Among the industries impacted by COVID-19, travel and hospitality have been hit especially hard. The rebound is also among the hardest to forecast. Will conventions and other business travel recover quickly or be forever changed? Will tourists take to the open roads more than the skies? Will vacation rentals grow in popularity or be bogged down in restrictions?
We created a set of master vignettes: one hopeful, one woeful and one somewhere in between. They’re not formal forecasts, but serve as a narrative starting point for a discussion about the near-term future. Our in-house futurists have deemed them “scary but plausible.” Since they were written, we can already see parts of each of them playing out. We shared them with experts in travel, hospitality, tourism, and the convention business.
Without leaving home (for now) we’ve asked these experts to send us some “postcards from the future.” They gave us their thoughts on how the future might unfold under each of those situations. The first postcard comes to us from a future we might try to aim for, with smart investments and bold moves, to get the economy back on track. The second represents a future where missteps were made along the way and those play out with drawn-out consequences. The final presents us with a path which is both avoidable and dire.
Of course, the answer to what the future holds is likely a combination of all of these factors with many not even covered. The hope is that by thinking through as many potential futures available, we can all be prepared for each outcome. What do you think? Are you ready to hit the road again?