Home Knowledge 100 questions about the time after Corona and answers

100 questions (AND ANSWERS) about the time after Corona

UNCERTAINTY is the word in the coming years. skift report and questions


1. Travel is the most consequential sector in the world, as we learned by the complete stoppage of travel over the last few months. Does it finally register to the rest of the world after, or does it become more inconsequential because people realize how they can do without it? Once Corona is just another flu and you can vacinate against is, the danger fades away. Then we will face the financial impact in line with 2007-9 and it will take a couple of years together with the depreciation of assets
2. What shape will the travel economy recovery take? Will it lead or lag the general economy rebound? Leisure will return eventually, provided growth of GDP and no new pandemic or other incidents. Corporate travel will also grow but in a different way as travel will be in new business areas and slow in mature areas
3. How much of travel demand is permanently lost, versus just delayed? 25% lost to environment, 15% to efficient business-travel, leisure will grow after 3-5 years
4. Will the travel industry lose its hubris after a decade-long growth hangover? What does a more humble travel industry look like? The senior sector will return to "normal" in 2023 (short memory) the families 2021 and the young already late this year. More train, bus and regional
5. Will travel have its “fast fashion” moment — wherein people start to focus on the quality, not quantity, of their trips, and cut down accordingly? Facebook, Instagram and many others look for content and travel is perfect. I believe that quantity will be the winner
6. In a world that is already seeing an alarming rise of nationalism across the globe, does a sudden suspension of international travel further poison the well? With far fewer people able to directly connect and empathize with foreign cultures does protectionism grow even faster? While politicians do have a word, business and employment will force all nations (even North Korea) to open to tourism and invest in that.
7. If there’s a permanent shift in working from anywhere in a large part of the working world, does the dream of digital nomads finally become a reality, and how will it benefit the business of travel? Business-travel will see a big movement towards digital communications as companies realize all the wasted time being in physical travel. In leisure the digital world will temp people to travel
8. Or, does the uncertainty and fear around the virus mean the myth of the “digital nomad” dies? Such nomads found themselves scattered all over the world, without being properly registered residents or paid into a public health system. People believe in medicine and most people in the world have at least one vaccine at this stage. We all believe that this will continue. Even the US will be forced to review their system and go more Obamacare
9. Will governments reduce dependence on travel? Or will they continue to put quantity over quality as measure of tourism success? Tourism and visiting industry is the second largest employer of menial employment in the world. No government can avoid this fact and need to support it
10. Does the progress in diversity efforts in the executive levels of travel companies and organizations stop as the primary motivation becomes survival? Of course management change from being able to cut and align in the coming 2-3 years. Then you need the profile that will grow. What hopefully will happen is management to become more professional and able to professionalize the industry from the ancient structure we currently have
11. Will this bring an era of big reset of labor relations in travel, across sector? Or worsen it? Have already mentioned the menial workforce and this is still needed from dishwashers to tour-guides. The 4th industrial revolution will have greater impact than corona
12. Well this era spur automation in all parts of travel as safety and costs become paramount? Or does the opposite happen where labor is so cheap after this that it won’t make much of a sense for the companies to make investments in automation? A mixture. Travel is people meeting people. Cheap labor has made travel affordable to many people
13. Will there be a long-term labor shortage in travel, as the millions of  individuals working in travel were laid off and might not come back due to the concern about volatility? No as population continue to raise
14. Will the travel sector lose a couple of years’ worth of the best technical engineers graduating from schools as those young professionals prefer the perceived safety, stability, and quick rebound growth of companies in other sectors? The industry have too few technical and educated people already and this will not change unless top-management is changed
15.  Will consumer segmentation become ever more important, because the crisis heightens the differences among different types of travelers? Segmentation is already there and will continue as new generations are much more self aware.
16. Now that everyone is learning to bring travel to people’s homes, will they learn to monetize it? Of course  people are smart
17. How will the dreaming and planning phase of travel buying cycle change? Will inspirational content play a bigger part? When the outside is forcing you to be passive, you dream of going places.
