Nearly two years later, and the global economy is still reeling from the effects of COVID-19. Many industries were hit especially hard – for example, the live event industry is still far from re-opened, and when it does, chances are it won’t look the same as it used to, since consumers themselves have changed. The travel industry is another sector that was crushed during the pandemic. Driving up to ‘Departures’ at an international airport looked much like entering a ghost town at certain times over the past months. Between shutdowns, lockdowns and border closures, people simply weren’t leaving their homes except for essential services and curbside pickups.
As the worst effects of COVID-19 pandemic have begun to ebb, there are signs that a travel boom is looming, however. Thanks to increased vaccination rates, more manageable caseloads and borders reopening, people are hungry to reconnect with friends and family, explore new destinations, and treat themselves to old favorites. Research shows that right after dining out, travelling is currently the second-most-desired activity. In fact, air travel in the US has hit 2 million daily passengers – closer to the pre-pandemic level of 2.5 million than the historic low of 90,000 in April 2020. Hotel and car rental bookings are surging.
While these trends should encourage travel industry leaders, the downside is – and will be – the possible lack of preparedness for this boom. For one thing, the hospitality industry is currently experiencing staffing shortages as businesses struggle to meet consumer demand after having been forced to lay off employees across the board. Another emerging issue is the new travel protocols, forcing travellers to endure mountains of red tape, long wait times and additional costs associated with new normal travelling.
The fact remains, however, that people are increasingly keen to travel. Most high-income earners did not lose their jobs, and in the US the savings rate among this demographic is 10% to 20% higher now than pre-pandemic. This statistic translates into vast reserves of disposable income. A recent survey by the International Transport Association showed that 57% of respondents expect to be travelling once the pandemic is contained, and 72% will do so as soon as it’s safe to meet friends and family. The availability and efficacy of the vaccine are building confidence in these consumers, and bookings will not be far behind.
That being said, the travel industry is already showing signs of strain. From airlines and car rentals to hotels and restaurants, the entire travel supply chain is being impacted. Clear-sighted travel leaders know that preparation and business insights are key to capitalizing on the impending travel surge. A critical component will be the ability to bring back capacity and meet staffing needs.
And that’s where partnering with a trusted BPO outsourcing company like Anexa truly makes sense. We have dedicated teams of customer service specialists who can seamlessly take on your remote customer service transactions, effectively freeing up your resources to deal with in-person business activities. Our agents – proficient across multiple business channels including phone, chat, social networks, SMS, and email – become the “voice” of your business, representing you with authenticity and elevating your customer service and CX activities to successfully compete in a consumer-driven, post-pandemic market.
Questions? Reach out today.