Creative Tourism Business Ideas During the Pandemic
Creative Tourism Business Ideas During the Pandemic
  • Reporter Lee Seung-Joo
  • 승인 2021.02.27 23:17
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▲Glamping in Singapore Changi Airport / Asuransi Simas Insurtech
▲Glamping in Singapore Changi Airport / Asuransi Simas Insurtech



The  COVID-19 pandemic has influenced many industries in the world. Among these industries, the travel industry has been especially at a loss. Due to the indefinite social distancing measures, people have been forced to stay at home during their free time. Recently, due to the intensification of prevention measures, unless registered in the same household, people were restricted from gatherings of more than four people, and most shops were forced to close at 10 P.M.. Such measures discouraged most domestic and foreign leisure activities and traveling, ultimately leading to the current crisis in the tourism industry.
As the tourism industry happens to be one of the world’s biggest economic sectors accountable for approximately 7% of global trade, the stakes are immense. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) revealed the following impacts of COVID-19 in the tourism sector: up to 100 million direct tourism jobs at risk, loss of 910 billion to 1.2 trillion USD from the absence of tourism exports or international visitors’ spending, a drop of 1.5% to 2.8% in global GDP, and the loss of regular life for small developing island states, least developed countries, and most African countries that were overdependent on the tourism industry.
Amongst such hard times, some businesses have accounted for such gaps in the tourism market with creative ideas. Meeting with the desire to travel and have fun, the travel industry has introduced make-shift travel experiences that can utilize the available and unexploited resources to satisfy would-be travelers.
Singapore Changi Airport, renowned for its reputation as the best airport in the world, offered an exquisite glamping experience within the building. The airport earns its high reputation from its fully equipped recreation facilities including a pool, air-conditioned gardens, exhibitions, walking trails, indoor slides, and other attractions usually not observed in a typical airport building. Glamping in this luxurious set includes a tent with a diameter of four meters, cozy blankets, shopping discounts, and a chance to “wake up with the refining scenery of the world’s largest indoor waterfall.”
Airlines have offered takeaway in-flight meals and flights to nowhere tours to travel-deficient customers. In Korea, Jin Air was the first domestic airline to offer a “home meal replacement package themed after in-flight meals” called “JINI Kitchen – the REAL”, priced at 10,000 KRW per meal. Three types of meals are currently available, each themed after Hungarian, Hong Kong, and Italian cuisines as their offerings. Jin Air claims that through this package, it can deliver “travel” to households. Several domestic airlines, including Tway, Asiana Airlines, and Jeju Air, have released “flights to nowhere” tours. Self-explanatorily, such tours are airplane travel without any arrivals to a foreign country. Korea has granted such tour users access to duty-free shops with the same benefits as a typical international traveler. 
Despite such ingenious attempts, the depression in the tourism industry is most likely to continue along with the pandemic itself. Such intrinsic sensitivity of the industry to various external factors has raised awareness to innovate tourism to sustain the lives of those dependent on the industry and to construct a more resilient and efficient future.