$4.7 trillion. Okay, do we have your attention? This is the staggering number that travel and leisure businesses have lost around the world since the invention of Covid (it is alleged in a lab outside Wuhan at the middle of 2019). You could easily buy Estonia and Lithuania for that and have enough left over for a slap-up meal at Mrs Miggin's Pie Shoppe.
It is very hard to make money if there is no business and no-one interested in buying anything from you and those in hospitality, dining, the flying business and travel experiences found that in 2020. This is not 'news', as such ... but it is a big number. However, give some people 0.3 millilitres of vaccine and two days of continuous rain and they are ready to face the rigours of continental baggage reclaim again. For the rest of us, we need to be seduced with talk of 'safety first' and 'low risk environments', whereas before a £35 air ticket and turgid meal in a plastic tray would do us.
Take note pubs and clubs, health and safety has eclipsed cost to become the most important factor in how travellers choose destinations and fares, and you will not be far behind. It is interesting to note that the implementation of ‘safety scores’ for airlines has become a reliable predictor of how well they will perform. Braze the 'comprehensive customer engagement platform' with the acronym of a mushroom, have discovered that loyalty rates (for example, to previous travel providers) were relatively high among younger travellers. 81 per cent of 'generation Z' and 75 per cent of millennials say that they favour specific travel and hospitality brands; however, less than 50 per cent of boomers said the same, suggesting that travel brands might need to make this age group a key focus as the recovery continues.
We have to interject here; did you know that 'generation Z' are colloquially also known as 'zoomers', and are the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha? Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years. Did you also know that generation Z are children of generation X (a species with the power to bite through steel and snort vast quantities of cocaine?).
How do you get your business back onto the rails? Well, travel apps are experiencing an increase in ‘window shopping’; that is, users bookmarking destinations and checking prices without ever committing to a purchase. Also, 57 per cent of global travellers reported that they are more likely to book with a travel brand that requires customers to share their vaccination status.
Here at NTI we are not completely convinced this is true. Michelle asked a CII student last week to show her his TB jab scar and he flat out refused.