The Centre for Marketing in Emerging Economies (CMEE) recently organised a webinar on ‘Tourism in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era: Challenges and the Way Forward’. The webinar was an attempt to discuss concerns of different stakeholders on tourism in the times of COVID-19 and to also understand the challenges and opportunities of the Indian tourism sector.
Prof. Archana Shukla, Director, IIM Lucknow welcomed the eminent speakers and set the floor for discussion. She mentioned the importance of the tourism sector in India’s economy and called for a joint effort from different stakeholders to revive the confidence of tourists. She expressed four major factors at this time are driving the psychology of consumers for not going out specifically for tourism purposes. The trust factor is going to play a major role across all the stakeholders because it is something perceptual and based on experience. Rising Health consciousness, safety, and hygiene are other three major prominent factors which demotivate consumers for tourism purposes. Ensuring a trustworthy environment by taking care of safety, hygiene and health the need of people is critical at this hour for attracting people for tourism.
More investment and risk-taking appetite are required in this sector for delivering improved service quality, recruiting new talents to face newer challenges caused due to Covid-19. She also assured all necessary support from the institute for developing a problem-solving approach for revival of the tourism sector.
Prof. Satyabhusan Dash and Prof. Priyanka Sharma were the conveners of this event. Senior leaders from the government and private institutions, policymakers and academicians discussed the policies and programs made by them to manage the crisis. Prof. Priyanka Sharma opened the discussion of the webinar by narrating the objective of the webinar and moderated the discussion. Prof. Satyabhushan Dash, Chair-CMEE, introduced different activities of CMEE, discussed the underlying stress people are going through and how tourism consumption can be a coping mechanism to reduce stress. He suggested improving the performance of online airline sites and IRCTC in the face of COVID-19 crisis by showing findings from user-generated reviews. He also announced the next PAN India research of ‘Tourism consumption behaviour in the times of COVID-19’.