MMGY chief: Travel bookings will return ‘more quickly’ than predictions

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
MMGY chief: Travel bookings will return ‘more quickly’ than predictionsThe coronavirus pandemic is not going to last forever – and when things do start improving, the speed of that recovery could match the speed of the fallout

The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is unlike anything the travel industry has seen before—the speed at which it made its presence felt across the industry was staggering in its impact, travelmarketreport.com notes in the following article:

But, it is not going to last forever – and when things do start improving, the speed of that recovery could match the speed of the fallout, based on new research from marketing firm MMGY Global.

MMGY, in a note titled “Looking Past This Crisis - The Future State of Travel,” described its best case for a recovery in the travel market focuses, which is a four phase change in consumer mentality—fear, understanding, action and recovery.

According to Clayton Reid, CEO of MMGY Global, though we are now in the “fear phase” of the crisis, consumers are heading towards the understanding and action phases and “rational behavior will follow soon after that,” Reid said.

MMGY expects recovery mindsets to begin shifting 45 to 90 days after the peak coronavirus (COVID-19) infections. According to that timeline and MMGY research, there will be a pent-up demand for travel “unleashed in late Q2 across global economies.”

“Given the $2 trillion+ Congressional package in America and stimulus programs throughout Europe, suppliers will be in a more tenable situation to operate with less disruption,” Reid noted. 

“And we know that travel confidence leads-out consumer confidence, therefore will be a leading indicator for the economy. Expect shoots of good news to emerge first with airlines then hotels, restaurants and cruise lines.”

Also, Reid told TMR, travel advisors will play a critical role in that recovery. 

"As the travel industry fights to recover, third parties and travel agents will be increasingly important for travelers, both as a source of calm and information, but also as an important guide on rates and booking in what will be an increasingly competitive market. Agents will also play a key role in lifting the cruise industry as tens of thousands tell the story of cruising," he pointed out. 

 

What’s next?

While there has been some consumer research that adopts an alternative view, Reid says that MMGY has always historically seen that once a crisis passes, travelers come out with a more positive mentality.

MMGY forecasts less than one-third of travelers will cancel their plans and the consumer will “more broadly exhibit behavior that answers that global call to travel.”

“Even with cancellations happening en masse currently, we expect to see re-booking rates quite high amongst all consumers as the days pass,” Reid underlined.

MMGY does not believe that new behaviors and trends stemming from the coronavirus—sheepish behavior in consumers and in business travelers, the disappearance of face-to-face-meetings, the shying away from visiting new places, and even the rise in network TV consumption—will last.

“We fully expect face-to-face meetings, visiting new places, cruising, socializing in restaurants, and yes even getting back to better personal hygiene, will be the norm before Q4,” Reid stressed. 

“In fact, we have seen a long-term trend that proves out that travelers of all stripes are increasingly seeking out new and unique experiences, an appetite that will not be reversed.”

 

But what first?

That late Q2 timeline will commence with leisure travel first, followed by corporate travel and then group travel, MMGY research suggests, which is good news for retail travel advisors who are suffering during the COVID-19 shutdown.

That leisure travel will most probably start with shorter, closer trips and lower spends before leading to international travel. Those first travelers back could include some micro-segments like older retirees, millennial families on road trips and high earning couples.

To that end, MMGY predicts that 2020 could very well be “the year of the car” as COVID-19 could make trips that avoid passing through airports more attractive, a segment of travel that had already been on the rise for five straight years before COVID-19 hit.

“Even in Europe where fares are relatively low and where cross-border flights are common, we would expect travel volumes to increase by car (or train),” Reid said.

In terms of segments of the industry, MMGY believe airlines will snap back quickly, bringing low-fare strategies to a head to attract guests.

Cruises, which are especially hit hard by the crisis, will survive as “many people underestimate their ability” to persevere, but won’t snap back like airlines. Aside from the cash that a lot of cruise lines have on hand, MMGY writes that they also “have a built-in sales force of international travel agents that will help grow back demand.”

“Yes, there has been some association with COVID-19 to cruises, but as the virus proliferates to all reaches of society cruise will not be the lasting narrative.”

Hotel return will follow general traveler sentiment—MMGY claims there will be a “great deal of early ‘local’ occupancy to start the recovery, followed by leisure in the economy and luxury/resort segments and then, eventually, corporate and group across all segments.”

 

What can advisors do?

Advisors need to examine their marketing and messaging in order to take advantage of what could be a snappy recovery in the travel space.

MMGY says that travel marketers can improve their chances of taking advantage of that return to normalcy by doing a few things. The first is to adopt a conservative advertising presence initially “to capture the ‘resilient traveler’ subset as well as other early adopter consumers.”

That includes starting social engagement to keep the most valuable and most engaged clients informed; promoting campaigns that “encourage near-term travel such as weekend, last minute and holiday packages as well as short-lead summer travel packages that incorporate loosening cancelation and re-booking fees;” and geo-targeting campaigns that “work community-out for stimulating demand.”

Above all else, travel advisors, and their clients, need to stay more optimistic. COVID-19 will be a defining moment for the industry and there is real suffering going on with an uncertain future, “but we know that recovery will happen, sooner than people can see clearly today,” Reid writes.

