May'22 Message from the CEO
CEO, Skål International
Winds of change and what will set the trend.
It is greatly satisfying to see how all travel restrictions are gradually being eliminated, which is very good news for our sector.
These last two years have left us with a lot to learn and we must take heed to be better prepared. Both the public and private sectors must urgently start working on crisis prevention and management plans.
A good example is that, in recent weeks, discussions have been taking place at the highest level within European governments, to create an improved system that can help us track, at the point of entry, any variant or new airborne virus like the one we have been suffering through with COVID; something that can only be done through strong international coordination.
Measures like this, which can be implemented while respecting the free movement of travellers, will be key to guaranteeing the optimal continuity of the tourism industry.
Regarding the trends in the tourism and travel industry, we see that they continue to be marked by a growing interest in sustainable tourism. Thus, more than 50% of travellers are still willing to pay more for sustainable travel options.
But this trend is not only limited to the choice of destination, as the sustainability credentials within accommodation options also attract the attention of travellers.
At Skål International we have been committed to sustainability within the tourism industry since 2002. A reflection of this is our Sustainable Tourism Awards, created in accordance with the declaration of the United Nations to highlight the best practices at an international level in terms of sustainability. It is a pleasure to have the participation of the World Tourism Organisation this year, in accordance with our status as an Affiliate Member of said organisation. From here, I encourage you to disseminate and participate, reminding you that the 2022 edition is open to receiving applications until 30 June.
In this global scenario in which sustainability is gaining strength, great opportunities are anticipated for smaller destinations or destinations outside the classic tourist influx circuits. Trend data for this year 2022 reveals that the demand for vacation rentals in secondary cities has doubled during the first quarter and travellers say they prefer less crowded destinations to adapt their travel plans more easily.
It will also be an important year for loyalty programmes and for companies that promote flexibility for cancellation and changes in trips.
There is something important that we can draw from all this data, and it is that, a new world of opportunities is arising from the global crisis that, without a doubt, must be taken into account when considering our businesses and strategies.