English / ქართული / русский /

Annotation.  The main trends in tourism development, which have emerged in the terms of the coronavirus pandemic, are analyzed in the paper. The anti-crisis measures to support the industry in the difficult period and experience of countering the spread of COVID-19 were considered. The borders opening and the international tourism recovery will be slow and uneven. The need to update the integration processes in the field of tourism is substantiated not only on the principles of mutual benefit and joint development, but also of mutual responsibility and preparedness for crises and their management. The research results can be used in the preparation or correction of conceptual, strategic and program documents for the tourism development both at the national and regional levels, especially in the post-COVID period.

Keywords: tourism, pandemic, COVID-19, trends, anti-crisis measures 


Since the beginning of the pandemic caused by the spread of coronavirus infection, researchers have been actively studying the consequences of its negative impact on the tourism industry on a global scale [Uğur N.G… 2020:1]. The works published in a short period of time determine the level of impact of restrictions associated with COVID-19 on society, the economy and tourism in comparison with previous epidemics and other types of global crises [Gössling S… 2020:1], analyze the losses of the tourism and hotel sectors in regional markets [Hao F… 2020:1], discusses strategic solutions to overcome the crisis in the hospitality industry and various ways to restore it [Kreiner N.C… 2020:1], pays special attention to the role of information technology [Gretzel U… 2020:187] as a factor in supporting the tourism industry and increasing its economic sustainability.

Dramatic changes in the international and domestic tourism markets will undoubtedly be the subject of numerous studies for a long time to come. But already today, along with an assessment of the depth of the fall and the magnitude of the losses of the industry, the development of the tourism sector in the post-pandemic period, concerning the definition of strategic directions, methods and technologies for mitigating the consequences of the crisis and restoring the industry in the face of the emergence of new development vectors in the tourism sector, requires solution.

The purpose of this study is to summarize and analyze the main tourism trends that affect the development of strategic and operational management decisions at the national and regional levels. 


Tourism is one of the sectors of the economy most affected by the effects of the pandemic caused by the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The October World Tourism Barometer shows that international arrivals are down 70% in eight months of 2020. Export earnings from tourism decreased by $730 billion compared to the same period in 2019, which is more than eight times the loss in 2009 due to the global economic crisis [World… 2020:36]. It is estimated that the travel and tourism industry could lose up to 174 million jobs [174m… 2020]. Since the crisis has affected all activities related to the hospitality industry within countries, in general, COVID-19 will have a serious impact on GDP in all states, especially in those that are heavily dependent on the hotel and tourism sectors of the economy [MacDonald M… 2020:1].

Obviously, the recovery of international tourism after the opening of borders will be slow and uneven. Scenario forecasts of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) indicate a revival of the market in 2021, as well as the fact that a return to the level of 2019 will take from 2.5 to 4 years [World… 2020:36]. There is no doubt that unprecedented measures will be required to bring the industry out of the deepest crisis. As the experience of the first months of work under the conditions of various kinds of restrictions shows, the proposed industry support mechanisms should help to quickly adapt to a new, poorly predictable reality, taking into account the key trends in tourism that have become relevant due to the spread of coronavirus [Актуальные… 2020]. In this context, the following modern trends should be identified that affect the definition of strategic directions for the processes of restoration and further development of the tourism sector.

The first is the islandization (autonomization) of tourist markets. In emergency conditions, countries act on the principle of "every man for himself", implementing a policy of "state selfishness" in terms of restricting or completely banning the export of essential medical devices and medicines, as well as a number of food products. Considering that at the moment it is difficult to determine when the pandemic will end, each country independently decides on the opening of borders and the availability of movement for citizens.

Many countries have not only taken a number of measures aimed at supporting the tourism sector to reduce the consequences of the crisis, but have also begun to develop a strategy for its recovery and further development. At the same time, Kreiner & Ram believe that the majority of UNWTO member states act independently, ignoring the strategies and recommendations of this organization [Kreiner N.C… 2020:1]. Comparing the national tourism support plans of 7 countries - Australia, Austria, Brazil, Israel, Italy, China, Japan - the researchers note that these countries have implemented only 8% of the UNWTO recommendations, focusing on local and short-term tourism resumption tactics. Each country has developed the most appropriate and effective industry rescue plan for it. At the same time, most of the states rely on domestic tourism.

