COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent steps in tourism – the vacationer guides’ perspective
The tourism sector is within the third month of full shut-down. Complete nation lockdowns, border closures, journey restrictions, suspensions of just about all passenger flights, closed resorts and eating places have resulted in an unprecedented disaster within the sector. One of many hardest-hit professions in tourism is that of vacationer guides.
The European Federation of Vacationer Information Associations (FEG), reacted rapidly to assemble info on the influence the suspension of tourism actions has had within the vacationer guiding occupation. FEG is an umbrella organisation representing 27 nation associations within the wider European geographical space1.
FEG surveyed the membership associations on the influence of the final three months in revenue, working hours misplaced, compensation acquired. Vacationer guides are professionals who’ve been working for a few years in tourism, with 23.67% of survey contributors reporting that they’ve been lively for not less than 10 years.
This factors to a everlasting, extremely expert workforce, with low employment turnover, an virtually distinctive scenario within the tourism trade. The overwhelming majority of guides rely upon guiding to offer their revenue, with 83.58% of survey contributors having no different monetary supply.
As a occupation, vacationer guides are largely single-business professionals. In line with the FEG survey 87.80% of vacationer guides are self-employed and are taxed accordingly. The results of these versatile working situations is that as a occupation they’re significantly susceptible. It’s rather more tough for vacationer guides to have entry to authorities funding and help.
For February 2020, guides surveyed2 reported roughly 53,000 working hours misplaced, due to cancellations. The common revenue loss is estimated at 523 Euro per information. Nonetheless, February is likely one of the least lively months of the 12 months for tourism.
- Roughly 15% of all guides surveyed reported that they aren’t lively throughout February, because the vacationer season of their international locations doesn’t begin till later within the 12 months.
- An extra 10% reported that they’d no cancellations in any respect. This is because of variations within the unfold of the virus and nationwide authorities selections on lock-downs.
- Lower than 1% of guides have reported re-bookings for among the February cancelled excursions for later within the 12 months. In March, the standard begin of the vacationer season for a lot of European international locations, the scenario worsened with all booked excursions reportedly cancelled.
The cancellations result in an approximate lack of 115,000 working hours. Misplaced revenue is estimated to be 1,835 Euro per information.
- Lower than 1% of guides have reported rebookings for among the cancelled March excursions for later within the 12 months.
- The losses account just for pre-booked excursions and engagements. There isn’t any correct method of estimating the potential variety of last-minute and particular person bookings.
For April 2020 the figures rose to 139,000 working hours and misplaced revenue to roughly 2,360 Euro per information. The rise in misplaced working hours and revenue is because of Easter holidays falling in April in 2020, an incomes interval vital to assist maintain guides after the winter inactivity.
- There was no substantial change within the proportion of rebookings for cancelled April excursions for later within the 12 months.
On the time of the survey (the survey was performed throughout April 2020), measures for monetary help have been introduced by many governments, nevertheless, no surveyed guides had acquired any compensation. Following the completion of the survey, some nationwide governments began to distribute recompense. Nonetheless, the quantity of 800 Euro sometimes provided, is nowhere close to the anticipated common incomes ranges for guides. As well as, this monetary help is restricted in time and won’t cowl lack of earnings for the months to return.
These figures paint a really bleak image of the influence of the COVID-19 outbreak for vacationer guides’ monetary survival. The dearth of a big variety of rebookings for cancelled excursions, the lack of revenue firstly of the vacationer season, the persevering with uncertainty of workable pointers for travelling, are vital elements that have to be addressed, as their influence will proceed within the months to return.
FEG has numerous proposals for the survival of the occupation equivalent to: the continuation of monetary help for vacationer guides even after the lifting of journey restrictions; EU supported low-interest micro-loans to permit vacationer guides to additional their coaching; promotion of vacationer guiding as a sustainable service mannequin. FEG will proceed to survey its affiliation members aiming to get up-to-date info and can use it to carry consideration to the sector.
1. FEG nation members are: Albania, Austria, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Eire, Italy, Kosovo, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and the UK
2. For readability, statistics for member associations exterior the Eurozone are excluded from the figures quoted on working hours and revenue misplaced.