will maintain the fear of contact with other people, so they will reject the crowds.
- Young people will remain explorers and adults will prefer the tranquility of destinations to enjoy the sun, the beach and other attributes.
- For one segment there will be a greater preference for small, family-friendly accommodations, avoiding crowds.
- Rumors about the disease will increase nervousness.
- The economic problems left by the covid-19 due to food expenses, medical treatments, among others, will significantly decrease their shopping possibilities.
- Depression, anxiety, mood swings, insomnia, violent behavior, panic attacks, may appear at times.
- Xenophobic behaviour of some groups towards the Chinese population may be present, due to unscientific comments made by some people and media.
- Hypochondriacal attitudes will be present in certain cases.
- They will continue to be dependent on technology.
- The need to be empathetic, to transmit security to our clients, the personalized treatment, a higher professional level in the planning and development of products and services and a solidary treatment, will make that with time they will have confidence again in the chosen destinations.
In prestigious publications, examples of actions to be taken in airports, aircrafts, hotel and extra hotel facilities, among others, are presented in order to be more attractive and to guarantee the security of the clients, whose study and implementation have a transcendental value in the current conditions.
Likewise, tourism managers will be challenged to think about their workers, with a lot of professionalism and humanism, because, although they have the stimulus of having a job, they also suffered the physical, emotional and psychological consequences generated by this event. Undertaking actions that help them to insert themselves and be aware of their needs will make them feel cared for and important, becoming conscious and enthusiastic protagonists in the processes in which they intervene.