Tourism: The Big Upheavals tv_user décembre 6, 2023
Tourism: The Big Upheavals

We are at a far cry from the dates when the tourist travelers decide to buy a package on the sole price criterion. The 2020 coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent border closure and vaccination requirements have pushed the sector towards big upheavals. In 2021 the tourism sector has started to slowly recover. But the hotel industry had more preference to the local tourists. Innovation was also introduced in the region. Virtual visits to the archaeological sites have become more familiar and part of the “Tourists’ Habit”. Metatut city in Egypt was the first virtual Metaverse city in the region. Eco Tourism has been developing over the years with tourists becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of the sector. We depict 6 major changes in the sector :

  • Technology : with glocalization becoming part and parcel of the tourism package/ Augmented reality giving way to virtual visits.
  • Social Media : Becoming the first source of interaction with tourists.
  • Data science : offering more and more opportunities in the sector with tourist operators now knowing more about clients’ preference in sightseeing, entertainment, and history.
  • Online booking : almost everything the tourists pay; they pay them online. Today 70% of the global hotel booking are made through OTAs (Online Travel Agencies)
  • Smart Destination : tourists’ preference goes towards countries best equipped with digital services mainly in terms of administration and historical sites’ management.
  • Eco-tourism : eco-themes are increasingly competing with historical sites and entertainment/sun and sand. More and more tourists want to explore nature, wild animals, birds’…etc

Bleisure travel, the new trend

Bleisure is a combination of business travel and leisure. More and more business travelers are joining the two possibilities. They plan their leisure program either before their business trip or after. The bleisure trend has started before the 2020 pandemic albeit shyly. Then its was booming after the pandemic as more and more business travelers are constrained towards working from home. Bleisure tourists are high spenders which is why the hotel industry is adapting more and more to their needs. They are also the tourists’ population with the lowest risk of booking cancellation and the highest chances of loyalty. In 2023, 89% of tourists have planned to join business to leisure, many of them have brought other family members and friends (Source: Stephanie Diamond VP Human Capital Management -Global Rescue-).
To attract Bleisure travelers, the industry needs to adapt to their needs by heavily investing in technology and infrastructure: Strong and reliable internet connection, availability of business areas in the hotels, partnering with special bleisure travel agencies, proposing entertainment, sightseeing tours and history sites visits as most bleisure travelers do not have time to organize the leisure part of their trip.

  • This note is part of a bigger presentation on the new-normal in the post-covid era. Written by Walid Jaafar -chief economist at BIAT BANK. To have the full presentation, please write to