What We’re Reading This Month

Callum Tyler

October 14, 2020

Stay up to date with the latest travel and tourism industry news with the help of our monthly round up, which includes trends in tourism and trends in the travel industry. Here are some of the articles we found to be the most insightful on the future of travel and tourism during the coronavirus outbreak, and beyond.

December 2020

What will actually make museum- and attraction-goers feel safe?

Now we’ve got data on how travellers want to be Covid-secure

“Particularly at the minute, where a notification on your phone can have you quarantining for more than a week, people are terrified of losing out. Providing this reassurance is likely to bring more bookings.”

It’s a question that’s plagued (excuse the pun) museums, attractions, tour operators and the tourism industry as a whole over the last 9 months: what reassurances do visitors need to ease their way back into tourism? Spanish global distribution system Amadeus set out to find the answers to this all important question.

While some of the results of their worldwide poll were exactly what you’d expect, consumers are keen to reduce physical touch points and contact and they want a more effective test, track and trace programme, they give a good indication of what to focus on.

A new age for museums

A new kind of museum is emerging—here’s what the future holds

“Responding to Covid-19 is just one of the titanic challenges [museums] now face. And once they emerge from the annus horribilis of 2020, they have an opportunity to fashion a new kind of museum.”

There’s doubt that museums’ biggest and most pressing issue this year was the Covid pandemic. But what other challenges has the industry been facing and what should we be preparing for in 2021?

After more than six months of interviews with museum leaders across the US, writer András Szántó has identified six principal ways in which the industry needs to innovate. From opening up to more audiences to rethinking business models, there are plenty of things museums need to think about for 2021 that aren’t Covid-19.

October 2020

Recovering from a pandemic has been a rollercoaster

Largest U.S. theme parks report no COVID-19 outbreaks since reopening

“Merlin Entertainments has had millions of guests enter its reopened Legoland theme parks and more than 100 themed entertainment attractions around the world without any COVID-19 incidents or outbreaks*, according to company officials.”

Attraction lovers across the States have been able to visit top amusement parks across the country with minimal risk. According to state health agencies and theme park officials, no outbreaks have been reported at major players like Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Six Flags, and Legoland. 

Mickey Mouse Ferris wheel in Disneyland California
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

The Cedar Fair parks in Florida, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia and Michigan have also reported no issues, but their biggest seller Knott’s Berry Farm remains only partially open with no chance to go on rides.

Parks have put guidelines in place to increase safety and adhere to the “new normal”, including: mandatory masks, social distancing, increased sanitization, employee training, reduced capacity, and contactless payments.

*A COVID-19 outbreak or cluster is defined as two or more people with coronavirus who are linked to a potentially extensive transmission within a setting or organization, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Current issues in tourism: decolonization

What does it mean to decolonize a museum?

 “If museums want to continue to have a place, they must stop seeing activists as antagonists. They must position themselves as learning communities, not impenetrable centers of self-validating authority.” 

That steps are being taken to decolonize what was traditionally the pursuit of white colonialists is of enormous importance in a world that’s learning to embrace its cultural diversity. But, just what exactly does it mean to decolonize? 

Glass roof of the British Museum
Photo by Regina Victorica on Unsplash

“It’s not just about inviting indigenous and other marginalized people into the museum to help the institution improve its exhibitions; it’s overhauling the entire system. Otherwise, museums are merely replicating systems of colonialism, exploiting people of color for their emotional and intellectual labor within their institutions without a corollary in respect and power.”

Every institution will have its own opinion, and we strongly recommend reading Museumnext’s insightful article in full for a fascinating insight into this current issue in tourism and how the future of museums will be presented. 

The future of museums

The world’s first entirely virtual art museum is open for visitors

“More than just an online gallery, VOMA is 100 percent virtual, from the paintings and drawings hanging on the walls to the museum’s computer-generated building itself, giving viewers an entirely new way of experiencing art that transports them to an art space without having to leave their computers.”

It might seem plucked out of science-fiction, but there’s no denying that as VR becomes more readily available and processing power continues its exponential growth, being able to don a headset and enter a new location doesn’t belong to the realm of imagination as it once did. 

Boy wearing virtual reality headset paints on canvas while wearing protective coveralls
Photo by Billetto Editorial on Unsplash

The museum’s creator Stuart Semple, the very same Semple who created the world’s pinkest pink in the most grandiose act of petty revenge, had the seed of the idea as early as 1999, but technology had some catching up to do before his vision could be achieved. One of the major challenges faced by the tourism industry during the pandemic is encouraging guests to visit, but when you can discover masterpieces from home, the issue ceases to exist.

“Cavaliere, the museum’s director and curator, worked closely with some of the world’s most prestigious museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris…”

Tours and activities, the future of smart travel

Why the future of smart travel distribution must include tours and activities

“Despite its sheer size, the tours and activities sector has often been an afterthought for travel agents and online travel agencies, especially compared to air and hotel bookings.”

Hotels and airfares have long been a staple of anyone who’s a dab hand at using their credit card online. The third part of the golden triangle of tourism traditionally hasn’t fared so well – tours and activities have been faced with a number of challenges, namely relevant, timely, and quality inventory.

Skift were able to pick the Mark Rizzuto’s brain, the CEO of Livin– an API provides structured product content, availability data, metadata, terminology, and pricing, and a unified way to book tours and activities products across the world – about the challenges faced by the tourism industry; we learnt a lot and have no doubt you will too.

“The second reason to focus more on tours and activities is that generally speaking, activities and experiences are what drive hotel and airfare bookings and the overall journey. People don’t go to Cairo to fly EgyptAir. They go to Cairo to see the pyramids or take a cruise down the Nile.”

Wondering what’s next for European travelers? Find out the latest trends in tourism.

Read the latest blogs for museums, tours and attractions

5 Best Practices for Designing Immersive Exhibitions in Museums 

Looking for a sure-fire way to get your visitors engaged and talking about what you’ve got on show? Immersive exhibitions are your answer.

Meet the Nominees for the 2020 Remarkable Venue Awards 

Tiqets is hosting its first online, global Remarkable Venue Awards on 9 December. And the nominees for the first five awards categories are in.

what does virtual tourism look like

The Future of Virtual Tourism in a Post-Pandemic World 

Virtual tourism is born of necessity, and thriving thanks to success. Learn how to translate the success of your venue to the digital world.