Travel failures – end of an era or new beginnings? ·

Travel failures – end of an era or new beginnings?

We’ve seen this before, will see it again, but will we remember next time around?

Everything that is going to be said has already been said. It may be repackaged, analysed, taken apart, numbers adjusted, spewed over and will definitely sell advertising space.  It’s devastating for many. Not everyone wants to think about the companies going broke. But it doesn’t mean it should not be said.

Just pre GFC, it was all about GTA. Expedia was purely retail. The Trivago lady was probably a teenager.  Online travel was a bit dodgy, social media optional. There were no bitcoins, there was TCF. Bricks and mortar agencies in shopping malls were profiting and travel agents who came and visited you was something that happened in America.

Thomas Cook is just about the GFC of the travel industry. Like banking, the industry will recover and evolve. Due diligence will rise , already we argue accreditation, compensation , details, and “we should never let this happen again”.

GFC happened as people were blinded with “some brands are just too big to fail” – so they simply stopped asking questions. The balance sheets and the numbers and the graphs were there, have been for months, if not years. It’s tough to say no when everyone else says “you are just worrying about nothing“.

Problem is, so many agents are doing it already.

Survival comes from remembering the pain. Not to be seduced by promises of points and a few extra dollars today, but to have the courage to keep up that diligence, to keep investigating, play the long game.

My concern in Australia is that once the dust settles, will agents, and head offices, actually have the courage to questions their big brands?  There’s been a lot of smoke around some companies balance sheet but its as if no one wants to see the fire.

But spare a thought for the UK travel industry .The 2018 heat wave meant many stayed home and enjoyed global warming at its finest. In some segments travel spend was down, profits were down, as was cash flow and reinvestment.

Mix in Trump and China and sanctions, Cambridge analytica, Russian interference,  Theresa May left, Boris Johnson has been a naughty boy and right in the middle of it, the company that pioneered the travelers cheque is now gone.

A decade on….it changed and it will again. But the rate of change will be faster than ever. Be brave and evolve. Ask the questions

 

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