Near the end of World War II, Winston Churchill said “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Crisis is a good word to describe the travel industry with OMG levels of unemployment, mothballed airplanes, cruise ships, hotels and motorcoaches.
How can I proclaim that we’re entering the golden age of an industry that’s essentially a no-go right now? Follow me on this and I think it will make perfect sense as we turn crisis into comeback.
As travel came to a screeching halt last spring, people generally stayed in their backyards. That’s about to change. With more jabs in arms and a herd immunity, the world will slowly open back up to travel again. But everything has changed.
First of all, people have missed their friends and family dearly. They will be eager to make up for lost time and starting this summer, we will experience “The Great Reconnecting.” Even people who have sworn off group travel will gravitate toward this.
Next, think about all the new hobbies and passion projects people have taken up during the pandemic. In an effort to not go stir crazy, folks explored their inner chef, brewed their own beer, learned Zumba, attended online concerts and gobbled up virtual tours.
Finally, while this pandemic has crushed our industry, many folks are doing just fine. They still have their jobs (or retirement income), the investments are soaring and they haven’t spent money on commuting, travel, dining out or entertainment.
Add this up and we have a consumer group who hasn’t traveled in over a year, who’s eager to spend time with those they care about and wants to explore new passions with the wherewithal to make it all happen.
Group travel is the intersection where all of this comes together. Position yourself at the corner and you’ll fully participate in the recovery of the travel industry as we usher in the new Golden Age of Group Travel.
by Jeff Gayduk