COVID-19 has brought a significant impact on world tourism.
In my case, I haven't had an opportunity to guide foreign guests since March 2020.
However, there is a bright sign due to the progress of vaccination worldwide. Recently, I've got messages from customers asking for guide services in the following spring.
I'm not sure how the recovery of tourism will be going. It might come slowly and gradually rather than returning rapidly to before the pandemic.
People would prefer traveling with family to a big group.
As a tour guide, I should look at a way of guiding to cope with the circumstances of the so-called "new normal."
First of all, people's hygiene consciousness seems to have changed significantly.
The overseas tourists may conscious of the local COVID-19 situation, hygienic protocols, and customs.
I should study and understand those things to ensure the safety of my guests at each destination appropriately.
Next, the pandemic triggered us to raise awareness about the relationship between human beings and the natural environment.
Sustainable tourism seems to be getting attention even more among tourists.
For example, overtourism was a problem before COVID-19, negatively impacting local societies due to the excessive number of tourists.
Future tourists would not like to participate in a tour involving such a situation.
Let's focus more on small sustainable tours that take the environment and people into account, using eco-conscious transportation, discovering amazing scenes and cultural secrets deeply associated with the areas, visiting restaurants with experienced cooks using the local ingredients, etc.
It will deepen the relationship between the tourists and communities and make tours memorable.
I've been focusing on guiding small groups such as a couple and family, valuing the genuineness of what to see, experience, taste, and buy, which cannot always be experienced in a big group tour.
I will continue to offer local tours emphasizing hygiene, safety, and sustainability, benefiting my guests and the locals.