16 Jun Travel Industry coming out the holding pattern…
The travel and tourism sector, like all business arenas, is engulfed in difficult and strange times. This will be one of last industries back to the table when we return to ‘normality’, post Covid-19…and inevitably there will be a few casualties along the way.
Business travel could be affected, as online conferencing may become a more standard way of conducting some of the normal face to face B2B meetings. Scheduled air carriers make a lot of their revenue from the first / business class cabins, so this change could filter down to economy cabin prices in the long term. Larger aircraft such as the A380 may not take to the skies again for a long time, pending future demand.
The low cost carriers, like the scheduled operators, still need to have high levels of passenger occupancy..so the middle seat being kept unoccupied for example, would only work if fares go up commensurately. The idea of PPE / masks onboard all flights along with health screening helps, however, there are a lot of preflight procedures to be addressed too. As a plus point, aircraft arguably do have the cleanest air of most enclosed enclosed travel spaces…by using air conditioning with HEPA air filters etc.
Many less-affected Covid-19 destinations really need tourism, however, this has be weighed up with international demand / desire and the ability for travellers to feel safe enroute and during their stay. The UK’s Covid-19 levels are currently high, so barriers have been implemented to prevent arrivals / enforce quarantine etc. These will change very soon. The UK government enforced inbound quarantine also raises further doubts in the short term. It is worth noting regarding visa requirements, that most countries have suspended application processes. Do ensure that you have suitable travel insurance as well. Insurance product should change once the UK FCO adjusts its current travel advice against all but essential travel.
For leisure travel, the future considerations for holiday makers taking flights is to definitely book a fully ATOL protected package rather than gambling on the DIY approach. If airlines, hotels or suppliers fail along the way the ATOL issuing tour operator will address that issue for you and endeavour to sort out alternatives. If the tour operator itself fails, then the ATOL will protect your monies too.
Cruises departing from the UK are another alternative avoiding the need to fly at this time. Cruise operators have always been extra vigilant regarding onboard health and this is being stepped up further.
Many parts of the travel sector are still extremely busy cancelling and refunding holiday bookings. It is proving almost as time consuming as creating the trips in the first instance!
2021 is up for sale and this ostensibly gives travellers the opportunity to have something to look forward to, and with the financial considerations as mentioned above you can still safely protect your holiday investment. Once the border restrictions lift, short notice 2020 bookings will also be worth consideration. As well as putting together tailor-made financially ATOL protected holiday packages, I am also an agent for 115 other tour operators, selling their product at exactly the same price as you would get it direct. The benefit of using me is that you always have a point of contact, and when you call my number it is me that you will get!
The environment has had a very brief respite…the world governments and the global population need to evaluate our current situation, to protect our planet and the way in which we use it in the times ahead. Many greener Initiatives are in place already….I look forward to seeing Easyjet potentially operating electric aircraft on shorter routes by 2035!?
The travel industry will come out of this: Slowly to start with, perhaps meaner, certainly leaner and hopefully becoming greener along the way!
Stay safe and look after your loved ones.