If anyone would have predicted in advance how 2020 has turned out to be, we might have called them completely crazy. We simply could not have imagined to get hit by such a chain of events.
This year was a tough one for travel fairs. First, ITB Berlin had to be cancelled last minute in February. And that was only the beginning! Yet, big travel events like WTM London and the Phocuswright Conference in the US tried to offer industry peers a space to come together and take stock. This is how we experienced these last two weeks of online travel fairs.
Travel has a new buzzword: the connected trip. Referenced in earnings calls and at industry events by Booking.com CEO Glenn Fogel a couple of years ago, it describes a well-known concept in a new shape: the ability to sell end-to-end itineraries to travellers but in a digital, interactive, hyper-personalised way, throughout the whole travel lifecycle.
Six months on from lockdown, the situation for global travel and tourism is far more promising. Restrictions have eased, consumer confidence has returned and the industry has reopened. But it’s not business as usual. The outlook for international travel is still unclear. Travellers, for example, have concern about the risks of air travel, as well as the potential logistical hurdles of travelling overseas, such as quarantining when returning home. In contrast, interest in domestic travel has surged, with many, including the OECD, confident that more local and regional travel will offset some of the losses of international travel – and drive recovery.
And it’s here where travel businesses devastated by Covid-19 can find real opportunities, especially over the short- to medium-term. Our new series of articles explores this critically important trend with a deep dive into key aspects of domestic travel. To kick things off, we’re going to look at self-drives. Here’s everything you need to know.