Cover photo: Magda Ehlers, Pexels.com What is certain is that every country will want to activate its economy as soon as possible after the elimination of the coronavirus, ie when that day comes – the “day after the coronavirus”. That will be imperative. Also, all countries will communicate the narrative that they buy local products, domestic goods, food, and that they travel within their country – logically, the goal is to help domestic entrepreneurs, ie the economy. As the situation around the outbreak of SARS and the current situation around the spread of coronavirus is not the same, but much more drastic, for this reason it is very difficult to predict anything, because in recent history tourism has not yet encountered such a global emergency. Even the consequences and threats of terrorism in Europe have not stopped tourism in the long run, as is currently the coronavirus pandemic. The first is planning a promotional strategy. When that day comes (the day after the coronavirus) one should immediately start the promotion and not plan for another two or three weeks and waste time. So, plan a promotion at this point and keep it on stand by, so you can react immediately and move on when that moment comes. Be ready. Tourism is one of the fastest recovering industries, as expected in China as well as globally, but the question is what consequences the impact of the coronavirus will have on the entire tourism sector. This situation, which was unthinkable until a month ago, Skiff’s editor-in-chief, Rafat Ali, described it as a day we will forever remember as the day the world stopped traveling (The Day the World Stopped Traveling). According to Chinese tourism market consultants, Margot Schuller and Rossella Pfundt from the company Tourists from China, in the first week of March, Chinese consumers booked 250% more domestic flights and made 40% more hotel reservations in China compared to the previous week. This shows how willing the Chinese are to travel and how their self-confidence is returning, the authors point out. But the author’s optimism is based on data from a survey conducted by the Chinese Tourism Academy among Chinese consumers, which says that 20,7% of respondents said they would travel as soon as possible, while 71,5% of respondents said they would travel after completion. epidemic and after everything stabilizes. Accordingly, as soon as the European market also stabilizes, a strong increase in Chinese demand for travel to European destinations can be quickly expected. Thus, according to the latest information, statistics show that the number of cases of infection in China is rapidly declining, including the province of Hubei, where the virus originates. In fact, according to a Chinese news agency Xinhua, no new coronavirus infections were reported for the first time on Wednesday in Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, and Hubei Province, a positive sign amid news of a sharp rise in infections around the world. There is also an element of a new recession. This whole situation will bring the whole world, including Europe and Croatia, into a new recession. Also, in the current situation where all states are closed, when the economy has stopped and people are in self-isolation, many people will lose their jobs or their salaries will be reduced, and many SMEs will unfortunately fail or barely survive this situation with small or no capital. There are currently millions of jobs at stake, while many SMEs are at risk of closure, and it is they who are the base of successful economies, not large companies. Or quickly, in a month when the coronavirus will no longer be present or only in the spring of 2021. These are some assumptions, although of course in this situation it is very ungrateful to predict anything, and that the situation in Croatia will stabilize in a minimum of 60 days, unless there is a major escalation. Of course, I emphasize again, the whole situation around the coronavirus is still full of assumptions and uncertainties, because it is a completely new virus and no one knows exactly how the whole situation will develop, but according to current data, we must think out loud what and how to proceed. . Some realistic estimates from domestic and European experts say that only in the spring of 2021 can we expect a positive recovery of the tourism sector, of course assuming that the whole situation does not escalate further, ie to calm down in 2 to 3 months. Those optimistic assumptions say that tourism on a global scale could be activated in 30 days, from the day the whole situation calms down, and which again relies on data after the advent of SARS. On the other hand, if we compare the recovery and normalization of business after SARS, it was relatively fast. Within a month after Hong Kong was declared a clean zone of SARS, the tourism market returned to 70% of previous figures, and within just two months, traffic exceeded the 12-month average before SARS, reports South China Morning Post. Also, Guangdong reached 70% hotel occupancy just weeks after they were removed from the list of locations where you can get infected, according to STRwhile in Singapore the hotel occupancy rate returned to the previous level in just 60 days from the declaration of a clean zone by SARS, according to South China Morning Post. What consequences will the impact of the coronavirus