“It's time to begin the move away from the fear & reaction of now, and instead begin preparing for the future state as understanding, action and rational behavior take hold.”

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: pixabay.com

Tornos
  1. 28/10 17:25

    Deposits in Cyprus reach 6-month high in September due to debt payment holiday

  2. 28/10 17:20

    IATA Director General's remarks on COVID-19 outbreak on 27 October 2020

  3. 28/10 16:18

    New record with 1259 Covid-19 cases and 102 people intubated in Greece

  4. 28/10 16:15

    Frontex to investigate alleged illegal pushbacks of migrants in Aegean Sea

  5. 28/10 15:45

    Northern Greek city of Serres decides to impose stricter anti-Covid measures

  6. 28/10 15:42

    UNWTO: Global tourism drops by 70% as travel restrictions impact all regions

  7. 28/10 14:39

    PM on 'Ohi' Day: Drawing on historic Greek values to face today's challenges

  8. 28/10 11:11

    Severe weather forecast in Greece

  9. 28/10 09:31

    IATA: Airlines unable to slash costs deep enough to save jobs

  10. 28/10 09:27

    More than 600 employees at Greek poultry firms tested for Covid-19

  11. 27/10 17:07

    Northern Greece coronavirus hot spot but no new measures announced

  12. 27/10 16:53

    Condé Nast Traveler: Athens named among top-10 friendliest cities in Europe

  13. 27/10 16:46

    Greece confirms 715 new Covid-19 cases on Monday with 95 people in ICUs

  14. 27/10 16:40

    Thessaloniki authorities on alert after 10 Covid-19 cases recorded in disabled home

  15. 27/10 16:35

    Minesweeper 'Kallisto' towed to Salamina naval base near Piraeus port

  16. 27/10 16:09

    Athens Acropolis plateau closed to visitors on Tuesday

  17. 27/10 16:03

    WMO and IATA sign agreement to improve aircraft meteorological reporting

  18. 27/10 15:57

    Foreign Minister: Greek-Cypriot-Israeli front guarantees security in wider region

  19. 27/10 12:06

    EU Commission VP Schinas self-isolating following positive Covid-19 test

  20. 27/10 12:01

    Weather front 'Kirki' to bring heavy rain and hale in Greece

  21. 26/10 15:57

    AP: PM slams Erdogan over insults to French President, Greece's ally

  22. 26/10 15:52

    Greek Foreign Minister meets Russian counterpart in Athens

  23. 26/10 13:41

    Wide divergence in temperatures between north and south Greece on Monday

  24. 26/10 10:37

    520 overnight curfew violations recorded in Greece on Saturday

  25. 26/10 10:27

    Greek Civil Aviation Authority extends notams until 6 - 8 November 2020

  26. 26/10 10:22

    Former Greek Minister: France must be granted concession of Leros port

  27. 26/10 08:17

    Greece records firms 790 new Covid-19 infections and 10 fatalities

  28. 25/10 13:48

    Greek President 's message on United Nations Day celebration

  29. 25/10 13:31

    US Turkish Embassy suspends visas following reports of terrorist attacks

  30. 25/10 13:22

    Minister: The goal is to prevent a universal lockdown in the Greek city of Serres

  31. 25/10 12:26

    Greece announces record 935 Covid-19 daily cases and five fatalities

  32. 25/10 11:43

    Greek Foreign Minister to meet with Israeli counterpart Ashkenazi on Monday

  33. 25/10 10:31

    'Astrotourism' program promises to boost special interest tourism in Cyprus

  34. 25/10 10:04

    Paris recalls French ambassador to Turkish capital of Ankara

  35. 25/10 09:13

    Archbishop thanks Greece for donation to Boston's Hellenic College Holy Cross

  36. 25/10 08:58

    Clocks in Greece to be wound back one hour on Sunday October 2020

  37. 24/10 15:48

    Cyprus records deficit of €800 million during Q2 due to Covid-19 impact

  38. 24/10 13:46

    Coronavirus mask wearing confusion on Cyprus following new measures

  39. 24/10 13:18

    NATO chief: Greece and Turkey agree to suspend military exercises

  40. 24/10 10:41

    75 years of United Nations: Cooperation and trust as critical as ever

  41. 23/10 15:18

    Athens reaches out to Syria through the Greek Orthodox community

  42. 23/10 15:14

    Four workers at Theagenio Clinic in Thessaloniki tested positive for Covid-19

  43. 23/10 15:11

    Greek PM announces new restrictions amid rise in COVID-19 cases (video)

  44. 23/10 13:12

    Greek Civil Aviation Authority restricts flights to and from Kastoria airport

  45. 23/10 13:08

    IATA: Coronavirus testing and financial support critical to saving air transport

  46. 23/10 13:07

    Turkish freighter adrift south of Greek island of Milos

  47. 23/10 13:03

    Historic Art Theatre Karolos Koun in Athens presents new digital programme

  48. 23/10 12:50

    Foreign Ministry: Israel reiterates full support and solidarity with Greece

  49. 22/10 16:53

    Impressive waterspout caught on video in Greek island of Santorini (video)

