we will utilise a detailed problem analysis of the effect closing off international and domestic… 1 answer below »

we will utilise a detailed problem analysis of the effect closing off international and domestic…
1 answer below »1.0 Introduction
In this report we will utilise a detailed problem analysis of the effect closing off international and domestic borders as well and limiting various face to face and in person activities had on the hospitality/tourism industry, the consumers who utilise these services and the employees affected. Furthermore, by applying the design thinking tools method we aim to discover and develop possible methods to alleviate the hardships faced by these industries in the future.
2.0 What is the problem/problem exploration through applying Sustainable Development Goals
The travel and tourism industry has been a staple of the Australian economy, “usually accounting for a 10 percent share of the GDP in Australia.” (Statista research Department, 2022, Pa.1). “Tourism also directly employed 666,000 Australians making up 5 per cent of Australia’s workforce” (Tourism Australia, 2019, pa.1) And between the years 2018 and 2019 had a faster growth than the national GDP. However, with the Covid 19 Pandemic starting to hinder and restrict international travel from March 2020 for well over 18 months, and domestic travel between states being sporadically restricted and reopened during that time, the tourism industry, both domestic and international, took a massive blow. In the 2021 financial year tourism fell by 36.7% (Statista research Department, 2022) showing just the economic effect that travel restriction had on the Tourism industry. Similarly, the Australian Hospitality industry was severely affected by covid as people could no longer dine in at restaurants. However, this had more than just a financial impact as “It increases the sense of insecurity among the employees and their perception of being unemployed, adversely affecting their mental health” (Khan et.al, 2021, p.1). Furthermore, according to (Michael, 2020, Pa.3) “The stress of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a rise in demand for snacks and preserved foods,”. This resulted in Australians often not having access to mental health service, gyms, being more attracted to unhealthy diets due to the financial stress placed upon them by the loss of these major industries and healthy dine in food being less accessible, resulting in take away purchases tripling during the pandemic which according to (patridge et.al, 2021, Pa.11) “were all classified in the lowest healthiness category.” Lastly by limiting international travel Australia’s access to its renowned diversity such as “The growth in international student enrollments” (Allen, 2017, p.251) is also limited which hinders Australians ability to develop and connect to their respective heritages and cultures. For example, the cultural tourism development program “focuses on the conservation and protection of the natural environment, Aboriginal Country, culture and heritage and the built heritage of NSW” (Lowe, Ollerenshaw, 2014, Pa.3). This is a way to share otherwise smaller, lesser-known cultures on a global scale however this also works in the reverse. For example, any Australian residents with deeper connections outside Australia also couldn’t visit their family or cultural sites, even in different states with the decline of the tourism industry and the implementation of travel restrictions. As such it can be stated that the tourism and travel industry is a major tool used for Australian to develop share and connect with their own and different various cultures and as that industry started to decline, not only were people impacted financially, mentally, and physically through the stress of unemployment, but also culturally. As such by resolving the dependency of Australian cultural, economic, and personal health on these industries this paper aims to meet the good health and wellbeing, decent work and economic growth goals as outlined by the UN and displayed in appendix 1.1
2.1 Root cause analysis
Utilizing the findings of the problem exploration we aim to find the root cause of the issue as to why the economy, health and cultural growth of Australia was so badly impacted by the simple decrease in tourism and hospitality decline. In doing so we developed figure 1 which analyses all the symptoms of the covid 19 pandemic surround the hospitality and tourism industry, analyses why that may be occurring based on the findings of the problem exploration and utilizes those possible individual root causes to find similarities. In this manner separate symptoms can be better analyzed, defined into a greater actual root cause and made into one clear and concise problem statement
Figure 1: Root analysis of the Australian hospitality and tourism industry during COVID 19.
2.2 Empathising with Australian workers and consumers
Appendix 1.1 show a traditional Empathy Map template as provided by (Gibbons, 2018), and demonstrates a method of better understanding the communities who would otherwise utilize these industries. According (Khan et.al, 2021), who surveyed 372 Australians about their reaction to covid 19, most said they were unsure about the situations regarding work, and isolation protocols. This made them think that they may have to make drastic preparations to combat this insecurity, which can be seen in the mass purchasing of essential living materials during the start of the pandemic, as described by (Daly, 2021). This action changed later, however, with complacency as most of the country went into strict lockdown and isolation to finally major protests nearing the end of the lockdown. Lastly, Australians felt panicked and fearful of the future at the start of the pandemic and lonely, disconnected throughout the isolation until finally angry/volatile. This indicated that the disconnect from face-to-face interaction for long periods of time had a major effect on the stress and mood felt by the average Australian consumer, meaning any solution to boost the economical aspect of the tourism and hospitality industry must at least replicate the social interaction provided by these services to avoid boredom and later unrest.
2.3 Problem statement and definition
The covid 19 pandemic has demonstrated how vulnerable the Australian economy is to travel restriction and international markets, when global sources of income are cut off. Utilizing our Root Cause Analysis, we can also determine a Problem statement which is that: The Australian Hospitality and Tourism industry is incredibly important in supporting the mental health and economic stability of Australians whilst simultaneously being incredibly important to the development of our nations culture and identity yet is incredibly volatile and has few protections. This leaves the question as to how we can pivot and alter these industries, which are heavily dependent on face to face, global interaction, to be more suited for nonphysical or domestic markets whilst still maintaining the social and cultural interaction that consumers are heavily dependent on. In this report we will attempt to Design thinking methods to address this problem and create and develop plausible solutions.
Title: Phase 2
