While the global tourism industrylost an estimated US$1,3 trillion in export revenue in 2020, according to the World Economic Forum, tourism investments have remained much more stable during COVID-19.
This was revealed at ITB Berlin last week by Sascha Hausmann, a partner in Howzat Partners, whose activities include facilitating venture capital.
“After all, the industry has survived a number of crises in recent times, from the stock market crash to volcanic ash and the financial crisis. The same applies now, although the current crisis is admittedly worse than those that preceded it,” he pointed out, conceding that the lockdowns and drastic decline in business “have been painful”.
“But the industry is highly resilient. In particular, tourists themselves have reacted very quickly to changing conditions. They are no longer as fearful as politicians would have us believe, as we have seen since the first lockdown,” said Sascha.
According to him, investors have always been confident that travel will return, and there is enough money available to make the necessary investments. “In any case, those who are keen to do so tend to look two years into the future, when prospects do not appear bad at all. Tourism is a basic need that cannot be obstructed by politicians and governments over time.”
African industry focuses on investment growth
Meanwhile, recognising the need for investment to drive tourism growth, the International Tourism and Investment Conference (ITIC) has announced a strategic alliance with World Travel Market (WTM) Africa – owned by Reed Exhibitions – that will see the two organisations leveraging their strengths and commitment to propel growth in travel and tourism through a series of targeted investment events.
This series of virtual and live conferences is designed to stand out as a sought-after platform to stimulate a new thought process, focusing on and discussing key global tourism challenges, business and investment opportunities in the sector, with a special focus on Africa and its island destinations.
ITIC provides B2B travel investment conferences and has developed as a specialised global tourism investment platform that brings together investors, financial and legal services, technology experts, government tourism ministers, tourism and travel industry leaders and professionals, policy-makers and public and private project owners and developers to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
Chairman of ITIC and former secretary-general of UNWTO, Dr Taleb Rifai, said: “Such an alliance between the WTM Africa and ITIC, with their complementary services, will inevitably present significant opportunities for the tourism and travel industry in the continent.”