Impact of COVID-19 on Sustainable Tourism Development in Liechtenstein
Task: One of the few positives of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it could be an opportunity to reset tourism and for it to re-emerge as a more sustainable form. To help with the post-COVID-19 recovery of these smaller nations, you are tasked with analysing and evaluating the potential impacts of tourism growth and recommend three management strategies to ensure the sustainable tourism development in your chosen country.
This report has provided an overview of sustainable tourism development and the pre-pandemic condition of the tourism industry of Liechtenstein minutely. Along with that, it has also analysed and evaluated the impact of growth of the tourism industry on the local economy and environment. It has also included recommendations and strategies to improve sustainable approaches towards the tourism industry that can help in getting better support in future. Economic impact of tourism on income and livelihoods, employment, and growth of a country is no less important, and this aspect has also been analysed in this report. At the same time, tourism comes with direct and indirect impacts on local communities and economies.
Outlook of tourism and travel is highly uncertain in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. However, many European countries have boosted hope of opening the tourism sector with ease through vaccination and implication of rules of social distancing and sanitising. It is no different in the case of the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein being a popular travel destination due to its beautiful mountain setting. Alpine meadows and forest-covered hillsides of this country attract travellers for excellent hiking trails. However, the pandemic affected the procedure of travel and tourism in this country too. Most importantly, this pandemic has provided an opportunity for this country to build more sustainable and resilient tourism. Hence, this report focuses on providing a brief overview of the pre-COVID-19 situation related to tourism in Liechtenstein along with recommending strategies to implement sustainability in tourism.
Brief overview of the pre-COVID-19 tourism in Liechtenstein
Number of tourists arriving at the accommodation establishment of this country is quite impressive and shows the popularity of this place as a place for travel and tourism. Following image shows the number of arrivals in this country between 2006 and 2019.
Figure 1: Number of arrivals in Liechtenstein
(Source: Statista.com, 2021)
Above-mentioned graph shows the pre-pandemic condition of the travel and tourism industry in Liechtenstein in tourist accommodation. For example, in 2019, around 100 thousand arrivals will be noticed in this country. Primary reason for being popular in the travel and tourism industry of this country is the beautiful Alpine meadows, hillside views, and royal heritage of this most industrialised place. Attractive places such as Gutenberg Castle, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, and Treasure chamber of the Principality of Liechtenstein have huge popularity that attract large numbers of visitors every year (Statista.com, 2021). However, pandemic has changed the total scenario in this country regarding restrictions on restaurants and private events. Along with that, the following figure shows the hiking trails of Liechtenstein that improves the overall condition of work in this place.
Figure 2: Hiking trails in Liechtenstein
(Source: Gonomad.com, 2021)
Analysis and Evaluation
Liechtenstein is one of the most attractive places for tourists in Europe due to its pleasant and safe environment along with the extraordinary beauty of this place. At the same time, it is a petite country with some attractive sightseeing opportunities that grab the attention of visitors in moments. It is worth noting that the economic impact of tourism on income and livelihoods, employment, and growth of a country is no less important (Gonomad.com, 2019). At the same time, tourism comes with direct and indirect impacts on local communities and economies. For example, direct impacts of this industry on local communities revolve arounds economic factors including generation of GDP from direct dealings of airlines, travel agents, hotels, and tour operators. However, it also comes with some indirect impacts including supply chain effects, government spending for tourism, and capital investment in tourism.
Liechtenstein is a well industrialized country that has paid attention to building tourism as one of the main industries that helps in the growth of this country. Additionally, growth of globalisation has enhanced growth of tourism industry that opened the gate of this country for every visitor with love for travel and tours (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2020). However, the spread of coronavirus disease in 2020 created a nuisance for every country and every industry all over the world. It is no different in the case of Liechtenstein and its tourism industry as it faced a halt and restrictions in every aspect of life. In this way, a halt in growth of tourism industry was also felt that affected growth between 2018 and 2019 in this country. However, it is also crucial to evaluate and analyse the processes and reasons for the growth of tourism industry affecting local communities and their process of dealing with industrial approaches.
It is an undeniable fact that Liechtenstein is the financial centre of the world, and this country is well-known for its highest GDP in the world. However, it has become possible only because of the contribution of every industry in this country, including manufacturing and tourism. For example, in 2019, this country counted arrivals of 99.9 thousand people only as per the accommodation and establishment approaches. Most importantly, the tourism policy development process of this country has helped in ensuring strategic improvement and innovation along with establishing industry diversity.
Therefore, it is crucial for the leaders of any country to ensure the inter-linkages of policy and framework of tourism align with the growth of the local communities and economies. Along with that, emerging trends and issues play a vital role in interlinking the frameworks of tourism policy that affect the entire procedure of business and managing satisfaction of internal and external customers. As mentioned by Moyle et al. (2020), customers are the key aspect of this industry, and it is not possible for any policy and framework to bring success to the procedure of work without knowing the expectations of customers. Along with that, sustainability is the key factor in meeting needs and demands of customers by meeting expectations regarding growth strategy in the global economy.
