Decision making insights on Travel Industry’s road to recovery

As domestic air travel gathers pace, several countries have eased entry restrictions for Indian travelers. It seems the Indian travel industry is gearing for a full recover from the setback due to the pandemic. Sensing the recovery phase of travel, in September Indiatraveljobs conducted an extensive survey amongst Indian travel companies. The survey’s main objectives were to get decision making insights on travel industry’s road to recovery from Indian travel agents. This will aid in understanding how they are preparing during this phase.

We share with you the detailed findings from the survey titled ‘Decision making insights on Travel Industry’s road to recovery”.

Father and child wear facemask during travel.

1. What will you do as business recovers and you need more staff ?

  • There were an equal number of responses for hiring back laid off employees and investing in tech to reduce manpower.
  • Hiring freelance / contract basis was also a consideration in order to maintain or reduce fixed costs.

In view of the above, we advise employees who have been laid off or on furlough to keep in close contact with their employers. It is necessary to stay top of their mind when they think of hiring again.

2. As you begin to make some profits, what will be your immediate concerns ?

  • 32% of the respondents would save income to meet future expenses.  26% also wanted  to share profits with their employees who suffered during the current covid affected years.
  • Surprisingly, clearing outstanding dues came third (22%) in the priority list. This feedback was across all segments in the travel industry’s road to recovery

16% of the businesses are looking at increasing marketing spends in the near future. They will need solutions that give the most returns on a reduced budget. This is an opportunity for innovative platforms to offer their services to the industry.

3. Whom will you prefer to give more business ?

preference for suppliers

Loyalty and partnership have been the key to business relationships in the travel industry. The sentiment remains the same during the recovery phase.

  • Most business owners prefer to resume with suppliers who supported them during this lowest phase in the history of travel.
  • Existing suppliers with good working relationship in the past will be preferred over new entrants in the market or even over suppliers with good financial standing.
  • The survey clearly shows majority of the decision makers in the industry have not changed their method of sourcing. This could be an indication of a lack of willingness to engage with new suppliers resulting out of uncertainty in market conditions.

In effect, the Indian B to B displays its complexity for new suppliers wishing to enter the market.

4. How will you approach pricing differently while selling to clients?

  • The industry has been affected so badly that all business strategies and tactics have to be completely re-invented. A vast majority of the respondents (77%) are unsure of what will work in the post-covid world.
  • Agents are divided between increasing margins and keeping lower margins thereby ultimately maintaining the status quo from the pre-covid pricing.

5. While recovering back to normalcy, which path will you take ?

A few travel agents diversified their businesses to gain much needed capital to survive the long closures. However, a majority of agents used this time to do an in-depth analysis of their existing business. Some even revised their business model to secure long term stability and mitigate risks.

6. By when do you expect business volumes to reach pre-covid levels?

It has become more difficult than initally imagined to predict the exact time for a business rebound as destinations go in and out of lock downs. Restrictions change based on surges in covid infections. Further, new variants of the virus have forced closer looks at tourism policies and international travel advisories.

By all accounts, 2022-23 should be a safe bet to predict a solid return to business on par or even surpassing pre-covid levels.

By 2022 – 2023, most of the traveling population including children below 18 years would be vaccinated. This would be the single most important factor in the travel & tourism industry. The next being availability of air-lift which has been partially ‘off grid’ for the last 19 months.

7. What external support do you think is most important for your business recovery?

As expected, the back bone of the travel industry is the re opening of destinations. This is the most important support needed by the industry to get back on it’s feet. A large number of agency owners also listed prudent financial management as an important factor of preserving capital during the recovery period.

The external support that the industry seeks from the government is incentives for promoting travel & tourism along with interest free loans.

Methodology

Our primary audience for the survey were business owners from the travel industry. We reached out to them by 1. Emailing to the list of our registered travel recruiter on Indiatraveljobs.com 2. Direct messaging using Whatsapp 3. Posting and sharing on social networks such as Linkedin and Facebook. 95% of the respondents represented either a travel agent, tour operator or a wholesaler.

Do visit our site for more blogs related to the Indian Travel & Tourism industry : https://indiatraveljobs.com/blog/

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