Photo: ©Maksym Yemelyanov/123rf

By Frank Martin

The sudden expansion of Omicron cases has already dealt a strong first blow against immediate plans to restart the global tourism industry.

This situation already causes cancellations of 30% of room and accommodation reservations this January worldwide.

In this first-round match, fears about a rapid spread of the evil power of the new modality over human health and about the possible disaster of the world economy advanced at the same time.

But expert opinions await a perhaps better second round for the industry based on good omens backed by high-level professional knowledge and decisions.

Omicron has not been able to stop a global trend towards open tourism.

For example, despite the bad start of the New Year, hotels around the world are betting that the pandemic will recede as of next May.

In the western hemisphere, where the Caribbean region is located, summer is beginning to be eagerly awaited.

Caribbean specialists questioned by TTC recognized that for now surely the winter in this part of the world has already frustrated those who predicted a happy immediate recovery.

“There is no denying that today’s news is bad,” one of them said, citing the worsening of the situation this week in regions of the world such as Europe and America, including the huge source of tourism from the United States.

Faced with some of the facts, optimism recedes, although always with many exceptions.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed during this beginning of January 2022 that the situation of the pandemic could generate new, more dangerous variants, despite the widespread. vaccination campaign” explained one of them.

The restrictions that had been lifted are also making a comeback.

None of these observations denied the capacity for global business and government innovation, especially in major tourist destinations.

Along with the new confinements, various measures and proposals that arise point to the summer.

Global criteria in this sense are also exposed in international forums and some virtual meetings that, in addition to supporting the strengthening of measures against the epidemic and its modalities, propose recovery actions.

Excessive restrictions increase the feeling of insecurity among potential travelers arriving from abroad and local tourists. Such measures must be effective and not numerous.

One reassuring idea is that the rest of 2022 is yet to come.

As a result of the long pandemic, the best reopening proposals remain to be implemented, including the replacement of personnel seriously damaged by the exodus of employees who at the worst moment had to find other jobs.

Many industry experts think that there is still a period to devote to the training of new tourism personnel.

New ways will also need to be found for the universal tourism industry to regain its economic impact and better prepare for new threats that may arise.