The wave of changes the travel industry has endured – and is enduring – over the past year and a half can only be described as feeling like “an emotional rollercoaster,” says Aileen McCormack, chief commercial officer of CarTrawler.
McCormack, speaking alongside Trivago managing director and CEO Axel Hefer during day one of the Phocuswright Europe online event, says that for a company like CarTrawler, which has partners all over the world, it has been especially challenging to navigate which markets are open and which are still facing travel restrictions.
Travel businesses of all stripes are facing similar issues, plus they’re grappling with how to meet the pent-up demand that’s been building while consumers have been stuck at home.
Difficulties aside, the resumption of travel - both leisure and business - is inevitable. But what will it look like this time around? Has the past year changed the industry’s values and norms, or is it headed back to where it was in 2019?
“I think it’s fair to say we are far away from a full recovery here,” Hefer says, adding that billions of people remain unvaccinated and that new variants of the coronavirus are spreading.
However, “We are seeing continuous progress with some ups and downs, but [progress is] what’s very important.”
In conversation with Phocuswright senior vice president of research and product strategy Charuta Fadnis, Hefer and McCormack discuss the changing nature of business travel, consumer desire to spend more for sustainable travel and the outlook for accommodations.
Watch the full interview below.
Myth or Reality: The Great Debate on What's Really Changed - Phocuswright Europe Online 2021