In connection with the spread of the coronavirus, one of the challenges of our time is the weakening of all integration processes and other forms of international cooperation. Within a short time, the volume of external tourism dropped sharply, all countries tried to return their citizens home.

The trend of weakening international cooperation in the field of tourism is temporary and largely depends on the timing of the end of the coronavirus pandemic, the emergence of a vaccine and the formation of herd immunity. At the same time, a number of researchers suggest critically revising the models of growth in tourism volumes, which are advocated by international tourism organizations [Gössling S… 2020:1]. It should be emphasized that this is a debatable issue that requires extensive discussion by the scientific community at the international, national and regional levels. However, something else is undeniable: in the post-COVID period, integrative interaction between countries in the field of tourism needs to be updated. And among the most important tasks is the introduction and observance of international health regulations, which is feasible both in the framework of the implementation of the recommendations of international tourism organizations, and in the process of integration interaction.

The second is the priority of ensuring the safety and health of tourists.

In the future, when choosing a place of rest, people will be guided by the “protection” of the territory visited from various infectious diseases, the level of medical care and the cost of possible prevention [Uğur N.G… 2020:1].

Great importance will also be attached to maintaining a “social distancing” policy, which involves minimizing contacts, as well as reducing the density of visitors in transport, hotels, restaurants, etc.

In the context of the launch of domestic tourism, a key factor in the resumption of work of accommodation and visiting facilities will also be their strict compliance with sanitary and epidemiological requirements, as well as compliance with security measures in case of detection of patients. At the same time, the fear of getting sick will also increase the personal responsibility of tourists, who will increasingly pay attention to life insurance when booking tours and determining the compliance of the places of the planned visit with safety requirements in terms of disease prevention, the level of medical care, the organization of rescue and ambulance services, and the availability of information. about existing threats and the speed of response to complaints from vacationers.

The third is changes in the demand for tourism services, which is due to the long stay of people at home, the organization of work in a remote format, psychological experiences, a decrease in income, the desire to visit natural areas and improve health. In this regard, it is advisable to create new objects of year-round access in the field of medical, health, sports, gastronomic, ecological tourism for meeting the new priority needs of the tourism industry customers.

The activities of tour operators and travel agencies are reoriented from mass tourism to individual tours and online sales, the demand for individual guides and driver guides, and for car rental will increase.

Tourist industry experts note that even today the category of travelers called “digital nomads” is increasing, combining long trips with remote work [Основатель… 2020]. As a result, a significant competitive advantage of some tourist areas in the future will be the quality of the proposed information infrastructure.

Changes in the behavior and priorities of tourism consumers will also affect the development of various types of small accommodation facilities.

The fourth is the digitalization of the industry. In recent years, various digital technologies have been actively used in tourism, but the crisis has provoked a sharp increase in their importance. Virtual tours and excursions are already becoming new elements of the digital ecosystem in tourism (thousands of natural and cultural sites around the world have opened access to their resources), the growth of remote work services, free online educational courses for people left without “active” activity, and other. Considerable attention is paid to the use of digital technologies to combat the spread of coronavirus at tourism facilities, for example, to inform citizens and control their movements, to check travelers, track requests, etc. [Международный… 2019:54].

Another extremely popular tool has become the tourist personal account of the “Covid”  module of the information system of the “Safe City” hardware and software complex, with the help of which the status of a client (sick, contact) is easily determined, which helps to reduce the risk of spreading infection and increase confidence in the territory visited.

Fifth, the greening of tourism: in the face of the pandemic, the ecotourism sector is becoming increasingly popular, inevitably deviating from the process of “greening” economic activities related to the provision of tourist and recreational services. In line with the development of ecotourism, the countries under consideration not only have significant potential, but also pursue an active policy for its planning, regulation, support, promotion and monitoring, based on international recommendations on sustainable development [Gretzel U… 2020:187].

