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An unprecedented catastrophe has struck the world in the form of ‘Novel Coronavirus’, i.e. ‘COVID-19’, bringing life across countries to a sudden standstill. The pandemic has overwhelmed the tourism industry, creating a multitude of immediate problems like mass unemployment in the labour-intensive tourism industry, business survival questions for the ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ tourism sectors and issues of customer retention. The paper discusses the impact of COVID-19 on travel and tourism and addresses impending concerns of the industry post COVID-19. Now that the reality of this unprecedented catastrophe is staring in the face of an industry at cross roads, it seems apparent that in view of an indefinite long lasting pandemic and its related safety concerns, it will be inevitable for future tourism to choose an entirely new direction. With the contagious disease that has brought to the fore the necessity of ‘distancing’, the paper also sheds lights on the evolution and challenges of a new norm in tourism post COVID, viz. ‘Physical Distancing Tourism’.
Keywords: Tourism, COVID-19, Physical Distancing Tourism
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