AN INDUSTRY IN CRISIS MODE
COVID-19 has changed the industry beyond recognition. Outbound travel demand was brought to a total abrupt halt. Freedom of movement became restrictive, airplanes were grounded and cruise ships were prevented from docking, as closure of borders and confinement became the antidote to the pandemic. Of all major economic sectors, travel and tourism has been the most affected. The scale of the loss of both international and domestic visitors will be unprecedented. Unfortunately, this situation is likely to persist for some time. Indeed, a long road ahead is awaiting the industry as hotels, restaurants, tour operators, airlines, cruise ships and other tourism-related enterprises have suspended most, if not all, their operations indefinitely. Severe ripple effects are expected on tourism-related businesses, from handicrafts and agriculture to food and beverage providers. This unprecedented juncture calls for concerted and integrated actions. The weeks and months ahead are likely to be long and uncertain, but if we work together, we believe we will come through this more resilient than ever.