Justin Post, Merrill Lynch
"Google's travel ad spend was likely growing at around 10% but travel revenue should fall to negative 6.7% in the first quarter and negative 10.2% in the second quarter."
Quote from Justin Post, a Wall Street analyst at Merrill Lynch, in a post on PhocusWire's Live Blog to cover the coronavirus outbreak.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered on our site that week.
It will seem too early for many to consider how things might be different in the travel industry once the cornovirus outbreak starts to unravel.
A return to normality could be months away, some predict. The total impact on destinations, airlines, hotels and the supply systems that support them all is measurable at this stage.
How they - if they all survive, given the financial guidance that many brands are sharing - begin to recover will be testament to both leadership and strategic planning that probably hasn't been seen for a decade, since the global financial crisis of the late-2000s.
What will be fairly clear soon enough is that when travel brands suffer from a downturn in demand, they always look at their marketing outlay and channels that they use.
Google is currently seen as the linchpin in the travel industry's ability to push customers through the front door to their services.
When brands fall victim to poor demand, Google could feel quite a pinch on its income from those that still feed it.
Ironically, many have said for years that when Google sneezes, the industry catches a cold - illustrating just how influential it has become, especially with regards to the launch of its own tools to help capture buyers of travel services.
The phrase seems rather insensitive given the physical nature of the coronavirus, but the reverse is likely to come into play as the outbreak continues its fairly relentless impact on the industry and brands scale back their marketing spend.
This could be the moment - one perhaps only dreamed of by the likes of big-spending Booking Holdings and Expedia Group, for example - when an opportunity to consider different marketing options comes into sharper focus.
The old adage that consumers tend to gravitate to brands that they know and trust during troubled times could become a huge factor over the coming months and out the other side of the outbreak.
If travel companies can retain that loyalty, post-coronavirus, with future marketing efforts placed in that realm, then we may see the first signs of a new landscape for travel digital marketing.
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