How can the industry adapt to the new normal this summer?
On Monday night – February 22nd 2021, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a road map for the future of potential normality that faces the UK after June 2021.
One of his announcements revealed that international holidays would not be allowed until at least May 17th – sharing a glimmer of light at the end of a long tunnel for many travel operators, with a global taskforce releasing a report on how to return to international travel on April 12th.
Holiday bookings have surged over the last 24 hours following the lockdown exit plans, with travel brands such as TUI reporting bookings for July-onwards soaring with Greece, Spain and Turkey the most-booked destinations so far.
But what is next for the industry, and how do travel companies innovate, adapt and prepare for the summer ahead and the future of travel?
One of the main points discussed during WTM Virtual – which took place in November 2020 and pulled together organisations such as UNWTO and WTTC, is the booking flexibility.
The transparency about cancellation and refund policies, trip insurance options, and rebook choices if their destination has new travel restrictions.
The industry is also seeing an increasing number of travellers seeking advice from travel agents. The professionals are on the top of the shifting entry protocols and testing requirements, and the demand isn’t a surprise.
Clients are also interested in booking travel insurance. Some hotels have already included travel insurance in their all-inclusive package in the Caribbean and South America, regions that have kept open borders during the pandemic.
Sanitation and hygiene standards are top of mind. Contactless touchpoints, mobile ordering, enhanced certified cleaning programs, mandatory facemasks, air filtration temperature tests, health screenings, limited capacity, and other social distancing measures.
The 2022 post-Covid-19 holiday market will look different from any other; however, we at World Travel Market are incredibly optimistic about the next steps and look forward to seeing more trends as the travel industry slowly adapts to the new normal.
By Simon Press, Exhibition Director at World Travel Market