The University of Delaware boasts several experts who can talk about the upcoming summer tourism season, which is expected to see a big rebound as pandemic restrictions ease up.
Sri Beldona, professor of hospitality business management, says there will be more cars on the road versus air travel. He also forecasts a big summer for AirBnBs. Beldona focuses on consumer psychology as it relates to hospitality-based experiences and digital marketing in hospitality, and he has ample experience in the hospitality industry.
Robert Nelson, associate professor of hospitality business management, can talk about the Catch 22 for the hospitality industry: tourists are booking trips with so much pent up demand, but hotels, restaurants and other segments of the industry have no labor. Many of them depend on imported labor via J1 visas that are not available this year.
Sheryl Kline, Aramark Chaired professor of hospitality, can discuss the importance of vaccinations heading into the tourism season, and some of the permanent changes that the pandemic has brought, including cleaning practices and sanitation stations.
Jim Butkiewicz, professor of economics, said availability is a major issue this year. Every report he has seen or heard is that rentals are disappearing quickly, as summer travel will likely be more to domestic destinations than in most years.