Hence, communication is the key aspect in international tourism to improve the relationship between strategic growth of local communities and economic approaches. Primary reason for such a fact is the importance of synergies between tourism policies and preparedness for any emergency situation. However, environmental management is no less important in this case as safety and well-being of people relies on environmental services. Improvement of non-material and material living standards is another critical aspect of maintaining balance between the working process and successful approaches of tourist places (Liulovet al. 2019). Along with that, even after being the sixth smallest country on earth the country offers excellent cuisine. Charming villages and high quality life amidst its breathtaking landscapes of Alpine and industrialised country.
Thus, tourism in this country comes with direct impacts such as sources of spending, commodities, and industries. For example, visitor exports, business domestic travel, domestic spending, attractions, entertainment, transportation, and accommodation. At the same time, cultural, sports, and recreational services work effectively with the transportation services, retail trade, and accommodation services to provide high quality experience to its visitors. At the same time, accommodation services of the country also contribute to the excellent managing process of business and growth of the country (Oecd.org, 2021). Strategic growth is witnessed in the case of household goods, housing, clothing, recreation, and food and beverages. At the same time, indirect contribution of tourism, including impact of purchases from suppliers, government collective tourism spending, and private tourism investment spending are other critical aspects that affect the overall growth strategy and procedure of business management in this country. It is worth mentioning that tourism comes with a positive impact on the environmental, socio-cultural, and economic dimension of this country with increased standards of living, improved personal livings, and improved tax revenue.
Minimising negative impacts of tourism is one of the most critical aspects of a sustainable strategy for the tourism industry. However, after the occurrence of the coronavirus pandemic it has become essential for this country to implement strategic management policies regarding sustainable development. Therefore, it is also crucial for the organisations to work on restoring the confidence of travellers. Moreover, it is also crucial to strengthen the cooperation between different countries along with building flexible policy solutions.
- Responsible recovery of the tourism sector
Building better tourism is the only concern that can help in responding to the current situation efficiently in this country. Pandemic has changed the process of human interactions and travelling to any place. At the sometime, it is also essential to work on the factors such as recognising necessities regarding health and security of common people. It is not possible for the national leaders and management teams to imply policies regarding sustainability in this country related to tourism without implementing innovative ideas and advanced technology. For example, social distancing is the crucial aspect of going beyond the issues regarding restrictions in this industry (Xu et al. 2020). At the same time, it is also crucial to manage the process of public health and continue the best practices such as sanitisation and wearing masks while travelling and going through public areas. Social and economic sectors have a keen relationship with tourism, and in such a condition, this country can get sustainable advantages only through implying the best practices of safety and health by considering public health. On the other hand, it is also essential to develop partnerships with different stakeholders. Tourism boards, local communities, local businesses, and governments can work collaboratively to help the tourists to get the best services and experiences in this place that will maintain the continuity of growth of this business industry.
- Strengthen local capacity by involving local communities
Implementing local strengths in the procedure of providing best services and care to tourists can always help in improving the quality of lives of common people. At the same time, the local community can help in strengthening the sustainable tourism management processes through a well-equipped process of local business skills. Therefore, it is crucial to provide training and development regarding managing a workplace that can help in integrating successful strategy of market segments for different types of visitors. Primarily, cooperation of common people will help in bolstering the actions of the tourism management team to meet the sustainable goals without any annoying situations.
Sustainable tourism management cannot be possible without having proper support from the local communities. However, to get the most successful outcome from this strategic management approach it is essential to provide proper training and development to the local community, including the importance of having sustainable approaches towards tourism, and the importance of reducing the impact of tourism on the environment.
Using guidelines to limit environmental impact
Most critical part of managing the tourism process and strengthening the tourism industry through involvement of the local community is to imply socio-cultural values to minimise the negative impact of the tourism industry on the environment. However, before doing so, it is crucial to develop guidelines for tourists and local people along with tourism management boards that can help in creating better guidelines for operations and tourism management. Moreover, this strategy can be implemented by involving local residents and communities while developing planning for reducing any conflict while developing policies and procedures. It is not possible for this country to imply any sustainable process to improve the overall condition of work in the tourism sector without having proper operations and tourism management processes. Tourism planning can be completed through interactive websites and pages that can get feedback and valuable recommendations from common people to improve the overall condition of work. Maintaining the balance between the decision making process and local businesses can help in reducing conflicts.
Most importantly, guidelines for tourists while visiting natural attractions and hiking trails can limit the negative impact of operations and tourism management processes through sustainable approaches. On the other hand, ecological value of the place needs to be considered all through the process of initiating the process of managing the entire process of tourism. This sector is an integral part of this country as it helps in managing the popularity and high standard of lives of common people and local community of this area.
Thus, the recommendations report regarding tourism industry and sustainability approaches in this time of COVID-19 pandemic in Liechtenstein. Most importantly, this country is one of the most attractive destinations for tourists and travel lovers. However, this country has also faced restrictions in the process of common tourism and travels. Thus, this country can become more sustainable in the field of tourism only through the help of local communities. Involvement of local people plays a crucial role in developing better sustainable procedures to improve the overall condition of work. On the other hand, this report has minutely provided an overview of the pre-pandemic condition of the tourism industry of Liechtenstein along with evaluating the impact of growth of the tourism industry on the local economy and environment. This report has also recommended strategies to improve sustainable approaches towards the tourism industry that can help in getting better support in future.
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Appendix 1: Landscape of Liechtenstein