Recovery through technology

Providing detailed insights and statistics, Jason Clarke, Chief Commercial Officer, Agency Sales, Travelport, helps us understand what the recovery trend looks like, adding his perspective on reconnecting the world via technology.

Manas Dwivedi

“We will have to adopt,” asserted Jason Clarke, adding, “We all want this industry to prosper and thrive for the better. We have to maintain the ability of free travel that allows people to experience the culture, the diversity, the beauty and the joy of travel, be it for leisure or for business,” as he shared his opening remarks during his keynote speech at the CAPA Live event. Clearly, he was ready with data insights and statistics to show how recovery would pan out and the role technology would play in reconnecting the world.

To do so, Travelport created a purely statistical evidence-based model which only deals with facts or what has occurred. Working this way allowed the company to build a model based on actual specifics which occurred in the industry and in their business. For statistics, Travelport took data from pre-COVID January down till September, to show multiple facets from across the global market comparing domestic and international travel, leisure and corporate travel, shopping and booking patterns, and number of other areas for air, car travel and hotel stays.

Recovery pattern

Currently, recovery is led by domestic travel, and hotel recovery has been faster than air travel recovery. “Overall, domestic bookings have shown constant positive trend in the last three months. India, Canada, Spain, France and Mexico are markets which have shown positive booking trend. As restrictions were imposed, reversal in trend was seen for a short period of time,” Clarke said.

International travel has also shown some positive trend in the last few days. A seven-day trend has been positive since the end of July. Prior to this date, the industry was in net-negative position with cancellations outnumbering new bookings since the middle of March. “Recovery is slower but bookings are showing sustained growth in some markets. China, United Kingdom, Japan, France, India and Italy have shown improvement. Couple of standout markets have been Mexico at 32% and UAE at 31% of the 2019 levels,” according to details shared by Clarke.

Need for government intervention

“Looking at the role of technology in reconnecting the world, it is clear that our industry has taken the brunt of impact of this pandemic and it is clearly visible on the data we have shared. International travel, which is critical to this industry’s full recovery, still looks fairly depressed. Without intervention on government policy and policymakers removing some of the restrictions, we are not seeing an evident base to return to previous levels. We clearly need an alignment on that issue for the industry’s health,” Clarke further added.

He concluded saying, “I would like to reiterate that we need to remove friction from the customer experience, from shopping and bookings to the in-travel and post-travel experience. It is more important that we do not add more roadblocks in booking for travellers.”

A Travelport study reveals…

  • 71% of the respondents say that enhanced cleaning programmes during and between flights is very important and influence them to book a flight.
  • Almost half (49%) the people said that they will take a business trip in 2020, and the remaining said that they will consider both domestic and international travel if better safety measures are in place.
  • Two-third of the people talked about social distancing at the airport and in the flight very important to them.

 

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