Disruptions introduced in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic have left irreplaceable footprints on the tourism and hospitality industries of Australia. During this period, the world experienced ups and downs in the economic situation when some countries like Australia have primarily projected a straight downfall in the economic condition. Closure of international borders has badly impacted the economic and social situation of Australia which is now the biggest problem for the national sustainable future. Understanding the outcomes of project phase 1, we have determined the problem with the main root causes. Therefore, this solution is specifically based on phase 2 of finding alternatives and solutions. The present work aims to divergent thinking style for the identification of all possible solutions to this identified problem. Moreover, it contains information regarding two main tools of divergent thinking that will be beneficial for the selection of alternative solutions. The first selected tool is secondary research which will contain information obtained from secondary sources such as literature and government reports. The second tool used for the solution identification and projection is the proposition value creation canvas.
Phase 2: What if?
The hospitality industry and tourism of Australia are badly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic which is seemingly ending. Now the world condition is improving gradually as many countries have almost controlled this rapid spread of coronavirus in their communities. Therefore, these countries are operating normally in the international markets by resuming their hold operations such as businesses, tourism, and trade activities. Somehow, the situation of the Australian economy is still different. Australians closed borders for internationals and tourists when COVID-19 was first introduced in China. The government took this initiative for the protection of citizens while later on impacted the overall economic and social situation very badly. In this situation, a negative impact is also noticed on the tourism and hospitality industry of Australia which was previously recognized as a major contributor to national GDP and national economic stability. Although the situation is better in other countries across the world still Australia is lacking innovative strategies and policies to relieve natives and temporary residents from social and economic issues raised during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, with reduced tourism and hospitality business activities, the country has noticed a sharp decline in national income, quality of life, wellbeing, and overall satisfaction with the governmental measures and practices against the COVID-19. Furthermore, researchers have also noticed critical changes in the stress management practices and levels of residents. During this period, stress is increased in the citizens as they cannot find suitable dine in places for relief, outings, and entertainment. Previously, these industries had a positive impact on the stress management practices of natives therefore, this situation has clearly influenced the stress levels in the country which correlates with other psychological and mental health issues of residents.
Apart from all these, reduced employment opportunities from the closure of the tourism sector have also caused stress and other economic problems in society. Consequently, Australia currently requires reconsideration of earlier taken decisions regarding COVID-19 measures. For these noticeable changes, researchers have mentioned some practical solutions. These problems and issues of the COVID-19 pandemic are addressed in phase 1 of this project while the emphasis is on the tourism and hospitality industry. Some of these practical solutions are presented as alternative solutions for this situation. The following list is indicating a few practical solutions for this identified problem in Phase 1.
i. Changing the governmental decision regarding the closure of international borders for tourism
ii. Government should increase the overall budget for subsidiaries for the stability of the tourism industry in the post COVID_19 era.
iii. Restaurants and hotels can increase their sales revenue by improving their home delivery services.
iv. For a better takeaway system, restaurants can open new doors and windows for the customers to provide them quick order services which will save their time and improve the quality of services.
Although, these are not all possible solutions to this problem. But these are commonly shared solutions in general information. Searching for a better solution, we can say that different deriving creative techniques and tools. We can follow up with a divergent thinking approach for finding solutions and searching for alternatives in the given context. For example, brainstorming and the creation of models can be supportive of the solution identification process. The same techniques and tools are advised for the tourism and hospitality industry of Australia which is looking for practical solutions to overcome issues and problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the community as well as the overall business sector of these industries. The two most suitable tools for this problem are enlisted below:
1. Secondary Research
The secondary research tool can be used to analyse the perception of national economists and governmental policy makers regarding this problem. Using this tool, we can identify which changes are required in the existing operations and activities of these industries. Other than market reports and economic projections, secondary research also covers information from existing literature such as research papers published from creditable information sources and books written on this topic. According to the government report, the Australian government has announced special relief funds for the recovery of business damages caused by the COVID-19. They will offer grants and continuous cash injections (if required) to stable declining businesses. According to the literature review, the COVID-19 pandemic has closed several opportunities for the tourism sector companies in Australia as the longest ever international border closure has completely eliminated international tourism in the country. In this situation, the literature suggests an applicable solution of offering virtual tours in Australia.
The tourist companies can start the option of virtual tours for international tourists interested in the museums, parks, and historical places of Australia. Furthermore, using secondary research literature we have also found another practical solution. Researchers mentioned that changing the venue locations can also help them reduce such issues. For example, instead of indoor dine-in options, they can offer special roof top and outdoor sitting arrangements for the summer seasons. In winter fireworks can be placed in outdoor sitting areas. Somehow, they must require the following SOPs for the protection of their valuable customers from the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, they should maintain distance between tables. Hand sanitisers and masks should be mandatory for dine-in in these restaurants. Now they can also open their services to local citizens having proof of vaccination. Furthermore, to overcome the problem of stress they can start offering special music services for the nearby locations of their restaurants (Haqbin, Shojaei, & Radmanesh, 2022) (Bonappetit.com, 2020).
Regarding this, they can offer special frequencies to their customers to enjoy special lights and music combinations on the exterior or buildings of their restaurant while waiting in line for their takeaway orders. Such strategic actions will bring positive changes in their business activities. For example, a reduction in service delivery will improve customer satisfaction which will increase customer retention and frequency of sales. The music and lights combination will improve stress levels which were earlier triggered by the long waiting lines and parking issues. Overall, an increase in sales will improve the financial returns and social life of Australians (Lim, 2021).
1. Proposition Value Canvas
Virtual tourism is a proposed alternative to handle this problem. (Lu, et al., 2022)

