Audio Interview

The impact of Covid-19 on tourism

Published on April 23, 2020   6 min

Other Talks in the Playlist: Interviews with business leaders and scholars

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Interviewer: Today, I'm interviewing Robin Barker, who is the Director of Services for Tourism, and the Director of the Tourism Management Institute in the UK. Robin, thank you for sparing the time today. Mr. Barker: It's a pleasure. Interviewer: To provide some context, how has the pandemic affected your own work? Mr. Barker: My own work has completely changed. We were about to be sending awards judges out to go and visit 500 tourism businesses, and give them feedback and complete reports in preparation for tourism awards, but in the current crisis that's all on hold. Tourism businesses are still submitting entries slowly, but the judges are all saying 'hold on for the moment', and we are biding our time, trying to keep in contact with as many tourism businesses as we can. We're listening, helping, guiding, we've been through a few tourism crises in our time, and hopefully there's a little bit that we can do to help them. Interviewer: Looking forward, how do you think the tourism industry will cope with emerging from the lockdown? Mr. Barker: Tourism is an extraordinarily diverse sector, and the vast majority of businesses are struggling big time at the moment or shut down, one or two have actually gone into administration. Very few are currently surviving, they tend to be take-away businesses and so on, but they're very few and far between. The vast majority are in crisis mode, they don't really know when the business is going to come back, but one of the tips that we're giving them is to keep positive and