What Will Tourism Look Like After Covid-19

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the tourist industry was the largest employer by sector, giving work to one in
every 11 people. After the pandemic is over, it can be assumed that this will resurge - but will it do so in the same
manner as before? Perhaps now is the best time to assess and possibly re-evaluate what tourism has become.
For those in struggling tourist communities like the hotels Llandudno, a return to tourism normality would be well
received - whereas those in areas such as Venice want a complete overhaul. 

Before the outbreak, the number of global tourists was predicted to reach a staggering 1.8 billion international
arrivals a year by 2030. In stark contrast, in 1950 that number was only at 25 million. The huge increase is a bit
of a double-edged sword. Tourism supports jobs, which often contributes to vital economic sustenance to
otherwise financially endangered places. However, over-tourism has a clear downside for the frail destinations,
like Machu Picchu in Peru or even Venice. 

In Venice, 30 million annual visitors take over the city and put an enormous demand on residents, heritage and
the environment as a whole - thus making tourism a hugely toxic and corrosive force to be reckoned with. Mass
tourism in Venice in the months leading up to the pandemic highlighted many issues; since the 1990s, it has
actively pushed out residents, the streets and squares can get dangerously overcrowded, and local shops have
been pushed out in favour of tourist friendly alternatives. 

If that wasn’t enough, the millions of tourists that descend on Venice each year put a huge amount of strain on
the environment simply through the generation of mountains of refuse, the overuse of vaporetti water ferries and
taxis, the over-stressing of ancient buildings and the moisture in their collective breath on priceless artworks.
With the addition of visits from the massive cruise ships, air pollution and erosion of the area’s sensitive lagoon
environment are unfortunately par for the course with tourism in Venice. 

Venetians are determined to save their home, and many are actively fighting for it and demanding that those in
power do the same thing. For these proud Venetians, tourism post-covid would look a lot different to the ways of
old. More environmental measures, such as a ban on oversized cruise ships would make a huge, positive impact
on Venice. 

Many things have come to light during this time of covid restrictions - the sudden emptying of the city restored a
long lost tranquility, along with a return of the fish, swans and cormorants to the canals which were no longer
overcrowded and churned by an onslaught of traffic. A new tourism is called for, one that benefits residents.
Visitors must see tourism not as an entitlement, but as a chance to responsibly sustain life on Earth. 

A new mindset is required for tourism post-coronavirus. The ability to visit places so casually, more planning and
consideration should be given to sacrificing freedom in order to protect our heritage. We need to accept the new
normal, visiting at a slower pace.