Mrs. Amora Carvajal, first of all, do you consider that we can now talk about post-pandemic and what are the main changes that Promperu has made with the aim of normalising tourism in your country after the pandemic?
PROMPERU is Peru's tourism promotion commission and as such, it has strengthened the international and national promotion of Peru and its tourist destinations as safe destinations. Likewise, we work closely with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, which is in charge of directing and regulating the sector's policies. This office has worked on different types of economic incentives for the sector to reactivate tourism in Peru. Also, our reactivation plan to 2025 will undergo some modifications where the emphasis is on digitisation and digital transformation in order to encourage maximum competitiveness in the sector.
How do you think the relations between the tourism industry and the institutions and authorities are at the moment?
Communication has always been fluid and we consider that permanent feedback with the private sector is vital. As the WTTC pointed out at the beginning of the pandemic: "We all have to embark on a public-private partnership with one mission: to prevent at all costs a global health crisis from becoming a global economic catastrophe".
How do you think the coronavirus has changed the behaviour of tourists in general and consumers of your services?
The coronavirus has left us with a climate of uncertainty, we have learned to assess the risk in each of our decisions and to be even more flexible. Consumer habits have shifted intensively to virtual transactions, there is a search for the natural and a stronger interest in the social good. We are talking about a hyper-connected tourist, those digital natives who are content and trend creators; actively involved with their environment and in search of sustainable tourism experiences.
What trends can you foresee with respect to the "normality" of the tourism industry?
This situation, which has encouraged innovation and the digital transformation of our sector, has also revealed major structural weaknesses, especially in small tourism destinations where access to internet services and human resources with digital skills is non-existent or very scarce. This has also meant focusing on new opportunities for sustainable destinations. On the other hand, this new normality encourages a new organisational culture in tourism, where digital and remote employment will be part of the new labour ecosystem in the sector.
How does digitalisation and the use of technology help the tourism industry?
Our sector is no stranger to the digital revolution and since the advent of the internet and its massive use, structural changes in supply and demand have been intensifying. The arrival of the coronavirus totally changed the process of adapting a digital culture in tourism companies, forcing them to consider it as a priority, now it is not only to have presence in digital media but also to consider digitalisation within all their production processes. So, we are talking about the digitalisation of the tourism product being of vital importance to achieve a reactivation of tourism activity, which will allow all companies, regardless of their size, to compete on the same terms and conditions.
Do you think that the tourism authorities in general are acting differently after the pandemic, or is everything pretty much the same?
After these two years of compulsory para, I think we are all aware that we have to be more flexible and adapt quickly to the changes. The international tourist flow will still take some time to re-establish itself in pre-pandemic terms, the competition to attract tourists to our destinations will be more aggressive and if tourist destinations do not adapt to what the market is looking for, it will simply be very difficult to keep up with what is on offer.
What do you think will be the global trend in tourism behaviour?
I believe that the actual sustainability of the destination will be an important factor in the travel decision, not just the marketing pitch or the promotional phrase. This context offers an important opportunity for the development of new tourism products related to community-based tourism. Here, it will be vital that tourism managers engage with the community to seek feedback and take into account the environmental cost of the sector, over the years, in the development of these new products.
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