The pandemic has caused great disruption, but it is with energy and innovation that Travel adapts.
Innovation that would normally take years to implement has happened in a matter of weeks, as Travel adapts to unprecedented challenges. These include fewer destinations, price increases and higher costs. Why are there higher costs? The reasons include more administration, more health checks, reduced capacity in all public areas and Brexit. That last one is causing staff shortages and higher wage bills, unsurprisingly.
Travel adapts with no rulebook
Interestingly, there is no rule book to guide the Travel sector. It is making it up, setting a course as it goes along. Catalyst magazine recently explained how Expedia has done it. Rather than a focus on volume, it is now focusing on quality as customers want more from a travel company. So it is quality rather than quantity. As a result, Expedia has rebranded to become a complete travel partner, offering customers more from its websites. For example, it is now easier for travellers to build their perfect holiday all in one place from one supplier – combining flights, accommodation, transfers and visitor attractions.
Innovation to beat disruption
A wonderful holiday park I have worked with in Devon has adapted with creativity and innovation this summer. With 900 bookings but a staff shortage, it wanted to stay open and not to disappoint customers. So it invited some of them to help with maintenance and cleaning on the park. Customers responded with enthusiasm and energy out of respect and appreciation for the fantastic amenities the park offers.
Digital helps Travel adapt
The CIM has quoted an interesting survey, finding that the majority of top business leaders have accelerated their digital transformation as a result of the pandemic. Marketing and communications are at the heart of this transformation – whether it is gathering initial data and analysis, strategic thinking for the long-term or leading the implementation. In all these things the Travel sector is showing energy and flexibility as it adapts.
The OECD published a good report on changes in Travel after Covid https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/rebuilding-tourism-for-the-future-covid-19-policy-responses-and-recovery-bced9859/