2021 with new hope to Study, Travels and Tourism
| Prof. Steve McCarty - 01 Mar 2021

Dr. Hayley  Stainton is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Aviation, published author, and owner of the website Tourism Teacher.
 She combines her academic and travel experience to provide a unique viewpoint of the tourism and aviation industries through her scholarly publications and articles.
 She has spent more than a decade teaching and researching the tourism industry. She has written three books, had her research published in top academic journals, and has been featured in major media outlets such as the BBC, CNCB, TES, and The Huffington Post. She regularly publishes academic and practical-based articles on her website Tourism Teacher.
 Dr. Hayley is currently working on a freelance basis on a number of teaching, research, and consultancy projects. She is open to further opportunities. Specialisms: TEFL tourism, Educational tourism, International development, Volunteer tourism, Sustainability, Netnography, Blog analysis, and Digital marketing.
2020 saw the travel and tourism industry recede to levels not seen since the 1980s. Discussions of the problems of over-tourism and carbon emissions from the 200,000 flights per day rapidly turned to stories of travel businesses who had ceased trading, animals involved in the tourism industry who were suffering from starvation, and millions of people falling below the poverty line.
 With 2021 has come hope. There is some light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccine programs are being undertaken around the world and people are now looking forward to resuming some form of normality in their lives. And for a large number of people, that includes traveling.
 Traveling is an innate human desire. We seek the unfamiliar, a break away from normality and the exotic. Whether it’s a week sunbathing in Benidorm or a month doing conservation research in Borneo, right now there is huge pent-up demand for travel. Travel will be back, and it will boom like never before.
 The tourism industry is one of the most resilient industries in the world. I remember when Thailand’s tourism industry was decimated after the 2004 Boxing Say tsunami, only to become the world’s number 1 backpacking destination a few short years later. And I will never forget the moment in 2012 (not long after the Egyptian revolution) that I was offered a free felucca ride on the Nile; the owner of the boat was so desperate that he would work for free in return for some recommendations to be made to my fellow tourists staying in my hotel. Fortunately, this didn’t last long, and Egypt becomes one of Britain’s favorite holiday destinations again a couple of years later.
 There are many stories of the rebirth of tourism after major declines around the world. But never has the tourism industry experienced a decline on such a scale as it did in 2020. This pause in travel has given stakeholders the opportunity to reflect on what the industry had become at the beginning of 2020. Whilst tales of dolphins returning to Venice and smog being eradicated from China may be a stretch of the imagination, there is no denying that people have become more aware of the negative impacts of tourism.
Many academics have suggested that when travel returns it will be more sustainable and kinder to the environment. And I think that in some instances this will be true. Many organizations are now looking to implement sustainable tourism principles, smart tourism technology and to diversify their products to provide enhanced economic security.
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