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August 24, 2021

By Auliana Poon

1 Minute Read


How could COVID-19 help Tourism to re-invent Itself?

Consider first that the COVID pandemic caused a global disruption. But this disruption did not just ‘happen’ – it is the continuation, or rather, the acceleration of a Paradigm Shift in the Travel and Tourism industry, and industries worldwide.

The Paradigm Shift is driven by Information and Communication technologies (ICT) in the supply, and by the Almighty Customers (ACs), on the demand side.

New Technologies are inherently disruptive. They are disrupting the ways we think, feel, behave, buy, live and play and go on holiday.
ICT has been changing the way we look, book and pay for travel.

Consider, for example, that:

The largest taxi company, UBER, owns no taxis; and the largest hotel company, Airbnb, owns no hotels.

The Internet has become all-powerful;

Social media is an influencer par excellence;

Entire ecosystems are emerging;

Network and platform economies are the order of the day.

The technological paradigm shift can be summarised in the following table (kevon use the one we developed for the 5 pandemic opportunities).






Just in Time (Ford)

It’s Not Mine (Airbnb, Uber)

Produce What Customers Want

Produce What customer don’t even know they want

Mass and Standardised

Authentic and Individual

High Impact

Intact Environment


Influencing (Assets + Communities)

Firm, Product, Plant


Production Pipeline

Digital Platform

Vertical and Horizontal Integration

Diagonal and Functional Integration

Suppliers in Control

Customers ‘calling the shots’

While it is necessary for destinations to intelligently and innovatively engage and deploy these technologies, it is not sufficient. It is perhaps even more critical to understand how ‘new travellers’ are disrupting the influencing industry. At the end of the day, digital technology and the tools that are servicing customers’ needs.
Customers are in the driving seat.

We would love to hear from you. Engage with us. 

About the Author:

Dr. Auliana Poon
Managing Director/Chief Strategist
Leve Global

auliana poon

Dr. Auliana Poon heads Leve-Global.  She is a courageous and passionate businesswoman. A trained Economist, Dr. Poon is a management consultant and strategist with a focus on sustainable and responsible tourism, climate adaptation, and regenerative economic development. Dr. Poon led teams that developed innovative economic solutions for over 50 countries around the world including Australia, Barbados, the Bahamas, Iceland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mozambique, Singapore, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland and Zambia.

An experienced researcher and analyst with fiercely independent thought, Dr Poon believes that developing countries cannot continue to compete with natural attributes – Sun, Sand, Sea, Oil and Natural Gas alone.  For success and sustainability, a more people-centred, culture-oriented, innovation-based, sustainability-directed, technology-focused and talent-driven approach is needed. 

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