18. What does customer service in travel finally, finally improve? It might, but education is still behind as many people view service as less valuable than other jobs
19. Will this phase accelerate digital transformation at large travel companies? They will need to do it or they die
20. What happens to the behavior of travel loyalty program members from here, and how do the loyalty program change to cater to the changed behavior? Unfortunately we are animals so we always look for a good deal and loyalty has proven this over and over
21. What happens to travel magazines and guidebooks, already on the decline curve? Does it accelerate the inevitable for them? Die
22. In the short term how will the outbreak impact the accessibility of international travel? Will it move away from being a product attainable to the masses, and become more of a premium luxury good only for the elite few? The world is open compared to earlier times and we all hear the butterfly land in Malaysia. There will be a mountain of good deals in the coming months
23. How does this change the travelers/citizens’ willingness to give up more personal privacy (contract tracing, immunity checks at borders) in exchange for more freedoms/assurances that their health is being protected? Everyone want to feel secure and accept anything making this possible
24. Will the dramatic declines in carbon emissions and urban smog witnessed during the COVID-19 economic disruption lead to any meaningful changes in politicians’ and consumers’ attitudes towards the climate crisis? Or will all habits return to normal post-pandemic? Hopefully and make it more expensive as everyone need to pay for the pollution they make. However this will also benefit the world and make it a better place to travel in
Policy & Seamless Travel Questions
25. Will the countries of the world get together and come up with a global passport of sorts to make sure that travel with the people who pose little health danger can travel seamlessly? We already have tried this before. Some countries will do it and some not
26. Do the visa regimes that have been dismantled over the last decade, through E-visa and visaless travel, get reenacted because of security and safety concerns? No will continue being more efficient as countries need visitors
27. Will industry associations see a resurgence in membership and fees because companies that are members of it see the value on lobbying with government and policymakers? Only if they can prove their worth and I cannot see them survive unless they change
28. Will travel and tourism finally make it as policy issue and agendas of political candidates during elections around the world? Once that the world realize the asset value and employment value tourism represent and the industry become more mature and hire the right people
Airlines & Airports
29. How does the check-in process at airports, hotels, cruises, theme parks or any other attractions in travel change? Will it change for the worse or for better? New technology will eventually make check in and easy access easier
30. How do airlines that have restricted and constricted space for economy travelers over the years change as the need for social distancing continues for a while to come? They cope or die
31. Does the era of extra fees that airlines have pioneered over the last decade go away, as people just want to focus on basic low fares for a while to come? The whole pricing structure will explode in complexity like most other industries 
32. Is this finally the death of the dreaded middle seats on planes? No because a tube is more efficient that, but the pricing will
33. Will the cancellation policies of airlines hotels and cruises continue to be flexible forever from here on, and how long? Until the vaccine arrives
34. How will it affect ultra long-haul air flights, will they continue on the path as they were starting to or will that dream be put to rest? From a business point of view they will grow as they did after the second world war
35. Will Europe’s fragmented market of airlines consolidate in a way similar to the consolidated airline market in the U.S., as weaker carriers fail, merge, or sell themselves? Yes
36. Does the travel retail at airports benefit even more as people spend more time at airports because of the increasing checks? People will eventually sent less time because of improved technology
37. How many air routes will get shut down forever? 30% short distances as train and buses will take over
38. How will airport lounges reconfigure themselves for “social distancing” and “sanitation”/cleanness? No more buffet bars? More touch-less check-in technology to replace handing over IDs or other physical items? No changes unless no vaccine
39. Will there be a massive competition on benefits among large-fee ($450 a year) co-branded travel loyalty credit cards as long-grounded travelers reconsider their options and what they’ll pay for once travel rebounds? NO
Hotels/Accommodations Questions
40. Will there be a resurgence in service at hotels, something that has been on the decline for over a decade? Yes through technology development and robots
41. How will hotel companies that have built an expectation for direct bookings and up-front non-refundable rates adjust to a world where many travelers want flexibility until the last-minute? Like airlines change pricing, and add onns or offs will explode as new technology arrives