The above diagram is showing the Value Proposition Canvas framework. This framework ensures that customers get the product or service according to their needs and value. Virtual tourism is the proposed alternative to the problem. Customer Jobs will be to book e-tickets, visit the special room for virtual tourism, take screenshots, interact with other tourists, etc. the Gains for the customers will be a High amount of satisfaction and entertainment. In addition, the customers will get a chance to visit various famous places at affordable prices. Customers through this experience can increase their knowledge about various historical places. The pains for the customers will be dissatisfaction due to technical errors in system and internet connections. Slow internet speed will also be a major issue.

Value to the Customers High Value & Low Competitive Advantage
1. Connection Problems
2. Variety of chatrooms
3. Communication flows
High Value & High Competitive Advantage
1. E-ticket prices
2. Variety of Places to be visited by virtual tourists Low Value & Low Competitive Advantage
1. Historical content for the virtually displayed places
Low Value & High Competitive Advantage
i. Feedback and evaluation forms
ii. Lighting and editing of videos
Competitive Advantage for the Company
The above table is the competitive advantage matrix. It can be seen that the competitive advantage of the business will decline due to connection problems and communication flow issues. Through E-ticket prices and providing a variety of virtual tourist places, the business can increase its competitive advantage to a lot of extents. Historical content which is displayed will have low value along with a low competitive advantage. Feedback and lighting and editing of videos might have low value but it provides a high competitive advantage to the business.
Gain creators
It will create gains for customers as it will offer them the opportunity to visit famous tourist attractions in Australia while staying home. It will provide them virtual tours with special services including chat rooms for communication with other tourists and the support team. It will increase their satisfaction.
Pain Relievers:
A support team will work to reduce connection problems and offer a variety of places upon request to these virtual tourists. Thus, the stress and pains of not having tours will decline.
Products and services:
The creation of value is possible by gain creating pain-relieving services and products. Sound systems and e-ticket purchases will work as gain creators. When the variety of places, chatrooms, and support team services will offer pain reliving services (B2binternational.com, 2022).

Phase 3: What wows?
Stand Out Solutions:
Giving consumers the ability to at least enjoy a portion of the travelling experience whilst it remains unavailable to them is a plausible and profitable solution to the tourism issues which COVID-19 has posed for Australia. This approach would allow consumers and businesses to make the best of a bad situation.
Whilst this is the stand-out solution and is by far the most plausible method for improving the situation without the complete resolution of COVID-19, there will be challenges faced in its implementation. Namely, it will need to be marketed to consumers not as a replacement to travel but as an alternative in these extraordinary circumstances, and it will need to be implemented in a way that allows the majority of people to get what they want out of it.
The first issue arises as there are some consumers who may not be attracted to the platform if it is being marketed as a replacement for travel, due to personal proclivities and preferences, and conversely to prevent a scenario where the platform is used as a replacement for travel post-pandemic thus preventing tourism revenue returning to its former levels.
The second issue focuses on the fact that all consumers look for different things when they travel. In this way the platform would need to present a variety of information and tour qualities in order to cater to a wide range of tastes, otherwise customers may be quickly disillusioned and cease using the platform. Solving this issue would present the largest monetary cost to the creation and upkeep of the platform.
Build-Measure-Learn:
Build:
Prior to initial release, the platform would need to be capable of providing for the base needs of the most likely early customer, have some type of chat functionality, and have a few tours to prevent it falling out of the public eye too quickly. Early consumers are most likely to be younger, in their early to mid-twenties as they have high exposure to technology and are more likely to be drawn to something that may come across as a gimmick to older generations initially. As such it is important to have chat functionality which allows for more social media minded people to interact with each other, and when consumers have a high exposure to the internet and social media it is important to keep them entertained and coming back for more, leading to the necessity for multiple tours on release.
Measure:
After each tour consumers will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience, any issues they encounter, and potential improvements they would like to see in future.
This system will be achieved with a simple textbox response system, accompanied by a simple 5-star rating system to rate the overall enjoyment of the consumer. Following launch, systems will be built in for customers to report issues during the experience, to allow for more precise information and simplify the correction of faults in the system.
Learn:
Following feedback from consumers, corrections would be made as quickly as possible making frequent small updates to the system to correct faults. With larger pieces of feedback, such as new systems, or large changes, the suggestions would first be assessed for viability and necessity, then if deemed important for the user experience, would be implemented. All larger changes would be released alongside new tour content in monthly updates to the service.
Prototyping:

The main menu of the platform would allow the user to log in, access menus for assistence and view their friends in it’s top bar. Below they will be able to access a variety of different tours and view what is scheduled for the rest of that day as well as the next week. By keeping the entry point to the platform simple, it is hoped that the barrier to entry will be very low and the majority of consumers will feel comfortable in using it.

Once in a tour, consumers will have access to a wider variety of functions, such as chat, access to further information through the top menu bar, and in future the ability to report issues that the experience using the platform. Whilst this exposes users to much more information and more options, they may still make the tour fullscreen and not interact with any other section of the client.
References Allen, S, 2017 “Creative Diversity: Promoting Interculturality in Australian Pathways to Higher Education” Journal of international students Vol.8 No.1 pp. 251-273 B2binternational.com. (2022). What is the Value Proposition Canvas? Retrieved from www.b2binternational.com: https://www.b2binternational.com/research/methods/faq/what-is-the-value-proposition-canvas/ Bonappetit.com. (2020). From Pandemic to Protests: How Food Businesses Are Responding. Retrieved from www.bonappetit.com: https://www.bonappetit.com/story/food-businesses-covid-19 Daly, J 2021 “Panic buying psychology and how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed consumer behaviour” ABC News Viewed 19 May 2022 < https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2021-03-16/how-the-covid-19-pandemic-has-changed-consumer-behaviour/13250360> Gibbons, S 2018 Empathy Mapping: The First Step in Design Thinking, Nielson Norman Group, Viewed 17 May 2022 Haqbin, A., Shojaei, P., & Radmanesh, S. (2022). Prioritising COVID-19 Recovery Solutions for Tourism Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: A Rough Best-Worst Method Approach. Journal of Decision Systems, 31(1), 102-115. Khan, K, Niazi, A, Nasir, A, Hussain, M & Khan, M, 2021 “The Effect of COVID-19 on the Hospitality Industry: The Implication for Open Innovation” Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity Vol.7 no.1 pp.1-17 Lim, W. M. (2021). Conditional recipes for predicting impacts and prescribing solutions for externalities: the case of COVID-19 and tourism. Tourism Recreation Research, 46(1), 314-318. Lowe, K, Ollerenshaw, S, 2014 “CULTURAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM An Introduction to the Tourism Industry and Business Development” NSW National Park and Wildlife Service viewed 19 May 2022, < https://www.ecotourism.org.au/assets/Resources-Hub-Destination-Management-Plans/Cultural-Tourism-Development-Program.pdf> Lu, J., Xiao, X., Xu, Z., Wang, C., Zhang, M., & Zhou, Y. (2022). The potential of virtual tourism in the recovery of the tourism industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Current Issues in Tourism, 25(3), 441-457. Michael, A 2020 Covid-19 has changed the eating habits of Australians Inside FMCG viewed 18 may 2022 https://insidefmcg.com.au/2020/07/29/covid-19-has-changed-the-eating-habits-of-australians/ Patridge, S, Gibson, A, Redfern, J, Roy, R, Raeside, R & Jia S “Appetite for convenience: how the surge in online food delivery could be harming our health” The Conversation, Viewed 18 may 2022, < https://theconversation.com/appetite-for-convenience-how-the-surge-in-online-food-delivery-could-be-harming-our-health-163348> Statista research Department, 2022 “Travel and tourism industry in Australia – statistics & facts” Statistica Viewed 17 may 2022, Tourism Australia, 2019 “THE ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF TOURISM” Viewed 17 May 2022, United Nations, 2015 “Sustainable Development Goals kick off with start of new year” United Nations, Viewed 17 May 2022,
Appendix
1.1 Sustainable development goals (United Nations, 2015)