However, there is concern about the marked decline in public attention to the impact of tourism on the environment. In the current epidemiological situation, when organizing their activities, business entities are largely guided by sanitary requirements, to comply with which a fairly wide range of measures are taken, which inevitably leads to an increase in energy, water consumption, and an increase in non-specific waste (masks, gloves). In the short and medium term, one should hardly expect a complete abolition of sanitary requirements; most likely, they will be relevant until the start of mass vaccination. Therefore, due to the growth of domestic tourism, when determining measures to support small tourism projects and subsidize regional tourism programs from the federal budget [Общество…2020:350] it is necessary to provide for the development and implementation of "green" business standards.

The sixth is the strengthening of state support for the industry, which, in the context of the pandemic, was reflected in all the countries under consideration, which focused on reducing administrative regulation, tax incentives, direct financial assistance and other forms of support [COVID-19… 2022]. 


Today, it is already indisputable that the world will be different after the elimination of the coronavirus threat, the conditions for cross-border movements will change, and the problem of ensuring medical security will come to the fore. It will be necessary to review the content and mechanisms for the implementation of bilateral and multilateral cooperation programs between countries in terms of introducing and observing international health regulations in the process of organizing travel, as well as in developing cooperation in such areas as insurance and emergency assistance to tourists during travel, ensuring comfortable and safe transportation of passengers, security of data communication channels. Countries will have to ensure mutual exchange of information and experience on updating tourism development strategies with a focus on improving the industry's readiness to quickly and effectively respond to crises in the future. In the future, integration processes in the field of tourism will be based not only on the principles of mutual benefit and joint development, but also on mutual responsibility and readiness for crises. 


  1. COVID-19: Measures to Support Travel and Tourism//UNWTO. The World Tourism Organization URL: https://www.unwto.org/covid-19-measures-to-support-travel-tourism (09.04.2022).
  2. Gretzel U., Fuchs M., Baggio R. et al., 2020,  E-tourism beyond COVID-19: a Call for Transformative Research //Journal of Information Technology & Tourism. Vol. 22, iss. 2. P. 187–203. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40558-020-00181-3.
  3. Gössling S., Scott D., 2020,  Pandemics, Tourism and Global Change: a Rapid Assessment of COVID-19//Journal of Sustainable Tourism. Vol. 29 (1). P. 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2020.1758708.
  4. Hao F., Xiao Q., Chon K. 2020, COVID-19 and China’s Hotel Industry: Impacts, a Disaster Management Framework and Post-Pandemic Agenda // International Journal of Hospitality Management. Vol. 90. P. 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2020.102636.
  5. Kreiner N.C., Ram Y., 2020, ational Tourism Strategies during the COVID-19 Pandemic // Annals of Tourism Research.. October 19. P. 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2020.103076.
  6.  MacDonald M., Piazza R., Sher G., 2020, A Simple Guide to Estimating the Impact of COVID-19 on Travel and Hospitality Activity.// International Monetаry Fund. Macrocritical Structural Issues. September 2. P. 1–10. URL: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/SPROLLs/covid19-special-notes#MSI (11.2020).
  7.  Uğur N.G., Akbıyık A, 2020, Impacts of COVID-19 on Global Tourism Industry: a Cross-regional Comparison//Tourism Management Perspectives. Vol. 36. P. 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmp.2020.100744. (10.04.2022).
  8. World Tourism Barometer. 2020. Vol. 18, iss. 6. 36 p. https://doi.org/10.18111/wtobarometereng.2020.18.issue-6 . (10.04.2022).
  9. 14. 174m Travel & Tourism Jobs Could Be Lost Due to COVID-19 and Travel Restrictions, Says WTTC, 2020, HospitalityNet. URL:https://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4101389.html 10.04.2022).
  10. Актуальные меры поддержки туристской отрасли, 2020, Федеральное агентство по туризму. URL:https://tourism.gov.ru/news/16744/ ( 06.04.2022).
  11. Общество и пандемия: опыт и уроки борьбы с COVID-19 в России. М., 2020. 350 с.
  12. 18. Основатель Airbnb предсказал развитие нового вида туризма, 2020,  Profi + travel. URL: https://profi.travel/news/46215/details (10.04.2022).
  13. Международный опыт развития экотуризма: страновая специфика и общие подходы, 2019, Л.Б.-Ж. Максанова [и др.]//Вестник Московского государственного областного университета. Серия: Естественные науки№ 2. С. 54–66. https://doi.org/10.18384/2310-7189-2019-2-54-66.