Africa: COVID-19, the M.I.C.E. tourism ‘Minsky’ moment by Rick Taylor – Part 3

rick Minsky

In continuation of our dissection of Rick Taylor’s paper on the topic “Is M.I.C.E. a viable pathway for tourism recovery in Africa?”

presented at the 16th Akwaaba African Travel Market held in September 2020, we analyse the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the industry – what Rick refers to as the “Minsky moment.”

A Minsky moment is “a sudden, major collapse of asset values which marks the end of the growth phase of a cycle in business activity.”

The term was coined by Paul McCulley of PIMCO in 1998, to describe the 1998 Russian financial crisis, and was named after economist Hyman Minsky, who noted that bankers, traders, and other financiers periodically played the role of arsonists, setting the entire economy ablaze. Minsky opposed the deregulation that characterized the 1980s.

Pivot to online: The ‘hikikomori syndrome’

The COVID-19 situation led to lockdown measures which effectively shutdown borders of countries. International flights were cancelled and the travel industry was grounded. Even within one’s locality, social distancing became the rule.

The dynamics changed from physical to virtual, creating a hikikomori syndrome.

The term hikikomori means “pulling inward, being confined”, i.e., “acute social withdrawal” and it originated in Japan.

The events that did not cancel or postpone, shifted from physical venues to virtual platforms.

However, the virtual platforms only generated wealth for owners of such online apps and platforms like Zoom. The virtual experience is not profitable and therefore not sustainable. So, what next?

To be continued…

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