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There’s no denying that the earthquake of coronavirus has changed the way we see the world and what we appreciate. It’s been fascinating to see how these ripple effects have spread throughout tourism, making significant advances in the fight against overtourism(opens in a new tab) and giving cities the time and space to reconsider their destination’s reputation.
We wrote about how governments’ new health restrictions influenced many countries (Croatia, Austria, and Australia) to make the move away from party tourism (opens in a new tab)and change their approach from this profitable, but often, socially detrimental sector of the tourism industry. As lockdowns have been extended, more and more countries have taken the opportunity to develop and announce new tourism strategies.
Here are two examples of cities changing their approach to tourism
A city that has long battled with the negative effects of tourism on its local population. On one hand, they have relished the empty streets and the revival of the local community. However, this city which is so reliant on income from tourism has directed its efforts towards finding a solution that benefits both sides. The outcome? Intelligent tourism(opens in a new tab). A focus on educational tourism and welcoming tourists who appreciate uncrowded spaces and the hidden gems of the city. Their new hashtag #EnjoyRespectVenezia(opens in a new tab) seeks to roll out this new campaign. Although it will be an uphill struggle against Venice’s image as one of the most popular tourist destinations internationally, the restrictions on global travel will certainly offer some respite as they start their new journey.
Another destination that, for now, has moved away from its party image. While many of the historical sights that draw tourists to Berlin are trying to adapt to new government regulations like the 1.5-metre social distancing, the city has also taken a new approach by promoting lesser-known areas, minimizing the concentration of visitors in only well-known areas with the aim of keeping their tourism industry running in this difficult period. As well as clearly stating government regulations on their official tourism website’s homepage(opens in a new tab), they are advertising their green areas (opens in a new tab)as a safe and equally enjoyable attraction for interested tourists. Not only does this open up a new sector of tourism for the future, but it also shows concern for tourists and support for tour operators in unprecedented times.
Get in contact with other travel operators in your area and discuss whether you too want to be part of changing the type of tourists your city attracts. Check out the official websites of these cities for inspiration and consider being part of the larger pivot taking place in the tourism industry, ultimately making the necessary changes to ensure long-term sustainability for your community.
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