Events

“It’s highly unlikely we’ll go backwards”: Dr Nick Coatsworth talks travelling in the age of COVID

The day of days, Travel DAZE, is less than a week away (9 June!) and we’re here to show off some of our incredible speakers.

Here, Dr Nick Coatsworth shares his thoughts on travel and what the future of travel looks like for the tourism and travel industry across Australia and New Zealand.

But before you check out this amazing interview, don’t forget to click HERE for your access tickets to this industry-leading conference so you can see him speak in the flesh!

Just enter the number of tickets you’re after, enter the discount code “AGENT100” plus just a few particulars, and it’s Travel DAZE here you come!

TW: Nick, what are your key priorities for 2022 and beyond? 

From a national or global point of view, it would be ensuring that we’re emerging from the pandemic with strong recognition of what we have achieved as a nation. We have seen Australians come together in the most cohesive of ways and we should be proud of that.

We need to maintain this positivity and celebrate the outstanding response we had to the pandemic, that was driven by the community. We can’t get lost in the arguments or negativity portrayed in the media, we have to remain proud and remain positive which can be a difficult thing to do in that, for some, COVID isn’t over. But we do need to balance the message.

Can we have a successful response to the pandemic while people are still losing their lives? The answer is, yes we can.

From a personal perspective, it’s great to see the travel and tourism industry get back on its feet.

And here’s a fun fact – I’m the only member of my family who hasn’t worked for an airline so I’m definitely bucking the trend.

But, Most importantly it’s so great to see people start to see their lives again. The return of the travel industry is also good for the elderly and vulnerable. For some of these people, they haven’t seen family for two or three years, especially if they’re overseas. So we have families reuniting all over the world and this is especially significant for our elderly residents.

In fact, on the same day, I’m presenting at Travel DAZE, I’m also flying to London to see my uncle for the first time in a long while.

TW: What’s the biggest trends and opportunities in the industry at present? 

I think it’s the consciousness of people looking for exciting but safe experiences which has seen a marked increase since the pandemic.

What this means is that tourists now want to know where the local hospital is and how to have their medical needs met when travelling. A good example of this is the cruise industry, they’re offering healthy and safe packages to customers who have these needs.

TW: What do you see as the biggest threat to the global travel industry right now? 

Suffice to say, It won’t be COVID, it’s highly unlikely we’ll go backwards. Politically it would be almost impossible. Really it would have to be an extraordinary event (eg a more lethal version of the virus) for this to happen.

I think that global geopolitics and security threats will be a bigger challenge than COVID. In fact, my brother is planning a trip at present and one of the major factors for him – and likely many others – is the possibility of rethinking trips to countries near the Baltics, Ukraine and Russia.

TW: What is the one thing you’d like Australian travel agents to know about what the future of travel looks like?

I believe growing, promoting and supporting our local offering is very significant.

What can we offer the domestic market in terms of travel in Australia? I say this, because there’s still a little bit of nervousness for people travelling overseas. So I think there’s definitely value in discovering our own backyard. 

TW: What keeps you up at night? 

Truthfully? Our new border collie puppy.

No seriously, it’s got to be the strain on the health system. COVID didn’t cause this pressure but it certainly uncovered it. Economically, – and this is where our health system links with the tourism industry – we need a robust economy to create the discretionary spending needed to travel. We need to be healthy and we need a healthy health system.

TW: How do you relax? 

If I’ve really got to switch off I have a collection of guitars – but I’ll warn you, I’m a collector, not a musician and no I won’t be the headline performer at the TravelDaze after party.

Join Dr Nick Coatsworth and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, and a host of other inspiring speakers to discover and discuss the importance of a sustainable future of travel: distilled through the lenses of technology, creativity, marketing and retail at TravelDaze 2022.

Tickets are selling fast so don’t forget to buy yours before they run out! 

Get your tickets HERE.



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