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Tourism Trends in the Wake of the Pandemic

Sightseeing and traveling are some of the most satisfying and enjoyable experiences. There are plans and destinations for all tastes. But, this activity changed the dynamics due to the pandemic that the world has been facing for more than a year.

The Woman Post | Ana Suárez

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For a moment, everything stalled, and many travel plans were left to be seen. But, after a long time, many companies and organizations dedicated to tourism decided to take flight and present various alternatives to travelers. This September 27 is commemorated World Tourism Day, a date determined since 1970 by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) because that day the statutes of this international agency were approved. Also, because in many parts of the world, it coincides with the holiday season.

In Colombia, the Colombo American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham Colombia) led by María Claudia Lacouture, who served as Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, promotes the strengthening of relations between Colombia and the United States, through various fronts, including tourism in addition to strengthening the economic development of companies.

The contribution made by AmCham to the tourism sector is the promotion of opportunities and the ease in the circulation of information for members between tourism entities and companies in the United States and Colombia. "There is a follow-up to the sector indices, data, and perspectives to generate adequate connections between both countries in order to promote bilateral tourism."

For the Director of AmCham, the current moment of what could be called the Post-Pandemic, tourism is focused on the internal, while the confidence of travelers recovers. "In this sense, domestic tourism will be the great milestone in this reactivation, this means that more creativity, practicality, more aggressive campaigns should be sought, reducing the application of restrictions without neglecting or lowering one's guard in terms of self-care."

It is also important to achieve a strong articulation between the National Government and the locals to achieve the mobilization of many Colombians, and one way to do this is through digital applications, Big Data, and artificial intelligence.

María Claudia Lacouture points out that "having a greater understanding of seasonality is essential to build a sustainable tourism model, one that avoids overcrowding and promotes the equitable dispersion of visitors throughout the territory, with safety, tranquility, consistent with the environment, considering the urgency of stopping climate change and moderating consumption habits."

It is important to note that activities related to nature and outdoors are on the rise because the pandemic raised the levels of concern for health and well-being, and the inclusion of culture as a sustainable element.

The trips are gradually being reopened, but in this sense, the important thing is to generate trust, in order to guarantee consumers' safety in every sense and that "they feel something more than a simple pleasure trip."

Also read: NEW WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN LATIN AMERICA

And the Trends?

According to information from ProColombia, trends in tourism will be focused on the evolution of technologies and models of environmental sustainability; for instance:

-Digital nomads: This group is mainly home to millennials. They seek to change their work habits for more flexible models. Costa Rica and Barbados are some countries that have implemented special permits and visas for the so-called "digital nomad" that are expected to be the main engine of the corporate segment in tourist reactivation.

-Escape traveler: It is the traveler who, due to excess stress produced by the pandemic, waits for his vacation or the decrease in infections to enjoy a time of relaxation in destinations with sun and nature.

-"JOMO" (Joy of Missing Out): A trend that was strengthened during the pandemic thanks to the increase in the use of social networks, where they seek to plan the perfect trip to publish on their networks.

According to the entity, an Airbnb study found that family trips have gone from 27% to 33% in the number of nights booked, between the summer of 2019 and the summer of 2021 globally. In the case of the US, the study indicated that 42% of the nights booked are in rural destinations, compared to 32% in the summer of 2019

In Figures

In Colombia, sun and beach destinations had a good season. Bogotá always registers the best numbers, because most flights arrive in the capital. Of the 365,444 foreign tourists who have arrived in the first half of this year, Bogotá (36.1%) stand out as destinations; Antioquia (23.3%); Bolívar (15.9%); Valle del Cauca (8.8%); Atlantic (3.6%); Risaralda (1.8%); San Andrés y Providencia (1.4%), according to official information.

The reasons for travel, according to official figures from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (MinCIT), in the first half of 2021 have been: Vacations, recreation, and leisure (72.6%); others (13.1%); business and professional reasons (7.4%); transit (3.2%); health and medical care (1.9%); and education and training (0.9%); and religion and pilgrimage (0.1%).

There are many expectations for the end of the year season, because there are advances in the vaccination process, and in this sense, many businessmen have been part of this dynamic with the implementation of the scheme for their employees; then, with the reduction in the rate of transmission of the virus and the restrictions, optimism for recovery begins to grow.

In that sense, and following the line of new trends and changes resulting from the pandemic, tourist destinations that are also sustainable, provide peace and relaxation, have adequate protection measures, will be the winners at the end of the year, vacation and family time with a plus, a need to get out of the routine.

Within Colombia, the most visited tourist destinations are expected to be the Tayrona Park; Monguí, Boyacá; Palomino, the Guajira; Guatavita, Cundinamarca; Rosario Islands, Cartagena; and the Tatacoa Desert.

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