1.2 Empathy map model (gibbons, 2018)

1.0 Introduction
In this report we will utilise a detailed problem analysis of the effect closing off international and domestic borders as well and limiting various face to face and in person activities had on the hospitality/tourism industry, the consumers who utilise these services and the employees affected. Furthermore, by applying the design thinking tools method we aim to discover and develop possible methods to alleviate the hardships faced by these industries in the future.
2.0 What is the problem/problem exploration through applying Sustainable Development Goals
The travel and tourism industry has been a staple of the Australian economy, “usually accounting for a 10 percent share of the GDP in Australia.” (Statista research Department, 2022, Pa.1). “Tourism also directly employed 666,000 Australians making up 5 per cent of Australia’s workforce” (Tourism Australia, 2019, pa.1) And between the years 2018 and 2019 had a faster growth than the national GDP. However, with the Covid 19 Pandemic starting to hinder and restrict international travel from March 2020 for well over 18 months, and domestic travel between states being sporadically restricted and reopened during that time, the tourism industry, both domestic and international, took a massive blow. In the 2021 financial year tourism fell by 36.7% (Statista research Department, 2022) showing just the economic effect that travel restriction had on the Tourism industry. Similarly, the Australian Hospitality industry was severely affected by covid as people could no longer dine in at restaurants. However, this had more than just a financial impact as “It increases the sense of insecurity among the employees and their perception of being unemployed, adversely affecting their mental health” (Khan et.al, 2021, p.1). Furthermore, according to (Michael, 2020, Pa.3) “The stress of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a rise in demand for snacks and preserved foods,”. This resulted in Australians often not having access to mental health service, gyms, being more attracted to unhealthy diets due to the financial stress placed upon them by the loss of these major industries and healthy dine in food being less accessible, resulting in take away purchases tripling during the pandemic which according to (patridge et.al, 2021, Pa.11) “were all classified in the lowest healthiness category.” Lastly by limiting international travel Australia’s access to its renowned diversity such as “The growth in international student enrollments” (Allen, 2017, p.251) is also limited which hinders Australians ability to develop and connect to their respective heritages and cultures. For example, the cultural tourism development program “focuses on the conservation and protection of the natural environment, Aboriginal Country, culture and heritage and the built heritage of NSW” (Lowe, Ollerenshaw, 2014, Pa.3). This is a way to share otherwise smaller, lesser-known cultures on a global scale however this also works in the reverse. For example, any Australian residents with deeper connections outside Australia also couldn’t visit their family or cultural sites, even in different states with the decline of the tourism industry and the implementation of travel restrictions. As such it can be stated that the tourism and travel industry is a major tool used for Australian to develop share and connect with their own and different various cultures and as that industry started to decline, not only were people impacted financially, mentally, and physically through the stress of unemployment, but also culturally. As such by resolving the dependency of Australian cultural, economic, and personal health on these industries this paper aims to meet the good health and wellbeing, decent work and economic growth goals as outlined by the UN and displayed in appendix 1.1
2.1 Root cause analysis
Utilizing the findings of the problem exploration we aim to find the root cause of the issue as to why the economy, health and cultural growth of Australia was so badly impacted by the simple decrease in tourism and hospitality decline. In doing so we developed figure 1 which analyses all the symptoms of the covid 19 pandemic surround the hospitality and tourism industry, analyses why that may be occurring based on the findings of the problem exploration and utilizes those possible individual root causes to find similarities. In this manner separate symptoms can be better analyzed, defined into a greater actual root cause and made into one clear and concise problem statement
Figure 1: Root analysis of the Australian hospitality and tourism industry during COVID 19.
2.2 Empathising with Australian workers and consumers
Appendix 1.1 show a traditional Empathy Map template as provided by (Gibbons, 2018), and demonstrates a method of better understanding the communities who would otherwise utilize these industries. According (Khan et.al, 2021), who surveyed 372 Australians about their reaction to covid 19, most said they were unsure about the situations regarding work, and isolation protocols. This made them think that they may have to make drastic preparations to combat this insecurity, which can be seen in the mass purchasing of essential living materials during the start of the pandemic, as described by (Daly, 2021). This action changed later, however, with complacency as most of the country went into strict lockdown and isolation to finally major protests nearing the end of the lockdown. Lastly, Australians felt panicked and fearful of the future at the start of the pandemic and lonely, disconnected throughout the isolation until finally angry/volatile. This indicated that the disconnect from face-to-face interaction for long periods of time had a major effect on the stress and mood felt by the average Australian consumer, meaning any solution to boost the economical aspect of the tourism and hospitality industry must at least replicate the social interaction provided by these services to avoid boredom and later unrest.
2.3 Problem statement and definition
The covid 19 pandemic has demonstrated how vulnerable the Australian economy is to travel restriction and international markets, when global sources of income are cut off. Utilizing our Root Cause Analysis, we can also determine a Problem statement which is that: The Australian Hospitality and Tourism industry is incredibly important in supporting the mental health and economic stability of Australians whilst simultaneously being incredibly important to the development of our nations culture and identity yet is incredibly volatile and has few protections. This leaves the question as to how we can pivot and alter these industries, which are heavily dependent on face to face, global interaction, to be more suited for nonphysical or domestic markets whilst still maintaining the social and cultural interaction that consumers are heavily dependent on. In this report we will attempt to Design thinking methods to address this problem and create and develop plausible solutions.
Title: Phase 2