have on the entire tourism sector? How long will it take to activate the tourism market? That is sure most travelers will do – travel within their country. Also, the question is how much people will instill the fear of traveling in this situation, regardless of the assumption that the situation around the coronavirus is neutralized, ie disappears. Again, assuming that the whole situation will stabilize in 60 to 90 days, will workers be able and willing to take annual leave? Even all the prefabricated hospitals in Wuhan, built by the Chinese in an extremely short time after the outbreak of the epidemic, were closed. The economy is rising again and has started to function, and even Apple has announced the opening of its stores in China. Chinese authorities continue to call for caution and keeping the whole situation under control, regardless of the fall in new cases. According to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, there is a positive forecast that the Chinese government should have the coronavirus under control by the end of March 2020, and the Chinese authorities have announced that they will increase consumption and production as soon as possible, in order to balance economic losses and accelerate growth. All eyes are on China, both epidemiological and tourist. China is the first to be affected by the coronavirus, and it is the first to get out of the crisis situation. Also, as they state Margot Schuller and Rossella Pfundt Tourists from China expects the total hotel operating rate in major cities across China to reach 90% by the end of March, which is very optimistic. A good part of them still use their annual leave in accordance with the situation, at least that part of the workers who did not lose their jobs, and the question is whether they will have it available later. Also, when the day starts (day after coronavirus), when all the shops finally open and the economic situation begins to stabilize, who will have the courage to ask for a vacation after a month of work? Because it would certainly not be fair to entrepreneurs, who in this situation did not lay off, that when it is finally possible to work and the economy wakes up, that the worker goes on a paid annual leave. And we are talking about the month of July – August, if of course the situation calms down in 2-3 months. On the other hand, we can also assume that people will hardly wait for the moment to be able to travel, especially after several months of home isolation. Precisely because of this, the question is how much consumers will want to spend, ie whether, as in the case of a recession, there will be a fear of consumption and they will tighten their belts and wait to see how the whole situation will develop. Also, many families will lose part of their income during this period of economic blockade, and thus the planned one travel budget, which will certainly delay long trips or trips outside your country. The day the world stopped traveling In any case, in this situation, the tourism sector is powerless and can only wait for the situation to calm down. Any action, promotion, price reduction or similar in this situation, when state borders are closed, as well as shops, the economy is literally stopped, public gatherings are forbidden and people are in self-isolation, is simply unfortunately misplaced, as well as talk about tourism. But can the tourism sector do anything in this situation? Regardless of everything and the whole situation, it still can. I personally advise two things. Of course, it is difficult to compare the Chinese market with others or European, because it is a totally different culture and way of life, so also when we want to attract Chinese tourists (promotion) in Europe we must be aware that China has totally different rules. Which is actually the worst possible situation. Wait, and without any impact on the whole situation. We are waiting. But after the rain comes the sun, and by then you need to survive. Nevertheless, I am convinced that tourism will be one of the branches that will recover the fastest. Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, which is certainly no accident. The second is definitely the focus on the domestic guest. The fastest way to activate and motivate a domestic guest is to travel. Especially if in Croatia the whole situation does not escalate as in Italy or other countries. Whether in that situation the offer should be adjusted to the domestic guest, certainly for discussion. I know that there are a lot of assumptions in this article, but unfortunately in the current situation where even the scientific profession does not know exactly how the whole situation will develop, it is difficult to predict anything and be the narrator of the future. This article is more in the context of thinking aloud what and how to proceed, to open a discussion and try to anticipate various situations, to know how to plan. But what about European tourists and major emitting markets? Tomorrow I will argue in a little more detail the tips and possibilities of what tourism professionals can do in this situation. Think and get involved in the discussion. Two heads are always smarter than one. The main question is, when the situation calms down, ie how long will it take for the tourism sector to recover and activate the tourism market? And again all eyes are on China.