42. Will a certification for the cleanliness of a hotel catch on? No but security will. 
43. Do mobile keys finally become a reality at hotels? Of course
44. Does hotel F&B make a comeback as people want to stay on premises? explosions of new services and options
45. What happens to all the sub-brands that hotel chains have launched, do we finally see a shake out there? more personalizing
46. What will happen to brands such as CitizenM, Jo&Joe, poshtels, etc, that encourage social interaction and co-living? Grow
47. Will hostels prove surprisingly resilient as young people feel fearless about the pandemic and return to travel quickly? Absolutely
48. Will there be a renewed interest in short term rentals because people want control over their own space? Or do they want the reliability of a hotel with enough services and hygiene? Leisure yes business stay at hotels
49.  Is the masterlease model dead? Alternative accommodation providers like Sonder, Lyric, and others are laying off people while struggling under the pressures of 10-year leases. Was this ever a sustainable business model, and will it survive? no idea but because of high asset cost probably many models
50. How do the travel and hospitality and tourism programs and universities and colleges change? Will we see more students going into the programs because of a recession coming, as happens in every recession, or do less young people go into travel as a career because of the prognostications of a bleak future? Mankind have always looked for the greener field beyond the hill. We have decades just accepted that if people loved travel they were good to have in the industry. Bullocks. The industry need to attract the right and well educated people like any other industry. Do whatever it take to get there
51. Will virtual education and MooC courses for hospitality have a boom as the hospitality sector worldwide needs to quickly train staff in new procedures or, post-recession, train up new workers? Of course as every other industry
52. Will more hotel owners decide to affiliate with a franchise to get under the safer umbrella of a larger brand / loyalty program? It has happened for decade and will not stop like any other franchise system as they are everywhere
53. Will large financial investors continue to buy hotel real estate? Does this accelerate the trend towards institutional investors (i.e. bargain-hunters swoop in) or reverse it back towards more mom-and-pop ownership (i.e. large investors burned by the asset class)? Initially they will as prices plunge in the coming months, but long term the industry will be a mixture of all kind of accommodations and then less traditional hotels like Hilton etc.
Tourism And Destinations Questions
54. Does domestic travel really have a big surge as everybody’s predicting? Of course for this season. If weather is good perhaps also next, but just 1 rainy week or too warm in Saudi get people to leave.
55. Could an increase in local tourism help residents connect with their local history and culture, leading to a resurgence in civic price? Already happening
56. Does even domestic travel within countries get more limited as states or provinces put up more barriers to those outside its jurisdictions? No one can close borders including North Korea
57. Do remote and rural locations get overwhelmed as that’s the only place people want to travel from here on for a while to come? NO
58. What does happen to overtourism in cities? Will cities be the last tourism destinations to come back, if ever? People love Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona, New York etc
59. Will the crisis accelerate the fightback against overtourism as residents increasingly see foreigners as a health threat? Yes
60. Will Saudi Arabia that was about to make a giant push in the global tourism scene will have any chance of opening up and people going there? Yes if they continue decrease religious influence
61. Will Chinese travelers remain the global force that they had become? Or do they become even more important?  Yes to both. To a Chinese prestige is still the thing
62. Will trains travel (aka Amtrak) make a comeback as people develop fear of airports, flying etc? Of course and already happening
63. Will the Great American Roadtrip make a comeback? I for one will go again as before. Been everywhere in the US actually more than most Americans
64. Will natural parks and destinations with grandeur see a boom in visits as housebound, anxious travelers seek a spiritual reconnection with nature and things bigger than themselves? Of course
65.  Will the travel influencers have any influence left after this? Or did they become even more important because destinations and brands need to spur demand? Like any other industry relying on influencers
66. Do DMOs and tourism boards find new ways to fund themselves beyond hotel taxes, and indeed finally see the limitation in focusing strictly on arrivals? The world changes constantly and even some DMO learn 
67. Could virtual reality start to replace real-life visits to famous landmarks? Will it get a second chance? Yes I believe strongly in VR and AR, but want to meet people
68. Will there be a new shuffle of popular tourism destination countries/regions? What would be the next wave? Depend on media, movies and social medias
