Scenarios from OECD estimate that the decline in international tourism will range from 60-80% in 2020. According to OECD governments around the world are developing recovery measures. This can include lifting travel restrictions, restoring the travelers confidence and rethinking tourism. However, with the second wave of Covid-19 in many countries and only starting in others these measures seems like a far away dream until vaccines will become available.
In Iceland, the majority of people losing their jobs are in the tourism industry and the numbers just get higher and higher. We all know that people that work in the tourism industry have such a great passion for their work. The industry in Iceland has been growing fast in the last few years and skills and knowledge has been building up. Knowledge that we did not have in the industry in the past when it was not a whole year industry, whether it be skills and knowledge in regard to e.g. sales, marketing, quality, operation or human resources. Also, knowledge on specific activities in the industry or knowledge on general hospitality.
Brain drain is according to Cambridge dictionary “a situation in which large numbers of educated and very skilled people leaver their own country to live and work in another one where pay and conditions are better”. Well that is not something we need to worry about in the tourism industry now. However, I wonder and worry that we might see a “knowledge drain” from the industry, as the longer the travel restrictions last and the longer people are with out their jobs it is more likely they will seek jobs in other industries.
As much passion you have for your industry you can not wait forever and in my opinion, we are already seeing this in Iceland. Are you seeing this in your country or in the industry? Do you worry?
This article was published on LinkedIn on the 10 September 2020