Emerging countries, including Egypt, are expected to be favourable destinations for tourists as lockdown measures, which were imposed to contain the COVID-19 crisis, are eased, Oxford Business Group (OBG) said in a report on Wednesday.
Tourists are seeking affordable and accessible options; thus, they are expected to opt for destinations in those emerging countries where labour laws are more flexible, and where tourism’s importance to GDP has prompted comprehensive efforts to make destinations safe and welcoming to foreign visitors, according to the report.
The OBG report said that the Radisson hotel chain, for instance, recently announced it had no plans to slow down expansion in Africa, and is targeting Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa in particular.
At present the chain has just under 100 hotels in the region, a figure it aims to boost to 150 within five years.
Moreover, some emerging markets are well placed to leverage an anticipated shift in consumer preferences, according to the report.
Open-air cultural sites are also set to become more popular, according to the report.
“Egypt is again seeking to take advantage of this; the country has been promoting travel to archaeological sites in Upper Egypt, offering discounts on tickets and a reduction in visa fees for travellers who fly into the region directly”, the report said.
On the other hand, the report expected business travel to take longer to rebound, and may struggle to return to pre-pandemic levels, as many businesses will look to formalise operational shifts prompted by the pandemic, and turn temporary measures into permanent strategies.
Companies that have found they can conduct operations efficiently on a remote basis may come to see the cost of travel as an unnecessary expense, according to the report.
“Conferences and other business-oriented events will likewise be difficult to organise for the foreseeable future, given the ongoing necessity of social distancing. Indeed, as early as late March, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry estimated that some 500 trade shows had been cancelled as a result of Covid-19 crisis, resulting in an estimated €23 billion in lost orders,” the report read.
The ourism sector has been one of the sectors hit severely by pandemic owing to travel restrictions and lockdown measures.
International travel fell by 80 percent in April, according to the International Air Transport Association, while the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development projected international tourist arrivals to contract by 60 to 80 percent in 2020.