Future of tourism: “traveling as cheaply as possible must stop”

Travel habits will look significantly different in the future after the corona pandemic. Getting to know foreign countries and people will become more of a focus, according to tourism expert Urs Weber, market manager for Switzerland-Tourism Austria. "The times in which one comes as cheaply as possible, as quickly as possible in a completely different environment, are over in my opinion" shows Urs Weber in the pressetext interview convinced. "Sustainability will come more and more out of the greenie and vegan corner. Many people will realize that it is simply not okay to fly to Naples or London for 100, 50 or even less euros," Weber criticizes.

Railroads in the fast lane in the future

Weber is convinced that other means of transportation, such as rail, will increase significantly. "In Switzerland, we have already had an excellently developed and also intermodally coordinated transport system for a long time. This means that connections between trains, buses and ships are coordinated with each other. In addition, that can be used with the Swiss Travel Pass – that is, with only one ticket."

"Another advantage of the ticket is that it also includes public transportation in 90 cities and more than 500 museums. A large part of the mountain railroads grants besides 50 per cent price reduction." In Weber's view, Austria is catching up, by the way. When it comes to the excellent night train offer, oBB is the "absolute pioneer", he says. "With the 1-2-3 ticket planned from 2021, replacing the car with public transport will definitely become an interesting option for many."

New way of traveling and experiencing

The expert sees in alternative travel experiences in any case a large chance. "One of the most exciting forms is 'volunteering,' where you help others voluntarily, whether it's helping to renovate a school in Bhutan or building a proper dry-stone wall in a vineyard on Lake Geneva." Doing something with meaning is, in his view, the pinnacle of luxury as well as the "supreme – and at the same time most meaningful – way to spend vacation days and recharge your batteries".

Travel agencies and package tours will continue to have their justification, according to Weber. "It's precisely the great opportunities offered by the Internet that are even strengthening the previous, old distribution system."Personal explanations, experiences of specialists who have already been to a destination themselves or who have spoken to guides, would become increasingly important. "Because the human, that will gain again much more importance", Weber is sure.

More accurate representation of new destinations

One of Weber's heart's desires would be to bring new ideas to the table in terms of content, in addition to a better, media-based appreciation of lesser-known destinations: "It would be a great idea to provide graduates with an Interrail ticket at the end of compulsory schooling, either free of charge or at a greatly reduced price. Travel educates and that's how you really get to know our continent, its beauties, peculiarities, cultures. Too many people get their picture of the world from the populist free newspapers."

Weber criticizes: "Personally, it still seems quite abstruse to squeeze myself into a plane for hours, arrive in a country with a completely different history and culture, and then stay there for two weeks in a refuge that, in terms of food, furnishings and service, corresponds as closely as possible to what we call luxury here in Europe."

Under these aspects, everything "local" is completely lost – along with the feeling of being "far away". "This will require structural changes in the future. This includes, among other things, solid, credible sources of information, protagonists who present the situation and challenges without being dramatic," Weber concludes.

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