69. Will leisure travelers require quadruple checking from multiple sources of information online before choosing places to stay? If so, will that mean that travel suppliers need to watch their social reputation more than ever? Will “social reputation monitoring” become essential rather than a “nice to have” for hotel companies and destination management organizations? Will hotels and destination managers need to over-communicate online even more vigilantly than before? YES
M&A Questions
70. What will be the wave of M&A happening in the travel sector, which sectors in travel will be most active? Asset heavy as asset owners want to get out or limit their exposure
71. Will private equity’s role and sovereign wealth fund’s role in travel become even more significant? Short term NO long term yes
72. If the most profitable companies are ones with scale, and the giant conglomerates emerge the strongest from the crisis, how will antitrust regulators react, especially if M&A happens? We are emotional and protect our sights. We have seen the raise og huge businesses, but 4th technology revolution will eventually end up giving the scale based companies less power
73. Will cash-strapped destinations seek to monetize access to some of their premier attractions and cultural treasures through privatization? Think of the example of how private equity firm Carlyle Group invested in 2016 in the Inca Rail line that is a crucial access point for travelers to Machu Picchu? Money will go where there is a return
74. Travel will now be a debt-laden sector. Public companies have raised tens of billions of new bond issuances and large chunks of those SBA small business loans will not be forgiven. How will travel businesses manage to pay down these large burdens (if ever)? Travel is already a dept-laden industry and will force bankruptcy. It will not help to add loans and I am not sure everyone will be able to pay anything back. I believe this is the key challenge in the industry
Cruises Questions
75. Does the U.S. government’s refusal to bailout cruise portend a (much needed) overhaul of how that industry is regulated in the US, where half of the industry’s market lives? Will the cruise companies’ business models survive this? Play cheap no one will help and cruises have been playing cheap
76. Will the diehard cruisers return back to cruises faster than we all would rationally expect? NO
77. Will river cruises (smaller, more spaced-out ships) rebound faster than ocean cruises if they can reconfigure themselves more quickly for new public health concerns? Yes
78. Will the cruise industry ever be able to attract new cruisers after this? Yes after a while
Travel Agents/Tour Operators/Booking Questions
79. Do the travel agents that survive this have a resurgence because people have realized the value of having a human to deal with all the uncertainties of travel? People will always need experts and concierge services. It ill change dramatically in the coming years but many opportunities for the right idea and people
80. Or does technology finally leap forward such that the DIY really becomes possible in travel, as companies realize that tech investment is needed to deal with a huge customer service surge like happened here? YES
81. Does this change travel insurance forever, with clarity instead of lots of terms and conditions? Will travel insurance (and travel booking financial protection services) flourish? YES and insurance companies will increase their concierge service
82. Will the travel booking windows shrink, as we have seen early evidence in China and will this be a long term shift in behavior? Initially but will eventually return unless new financial crises or pandemic
83. Will packaged travel make a come back as people want more self-contained holidays? Will all-in inclusive resorts see a resurgence for the same reason? Not so much a comeback as being a serious part of the business with slower growth than other sectors
84. Are group tours over forever and will they give way to more solitary/DIY travel? NO because most people do not speak languages enough and want to feel safe. Will change as seniors die out.
85. Will tour operators (and smaller airlines and online travel agencies) radically change their businesses? Will they stop using cash deposits for advance reservations to fund their daily operations? Will they instead stash deposits into a reserve account? They will be forced doing that because of all the money coming for support
Business Travel Questions
86. Are we at peak business travel? Will the numbers never come back? NO not in the current way as technology finally have proven its worth
87. Will premium air travel be the first segment to rebound because executives and investors will be the most heavily incentivized to get back in the air to pursue their business objectives? Yes
88. Will ‘duty of care’, which business travel management companies (TMCs) have long touted as an added perk they provide to corporations, prove its value during the crisis and help TMCs grow market share? Probably key area
89. Does this permanently reduce or rewrite the role of the global distribution system as corporate travel may never fully recover and the airlines might be more willing to fight for newer systems as the need for better retailing strategies will only become more urgent? I surely hope so. This structure is obsolete
Meetings & Events Questions
90. Is the era of giant conventions with acres and acres of land over forever? What will virtual look like for these conventions and trade shows? I actually believe that this sector will grow substantially as less business-travel will increase the need for social gathering after the pandemic has died.