  50. 22/10 16:46

    Study: Additional costs for supermarkets due to pandemic at €96.1 million

  51. 22/10 16:24

    Quarantine at VIAL hotspot on Greek island of Chios extended to November 4

  52. 22/10 15:53

    Mohegan chief says Hellenikon casino will be big tourist magnet

  53. 22/10 15:01

    Scandinavia GNTO holds event on alternative tourism in Greece

  54. 22/10 14:59

    Canary islands join UNWTO observatory network to provide data fro sector's recovery

  55. 22/10 14:47

    Government: Covid-19 situation in Greece better than in many countries

  56. 22/10 13:39

    Prime Minister to address the Greek nation at 19:00 on Thursday

  57. 22/10 12:57

    Fuel, time and Co2 savings from airspace deal between Jordan and Israel

  58. 22/10 12:29

    Tour du Péloponnèse 2020: Success despite obstacles by Covid-19 (video)

  59. 22/10 10:12

    Sharp rise with 865 new Covid-19 cases and six fatalities in Greece

  60. 22/10 10:00

    Greece and Albania take the issue of maritime zones to Hague Court

  61. 21/10 16:01

    Ecumenical Patriarch and Pope pray for peace and pandemic's end

  62. 21/10 15:58

    Celestyal Cruises offers free travel insurance including COVID-19 coverage

  63. 21/10 15:54

    Greek Citizen Protection minister announces hiring another 800 border guards

  64. 21/10 15:49

    “Glorious Victories” show at National Archaeological Museum in Athens

  65. 21/10 15:46

    More than 10 billion-euro demand for 15-year Greek bond

  66. 21/10 14:40

    Heraklion airport in Crete to stay closed until 16:30 on Wednesday

  67. 21/10 14:40

    UNWTO and ITC cooperate to support coastal tourism in Liberia

  68. 21/10 13:32

    Citizen Protection Minister: Greek police present in battle against COVID-19

  69. 21/10 13:26

    IATA revises 2020 passenger traffic projection down for the Middle East

  70. 21/10 09:36

    AP: Mobile virus testing unit set up in downtown Athens (video)

  71. 20/10 21:58

    Global Tourism Crisis Committe: Coordination a key ingredient for recovery

  72. 20/10 21:14

    Greek Minister: 'Destination' of a well-prepared economic policy apparent

  73. 20/10 20:19

    Cyprus residents travelling abroad fall by 80.3% in September 2020

  74. 20/10 20:06

    Three bidders for underground gas facility in 'South Kavala' field in Greece

  75. 20/10 19:44

    TUI extends program to Greece until November and sees strong demand for 2021

  76. 20/10 17:53

    Greece to reopen 15-year bond issue with a coupon of 1.875%

  77. 20/10 15:42

    Orionid meteor shower to peak in Greece on Tuesday and Wednesday

  78. 20/10 13:39

    Greece records highest-ever number of daily cases with 667

  79. 20/10 13:27

    French woman escorting 24 students on 'Blue Star Delos' tests positive for Covid-19

  80. 20/10 09:09

    Tourist arrivals drop 83.4% in Cyprus during September 2020

  81. 19/10 22:34

    Natural History Museum of Meteora and Mushroom Museum win new prizes

  82. 19/10 22:10

    Dutch royal family cut holidays to Greece short following uproar for ‘non essential travel’

  83. 19/10 20:06

    International consortium lowest bidder for Athens Metro Line 4 project

  84. 19/10 11:07

    Melbourne set for New Greek Museum which could compete with the planet's best

  85. 19/10 10:37

    Greece confirms 438 Covid-19 cases and nine fatalities on Sunday

  86. 19/10 10:31

    AP: COVID-19 case in Vatican Hotel recorded where Pope lives

  87. 19/10 10:24

    Analysis of 43 Neolithic skeletons of Theopetra Cave in Greece shows diet of cereals and little meat

  88. 19/10 09:53

    Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis to visit 'Sotiria' hospital in Athens

  89. 18/10 12:08

    One hundred and one recognised refugees left Greece for Germany

  90. 18/10 12:01

    Covid-19: First local lockdown in Kozani prefecture of Northern Greece

  91. 18/10 11:56

    Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to visit Greece on October 26

  92. 18/10 11:48

    PM from Evros borders: New fence is the least we can do to make Greeks feel safe

  93. 18/10 11:32

    French President: We will not back down an inch to Turkish provocations

  94. 18/10 11:28

    482 new Covid-19 cases and ten fatalities recorded in Greece on Saturday

  95. 18/10 11:03

    WTTC Consumer Survey: 70% of US and Canadian travelers plan to holiday in 2021

  96. 18/10 09:17

    PM on Samothrace: Borderland Greece and border islands our top priority

  97. 17/10 21:13

    German Foreign Ministry: Only Greece safe for travel

  98. 17/10 21:09

    UNWTO and Expedia to share data and insights to assist tourism recovery

  99. 17/10 20:34

    Four candidates in tender to purchase at least 67% of Alexandroupolis port in Greece

  100. 17/10 19:05

    Minister appeals to Ioannina residents to help break rising of infections