COVID-19 and Travel

June 30, 2020 - A timely new book authored by Simon Hudson is fresh off the press documenting the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry. The book, called COVID-19 & Travel: Impacts, Responses and Outcomes, covers a number of important topics including why the pandemic and travel were inextricably linked, how the different sectors of the industry reacted to the crisis, leadership and communication strategies employed by the industry during the crisis, and the social, economic and environmental impacts of the pandemic as they relate to travel.

A dozen insightful case studies from all over the world bring the book to life. We see how the cruise industry suddenly went from being the golden child of the tourism sector to a sober symbol of the deadly disease; we witness the meltdown of ski resorts around the world in one weekend; and we see how Richard Branson coped with what he considers to be his greatest challenge yet. There are also some interesting ‘best practices’ case studies from New Zealand, Vietnam and Canada.

Hudson also makes predictions for the future of travel after COVID-19, a future driven by technology. We see how hotels are employing virus-killing robots to do the cleaning; how beaches are using drones to monitor social distancing; how airports have installed thermal cameras and disinfection tunnels; and how attractions are using apps to monitor social distancing. In short, the industry is having to adapt to survive – something Hudson has coined ‘COVID-aptability’.

Finally, there are some fascinating bits of trivia sprinkled throughout the book. Did you know, for example, that the word ‘quarantine’ originated in Italy in the 14th century; that the Spanish flu did not start in Spain at all; that sales of bread machines went up 652% during the pandemic; and that when France advised citizens to stop the traditional bise (kiss) this year, they were not the first country to do this? King Henry VI banned kissing in England in the 15th century in an effort to stymie the spread of the bubonic plague.

The book is available from Goodfellow Publishers in paperback, hardback and for download.

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