91. What does a hybrid physical and digital conference or event look like and how do you make it interesting for everyone involved? There are better experts in this than me
92. What will be the role of Convention and Visitor Bureaus going ahead in a virtual or hybrid events world? There are better experts in this than me
93. What will be the role of event venues going forward? How will they adjust to the virtual or hybrid events world? Of course every sector ill change and adapt
94. Will meeting planners insist contracts must include clauses on cleaning/hygiene standards? there will be many clauses both on that and security
Travel Startups Questions
95. Will venture investors turn away from funding travel startups, generally not a big area of focus anyway for VCs historically? Once they have a clearer picture they will be back as money flow where return can be had
96. Airbnb was founded in the depths of the 2008/9 recession and tapped into a zeitgeist by offering cheap accommodations local connections. What startup will be the ‘next Airbnb’ to emerge from this crisis and what sector will it be in? Replacements of BSP, ARK and GDS
97. Will there be one or a few strong disruptors from outside travel emerging post crisis? Who would they be? What would they bring to travel? If I knew I would be there
98. Does the surge in venture investment in tours and activities and the sector itself that was going online so rapidly completely stop, and will it be reversible? Simply do not know
99. Will venture debt gain share on venture equity as a preferred investment mechanism in the next two years, as VC cash dries up? Debt may work well for startups that offer subscription software and marketplace models, where they acquire some customers, and those customers start yielding fairly consistent revenue. I believe there will be many models designed to meet personal criteria and demands
Online Travel/Tech Questions
100. Do the online travel agencies get their mojo back because of abundance of inventory from suppliers? Travel is born for the Internet as we create only bits to make people travel
101. Or will people want to go direct to brands because they know that’s the easiest in terms of cancellations and refunds? A mixture and technology will speed up multible solutions
102. Will this phase also accelerate the consumer move to online travel/digital commerce in countries and geographies that were still skeptical? They are already
103. What happens to Expedia and TripAdvisor from here, two of the most troubled online travel players going into this? Depend on their management and guts
104. When, if ever, will Expedia and Booking return to bidding on metasearch at the same scale they were before this crisis? NO
105. Will Ctrip/Trip.com Group turn out to be the relatively best-capitalized conglomerate to rebound most quickly, and will it go on an investment spree? Will it take near-majority stakes in geographic markets they have yet to penetrate, copying what Ctrip/Trip.com Group has already done in India with MakeMyTrip. The Chinese have won unless the rest of the world wake up
106. Will Google Travel be transformed because of a falloff in advertising? Or will it gain even more importance as a semi-direct channel for brands? Depend on governments and if they succeed in raining in Google and Facebook
107. How do travel booking intermediaries whose core product is the distribution of non-refundable rates endure in a near-term environment where travelers seek flexibility in bookings? Create new insurance offerings
108. Is this the end of travel metasearch as a meaningful business model except for Google and Qunar/Skyscanner? Or will metasearch make a comeback as travelers become more price sensitive? New kind of meta-search will arrive and are already on the way
109. Companies are examining budgets line-by-line and cutting the fat. What travel tech platforms are actually essential, and which were just nice to have? Call me and I will tell
Luxury/Wellness Travel Questions
110. Will luxury travel be the last to come back and what shape would it take? No the first at rich people are first movers
111. Will “hygiene” become the new “wellness”? Will we see luxury hotels and resorts and first-class airline cabins invest heavily in touchless technology, voice-activated services, and more automation? Of course but are already 
112. Will wellness sector thrive even more? Will there be closer collaborations between hospitality and hospitals? Yes 
113. Will health or medical brands invest in travel, the way luxury watch and clothing brands have had brand extensions? Johnson & Johnson Resort Maui? No J&J are too clever to enter travel
114. Does private travel for the affluent now mean private limo, to private jet to villa – a la travel in a private bubble? Will the “haves vs the have nots” take on a new meaning  in travel Is already there and have for decades
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