The bankruptcy of British tour operator Thomas Cook, which has affected 600,000 travelers on the road, shows that the concept of a tourist package "has to be reformulated", as recognized by the head of Market Intelligence and Competitiveness of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Sandra Carvao
"I think that disappearing does not, but it has to be rephrased, people look for a service but not as before, there are certain destinations where the package will continue to be very strong, but you have to reinvent what tourist package," said the representative of the WTO in statements to EFE.
For Carvao, the crisis caused by the bankruptcy of the British giant, which has affected some 53,000 travelers in Spain, is a sample of a company that "has not adapted to the new times."
Although he has considered that "it is not possible to be said that it is the death of the tourist package", because in fact in Spain this modality of vacations is increasing since 2010, a "reinvention" must take place, insisted the UNWTO directive, which has requested Expect events regarding Thomas Cook.
"We are going to see what happens in the coming weeks, because this is very recent, to see to what extent there is a replacement. There was already talk of TUI as interested in replacing some destinations, we will see how the market reacts," he added.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is monitoring the situation with the most affected countries and Carvao has appealed to the "responsibility" of the states that must ensure the return of their residents, an aspect that is included in the World Code of Ethics for Tourism, transformed into a convention in 2017.
The fall of the British tour operator is a major blow for tourism employment, as Thomas Cook employs some 2,500 people in Spain, but its incidence can reach 10% of the sector's employment in the most affected areas, such as the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.
An impact that joins the challenges of the tourism sector caused by digital transformation.
"Tourism is one of the main contributors to employment in the world, but for it to adapt we have to work together. There are more and more technological needs but most companies think about what profiles they are going to hire, not training to people who are already working so that it can adapt, "he told EFE.
The atomization of companies in the tourism sector means that from the UNWTO they claim "a national tourism policy that is" transversal "and where employment is" key ".
In this sense, the UNWTO has launched an initiative, together with the Spanish business school IE, with the aim of offering training worldwide, according to Carvao, which has been optimistic about the challenges posed by digitalization, such as task automation
"Obviously, jobs are going to be lost, there are going to be functions that are going to be replaced, but others are going to arise, from social networks, data analysis, or jobs connected with the social aspect such as accessibility, sustainable development or the environment ", he assured.
To attract these new profiles of workers, the sector will have to work to be more attractive, since under Carvao's point of view it is a sector perceived as "low wages and complicated schedules".
Spanish companies in the sector are "very good" in this regard, for the head of Market Intelligence and Competitiveness of the UNWTO, as there are "large Spanish companies leading" this transformation, according to Sandra Carvao.
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