Today, in an article on ATI-DriveAmerica, TRO posted a video produced by Clayton Reid, the CEO of MMGY Global. The presentation is an important, clearly stated, and credible explanation of not only the current status of the travel industry, but also regarding the likely path of the road to recovery.
I highly recommend you watch the video and take notes in an effort to plan your own path into the recovery. It confirms the industry is at a turning point, but a path to recovery is emerging and all segments of the travel professional community much be prepared and dexterous enough to make the change and market ourselves into the post-pandemic future.
Clayton Reid’s brilliant presentation sets out the many factors at play:
- Social media’s reach and influence has turned a health crisis into a broader cultural crisis;
- Although travel represents 10% of the global economy at $10 Trillion dollars, approximately 1.3 trillion dollars has been clipped from the world travel economy;
- The pandemic’s impact on travel can be broken into 4 phases:
- Rational Behavior
- Leisure travel’s recovery will be largely led in the beginning through domestic road travel where people can most easily control with whom they interact;
- Corporate travel will emerge more slowly as the current technologies used to facilitate remote meetings are adopted in the long run;
- Protocols regarding cleanliness and safety are likely here to stay;
- Segmentation of your database based on income is an important step in reaching the clients most likely to travel earliest;
- Air travel will recover more quickly than anticipated;
- Outdoor venues will lead the recovery;
- Lead times for booking will shorten during the recovery;
- He re-defines the understanding of some of the “false narratives” of millenials, Generation Z and “Generation Alpha” indicating new ways to market to travelers will need to look at predominant characteristics other than age and date of birth;
- Marketing will continue to suffer from a lack of trust in advertising;
- Brand will continue to be very important in marketing and advertising;
- Digital marketing will continue to dominate;
- Google, Amazon and other large, high-tech companies will emerge as strong post-pandemic players;
These are only a few of the salient points of Reid’s presentation.
Some have incorrectly identified the Chinese word for “crisis” as being composed of Chinese characters signifying “danger” and “opportunity.” In actuality, the better translation is “Danger” and “Turning Point”, the time when a change begins. If there is indeed an opportunity in what we are all living through, it will be up to leaders in the travel industry to craft the opportunity necessary to exploit the changes underway.