Disruptions introduced in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic have left irreplaceable footprints on the tourism and hospitality industries of Australia. During this period, the world experienced ups and downs in the economic situation when some countries like Australia have primarily projected a straight downfall in the economic condition. Closure of international borders has badly impacted the economic and social situation of Australia which is now the biggest problem for the national sustainable future. Understanding the outcomes of project phase 1, we have determined the problem with the main root causes. Therefore, this solution is specifically based on phase 2 of finding alternatives and solutions. The present work aims to divergent thinking style for the identification of all possible solutions to this identified problem. Moreover, it contains information regarding two main tools of divergent thinking that will be beneficial for the selection of alternative solutions. The first selected tool is secondary research which will contain information obtained from secondary sources such as literature and government reports. The second tool used for the solution identification and projection is the proposition value creation canvas.
Phase 2: What if?
The hospitality industry and tourism of Australia are badly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic which is seemingly ending. Now the world condition is improving gradually as many countries have almost controlled this rapid spread of coronavirus in their communities. Therefore, these countries are operating normally in the international markets by resuming their hold operations such as businesses, tourism, and trade activities. Somehow, the situation of the Australian economy is still different. Australians closed borders for internationals and tourists when COVID-19 was first introduced in China. The government took this initiative for the protection of citizens while later on impacted the overall economic and social situation very badly. In this situation, a negative impact is also noticed on the tourism and hospitality industry of Australia which was previously recognized as a major contributor to national GDP and national economic stability. Although the situation is better in other countries across the world still Australia is lacking innovative strategies and policies to relieve natives and temporary residents from social and economic issues raised during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, with reduced tourism and hospitality business activities, the country has noticed a sharp decline in national income, quality of life, wellbeing, and overall satisfaction with the governmental measures and practices against the COVID-19. Furthermore, researchers have also noticed critical changes in the stress management practices and levels of residents. During this period, stress is increased in the citizens as they cannot find suitable dine in places for relief, outings, and entertainment. Previously, these industries had a positive impact on the stress management practices of natives therefore, this situation has clearly influenced the stress levels in the country which correlates with other psychological and mental health issues of residents.
Apart from all these, reduced employment opportunities from the closure of the tourism sector have also caused stress and other economic problems in society. Consequently, Australia currently requires reconsideration of earlier taken decisions regarding COVID-19 measures. For these noticeable changes, researchers have mentioned some practical solutions. These problems and issues of the COVID-19 pandemic are addressed in phase 1 of this project while the emphasis is on the tourism and hospitality industry. Some of these practical solutions are presented as alternative solutions for this situation. The following list is indicating a few practical solutions for this identified problem in Phase 1.
i. Changing the governmental decision regarding the closure of international borders for tourism
ii. Government should increase the overall budget for subsidiaries for the stability of the tourism industry in the post COVID_19 era.
iii. Restaurants and hotels can increase their sales revenue by improving their home delivery services.
iv. For a better takeaway system, restaurants can open new doors and windows for the customers to provide them quick order services which will save their time and improve the quality of services.
Although, these are not all possible solutions to this problem. But these are commonly shared solutions in general information. Searching for a better solution, we can say that different deriving creative techniques and tools. We can follow up with a divergent thinking approach for finding solutions and searching for alternatives in the given context. For example, brainstorming and the creation of models can be supportive of the solution identification process. The same techniques and tools are advised for the tourism and hospitality industry of Australia which is looking for practical solutions to overcome issues and problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the community as well as the overall business sector of these industries. The two most suitable tools for this problem are enlisted below:
1. Secondary Research
The secondary research tool can be used to analyse the perception of national economists and governmental policy makers regarding this problem. Using this tool, we can identify which changes are required in the existing operations and activities of these industries. Other than market reports and economic projections, secondary research also covers information from existing literature such as research papers published from creditable information sources and books written on this topic. According to the government report, the Australian government has announced special relief funds for the recovery of business damages caused by the COVID-19. They will offer grants and continuous cash injections (if required) to stable declining businesses. According to the literature review, the COVID-19 pandemic has closed several opportunities for the tourism sector companies in Australia as the longest ever international border closure has completely eliminated international tourism in the country. In this situation, the literature suggests an applicable solution of offering virtual tours in Australia.
The tourist companies can start the option of virtual tours for international tourists interested in the museums, parks, and historical places of Australia. Furthermore, using secondary research literature we have also found another practical solution. Researchers mentioned that changing the venue locations can also help them reduce such issues. For example, instead of indoor dine-in options, they can offer special roof top and outdoor sitting arrangements for the summer seasons. In winter fireworks can be placed in outdoor sitting areas. Somehow, they must require the following SOPs for the protection of their valuable customers from the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, they should maintain distance between tables. Hand sanitisers and masks should be mandatory for dine-in in these restaurants. Now they can also open their services to local citizens having proof of vaccination. Furthermore, to overcome the problem of stress they can start offering special music services for the nearby locations of their restaurants (Haqbin, Shojaei, & Radmanesh, 2022) (Bonappetit.com, 2020).
Regarding this, they can offer special frequencies to their customers to enjoy special lights and music combinations on the exterior or buildings of their restaurant while waiting in line for their takeaway orders. Such strategic actions will bring positive changes in their business activities. For example, a reduction in service delivery will improve customer satisfaction which will increase customer retention and frequency of sales. The music and lights combination will improve stress levels which were earlier triggered by the long waiting lines and parking issues. Overall, an increase in sales will improve the financial returns and social life of Australians (Lim, 2021).
1. Proposition Value Canvas
Virtual tourism is a proposed alternative to handle this problem. (Lu, et al., 2022)

