What awaits the Panevėžys tourism sector next?
Perhaps the impact of the global pandemic was most severe on the tourism sector – reduced travel, cancellations, empty hotels and catering facilities – all these factors have affected tourism both locally and globally. Representatives of the tourism sector are already wondering how to proceed in the face of this crisis. On Wednesday, at the event “Are all challenges turning into opportunities? Panevėžys tourism sector today and tomorrow,” the tourism experts discussed what measures Panevėžys tourism representatives can take now in order to remain competitive and successful in the future.
This virtual event has brouth together three dozen representatives from the tourism sector of Panevėžys – catering, accommodation, travel, and cultural institutions – the ones for whom it is important to establish what changes can be expected in the field of tourism in the coming years. The scope of the event was to provide the representatives of the tourism sector with the necessary information about the current situation and to inspire them to look for creative solutions in the future.
Experts shared insights on tourism trends in the world and in Lithuania., while founders of the company “12 O’Clock Box” presented the new lunch box distribution business, and the lecturer and founder of the “Kūrybingumo mokykla” (name in Lithuanian; in English: “Creativity School”), Tomas Ramanauskas, shared insights on communication trends for the coming year.
The President of the National Tourism Business Association, Žydrė Gavelienė, and the tourism expert, the manager of the company “Travel deli,” D. Vilija Malinauskaitė, emphasized that once the pandemic has ended, the tourism sector would not return to the old ways but would have to start again. For positive change to take place, tourism businesses will need to actively cooperate and engage in the promotion of efficient tourism.
“Over the years, we have gained so many new channels to buy everything that it would probably be very naive to expect people to return immediately to the same habits they were in,” said tourism expert D. V. Malinauskaitė.
According to the expert, as consumer habits change and everything quickly moves into the virtual space, exclusivity and cooperation become extremely important: “We need to cooperate and join certain groups in order to communicate our services. Nationwide cooperation is very important. We need to initiate change strongly from ourselves: the louder we talk about ourselves, the easier it will be to find us, the more information we provide about ourselves, and the easier it will be for us to restart.”
The Panevėžys Development Agency, which takes care of the development of urban tourism, also promotes cooperation between local tourism businesses by creating initiatives for strengthening local tourism.
“In response to the current challenges of COVID-19, we have contacted catering, culture, tourism, and other businesses and provided summarized lists of recommendations. We publish them on our website by advising where to order food for delivery in the city, what activities can be done during quarantine, and what gifts to bring from Panevėžys for Christmas by purchasing the latter from local developers and manufacturers,” says Vilanda Reikalienė, the Manager of Tourism Project.
In order to attract more tourists in the future, the Panevėžys Development Agency has also undertaken a new project: “Initiation and Development of Industrial Tourism in Panevėžys”. The Agency seeks to strategically address the issue of attracting tourists to Panevėžys and to form a community of representatives from the tourism sector.
The event “Are all challenges turned into opportunities? Panevėžys Tourism Sector Today and Tomorrow” was organized in the framework of the implementation of the project for improving the conditions of business development “Improvement of the business environment in Panevėžys,” which is financed by the Panevėžys City Municipality.