The above diagram is showing the Value Proposition Canvas framework. This framework ensures that customers get the product or service according to their needs and value. Virtual tourism is the proposed alternative to the problem. Customer Jobs will be to book e-tickets, visit the special room for virtual tourism, take screenshots, interact with other tourists, etc. the Gains for the customers will be a High amount of satisfaction and entertainment. In addition, the customers will get a chance to visit various famous places at affordable prices. Customers through this experience can increase their knowledge about various historical places. The pains for the customers will be dissatisfaction due to technical errors in system and internet connections. Slow internet speed will also be a major issue.

Value to the Customers High Value & Low Competitive Advantage
1. Connection Problems
2. Variety of chatrooms
3. Communication flows
High Value & High Competitive Advantage
1. E-ticket prices
2. Variety of Places to be visited by virtual tourists Low Value & Low Competitive Advantage
1. Historical content for the virtually displayed places
Low Value & High Competitive Advantage
i. Feedback and evaluation forms
ii. Lighting and editing of videos
Competitive Advantage for the Company
The above table is the competitive advantage matrix. It can be seen that the competitive advantage of the business will decline due to connection problems and communication flow issues. Through E-ticket prices and providing a variety of virtual tourist places, the business can increase its competitive advantage to a lot of extents. Historical content which is displayed will have low value along with a low competitive advantage. Feedback and lighting and editing of videos might have low value but it provides a high competitive advantage to the business.
Gain creators
It will create gains for customers as it will offer them the opportunity to visit famous tourist attractions in Australia while staying home. It will provide them virtual tours with special services including chat rooms for communication with other tourists and the support team. It will increase their satisfaction.
Pain Relievers:
A support team will work to reduce connection problems and offer a variety of places upon request to these virtual tourists. Thus, the stress and pains of not having tours will decline.
Products and services:
The creation of value is possible by gain creating pain-relieving services and products. Sound systems and e-ticket purchases will work as gain creators. When the variety of places, chatrooms, and support team services will offer pain reliving services (B2binternational.com, 2022).

Phase 3: What wows?
Stand Out Solutions:
Giving consumers the ability to at least enjoy a portion of the travelling experience whilst it remains unavailable to them is a plausible and profitable solution to the tourism issues which COVID-19 has posed for Australia. This approach would allow consumers and businesses to make the best of a bad situation.
Whilst this is the stand-out solution and is by far the most plausible method for improving the situation without the complete resolution of COVID-19, there will be challenges faced in its implementation. Namely, it will need to be marketed to consumers not as a replacement to travel but as an alternative in these extraordinary circumstances, and it will need to be implemented in a way that allows the majority of people to get what they want out of it.
The first issue arises as there are some consumers who may not be attracted to the platform if it is being marketed as a replacement for travel, due to personal proclivities and preferences, and conversely to prevent a scenario where the platform is used as a replacement for travel post-pandemic thus preventing tourism revenue returning to its former levels.
The second issue focuses on the fact that all consumers look for different things when they travel. In this way the platform would need to present a variety of information and tour qualities in order to cater to a wide range of tastes, otherwise customers may be quickly disillusioned and cease using the platform. Solving this issue would present the largest monetary cost to the creation and upkeep of the platform.
Build-Measure-Learn:
Build:
Prior to initial release, the platform would need to be capable of providing for the base needs of the most likely early customer, have some type of chat functionality, and have a few tours to prevent it falling out of the public eye too quickly. Early consumers are most likely to be younger, in their early to mid-twenties as they have high exposure to technology and are more likely to be drawn to something that may come across as a gimmick to older generations initially. As such it is important to have chat functionality which allows for more social media minded people to interact with each other, and when consumers have a high exposure to the internet and social media it is important to keep them entertained and coming back for more, leading to the necessity for multiple tours on release.
Measure:
After each tour consumers will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience, any issues they encounter, and potential improvements they would like to see in future.
This system will be achieved with a simple textbox response system, accompanied by a simple 5-star rating system to rate the overall enjoyment of the consumer. Following launch, systems will be built in for customers to report issues during the experience, to allow for more precise information and simplify the correction of faults in the system.
Learn:
Following feedback from consumers, corrections would be made as quickly as possible making frequent small updates to the system to correct faults. With larger pieces of feedback, such as new systems, or large changes, the suggestions would first be assessed for viability and necessity, then if deemed important for the user experience, would be implemented. All larger changes would be released alongside new tour content in monthly updates to the service.
Prototyping:

The main menu of the platform would allow the user to log in, access menus for assistence and view their friends in it’s top bar. Below they will be able to access a variety of different tours and view what is scheduled for the rest of that day as well as the next week. By keeping the entry point to the platform simple, it is hoped that the barrier to entry will be very low and the majority of consumers will feel comfortable in using it.

Once in a tour, consumers will have access to a wider variety of functions, such as chat, access to further information through the top menu bar, and in future the ability to report issues that the experience using the platform. Whilst this exposes users to much more information and more options, they may still make the tour fullscreen and not interact with any other section of the client.
References Allen, S, 2017 “Creative Diversity: Promoting Interculturality in Australian Pathways to Higher Education” Journal of international students Vol.8 No.1 pp. 251-273 B2binternational.com. (2022). What is the Value Proposition Canvas? Retrieved from www.b2binternational.com: https://www.b2binternational.com/research/methods/faq/what-is-the-value-proposition-canvas/ Bonappetit.com. (2020). From Pandemic to Protests: How Food Businesses Are Responding. Retrieved from www.bonappetit.com: https://www.bonappetit.com/story/food-businesses-covid-19 Daly, J 2021 “Panic buying psychology and how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed consumer behaviour” ABC News Viewed 19 May 2022 < https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2021-03-16/how-the-covid-19-pandemic-has-changed-consumer-behaviour/13250360> Gibbons, S 2018 Empathy Mapping: The First Step in Design Thinking, Nielson Norman Group, Viewed 17 May 2022 Haqbin, A., Shojaei, P., & Radmanesh, S. (2022). Prioritising COVID-19 Recovery Solutions for Tourism Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: A Rough Best-Worst Method Approach. Journal of Decision Systems, 31(1), 102-115. Khan, K, Niazi, A, Nasir, A, Hussain, M & Khan, M, 2021 “The Effect of COVID-19 on the Hospitality Industry: The Implication for Open Innovation” Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity Vol.7 no.1 pp.1-17 Lim, W. M. (2021). Conditional recipes for predicting impacts and prescribing solutions for externalities: the case of COVID-19 and tourism. Tourism Recreation Research, 46(1), 314-318. Lowe, K, Ollerenshaw, S, 2014 “CULTURAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM An Introduction to the Tourism Industry and Business Development” NSW National Park and Wildlife Service viewed 19 May 2022, < https://www.ecotourism.org.au/assets/Resources-Hub-Destination-Management-Plans/Cultural-Tourism-Development-Program.pdf> Lu, J., Xiao, X., Xu, Z., Wang, C., Zhang, M., & Zhou, Y. (2022). The potential of virtual tourism in the recovery of the tourism industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Current Issues in Tourism, 25(3), 441-457. Michael, A 2020 Covid-19 has changed the eating habits of Australians Inside FMCG viewed 18 may 2022 https://insidefmcg.com.au/2020/07/29/covid-19-has-changed-the-eating-habits-of-australians/ Patridge, S, Gibson, A, Redfern, J, Roy, R, Raeside, R & Jia S “Appetite for convenience: how the surge in online food delivery could be harming our health” The Conversation, Viewed 18 may 2022, < https://theconversation.com/appetite-for-convenience-how-the-surge-in-online-food-delivery-could-be-harming-our-health-163348> Statista research Department, 2022 “Travel and tourism industry in Australia – statistics & facts” Statistica Viewed 17 may 2022, Tourism Australia, 2019 “THE ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF TOURISM” Viewed 17 May 2022, United Nations, 2015 “Sustainable Development Goals kick off with start of new year” United Nations, Viewed 17 May 2022,
Appendix
1.1 Sustainable development goals (United Nations, 2015)

1.2 Empathy map model (gibbons, 2018)

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