Visualizing the Countries Most Reliant on Tourism


This post is by Dorothy Neufeld from Visual Capitalist

Visualizing the Countries Most Reliant on Tourism

Visualizing the Countries Most Reliant on Tourism

Without a steady influx of tourism revenue, many countries could face severe economic damage.

As the global travel and tourism industry stalls, the spillover effects to global employment are wide-reaching. A total of 330 million jobs are supported by this industry around the world, and it contributes 10%, or $8.9 trillion to global GDP each year.

Today’s infographic uses data from the World Travel & Tourism Council, and it highlights the countries that depend the most on the travel and tourism industry according to employment—quantifying the scale that the industry contributes to the health of the global economy.

Ground Control

Worldwide, 40 countries rely on the travel and tourism industry for more than 15% of their total share of employment. Unsurprisingly, many of the countries suffering the most economic damage are island nations.

At the same time, data reveals the extent to which certain larger nations rely on tourism. In New Zealand, for example, 479,000 jobs are generated by the travel and tourism industry, while in Cambodia tourism contributes to 2.4 million jobs.

Rank Country T&T Share of Jobs (2019) T&T Jobs (2019) Population
1 Antigua & Barbuda 91% 33,800 97,900
2 Aruba 84% 35,000 106,800
3 St. Lucia 78% 62,900 183,600
4 US Virgin Islands 69% 28,800 104,400
5 Macau 66% 253,700 649,300
6 Maldives 60% 155,600 540,500
7 St. Kitts & Nevis 59% 14,100 53,200
8 British Virgin Islands 54% 5,500 30,200
9 Bahamas 52% 103,900 393,200
10 Anguilla 51% 3,800 15,000
11 St. Vincent & the Grenadines 45% 19,900 110,900
12 Seychelles 44% 20,600 98,300
13 Grenada 43% 24,300 112,500
14 Former Netherlands Antilles 41% 25,700 26,200
15 Belize 39% 64,800 397,600
16 Cape Verde 39% 98,300 556,000
17 Dominica 39% 13,600 72,000
18 Vanuatu 36% 29,000 307,100
19 Barbados 33% 44,900 287,400
20 Cayman Islands 33% 12,300 65,700
21 Jamaica 33% 406,100 2,961,000
22 Montenegro 33% 66,900 628,100
23 Georgia 28% 488,200 3,989,000
24 Cambodia 26% 2,371,100 16,719,000
25 Fiji 26% 90,700 896,400
26 Croatia 25% 383,400 4,105,000
27 Sao Tome and Principe 23% 14,500 219,200
28 Bermuda 23% 7,800 62,300
29 Iceland 22% 44,100 341,200
30 Thailand 21% 8,054,600 69,800,000
31 Malta 21% 52,800 441,500
32 New Zealand 20% 479,400 4,822,000
33 Lebanon 19% 434,200 6,825,000
34 Mauritius 19% 104,200 1,272,000
35 Portugal 19% 902,400 10,197,000
36 Gambia 18% 129,600 2,417,000
37 Jordan 18% 254,700 10,200,000
38 Dominican Republic 17% 810,800 10,848,000
39 Uruguay 16% 262,500 3,474,000
40 Namibia 15% 114,600 2,541,000

Croatia, another tourist hotspot, is hoping to reopen in time for peak season—the country generated tourism revenues of $13B in 2019. With a population of over 4 million, travel and tourism contributes to 25% of its workforce.

How the 20 Largest Economies Stack Up

Tourist-centric countries remain the hardest hit from global travel bans, but the world’s biggest economies are also feeling the impact.

In Spain, tourism ranks as the third highest contributor to its economy. If lockdowns remain in place until September, it is projected to lose $68 billion (€62 billion) in revenues.

Rank Country Travel and Tourism, Contribution to GDP
1 Mexico 15.5%
2 Spain 14.3%
3 Italy 13.0%
4 Turkey 11.3%
5 China 11.3%
6 Australia 10.8%
7 Saudi Arabia 9.5%
8 Germany 9.1%
9 United Kingdom 9.0%
10 U.S. 8.6%
11 France 8.5%
12 Brazil 7.7%
13 Switzerland 7.6%
14 Japan 7.0%
15 India 6.8%
16 Canada 6.3%
17 Netherlands 5.7%
18 Indonesia 5.7%
19 Russia 5.0%
20 South Korea 2.8%

On the other hand, South Korea is impacted the least: just 2.8% of its GDP is reliant on tourism.

Travel, Interrupted

Which countries earn the most from the travel and tourism industry in absolute dollar terms?

Topping the list was the U.S., with tourism contributing over $1.8 trillion to its economy, or 8.6% of its GDP in 2019. The U.S. remains a global epicenter for COVID-19 cases, and details remain unconfirmed if the country will reopen to visitors before summer.

Travel and tourism contribution to GDP in absolute terms

Meanwhile, the contribution of travel and tourism to China’s economy has more than doubled over the last decade, approaching $1.6 trillion. To help bolster economic activity, China and South Korea have eased restrictions by establishing a travel corridor.

As countries slowly reopen, other travel bubbles are beginning to make headway. For example, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have eased travel restrictions by creating an established travel zone. Australia and New Zealand have a similar arrangement on the horizon. These travel bubbles allow citizens from each country to travel within a given zone.

Of course, COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on employment and global economic activity with inconceivable outcomes. When the dust finally settles, could global tourism face a reckoning?

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How U.S. Consumers are Spending Differently During COVID-19


This post is by Iman Ghosh from Visual Capitalist

In 2019, nearly 70% of U.S. GDP was driven by personal consumption.

However, in the first quarter of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has initiated a transformation of consumer spending trends as we know them.

Consumer Spending in Charts

By leveraging new data from analytics platform 1010Data, today’s infographic dives into the credit and debit card spending of five million U.S. consumers over the past few months.

Let’s see how their spending habits have evolved over that short timeframe:

How U.S. Consumers are Spending Differently During COVID-19

The above data on consumer spending, which comes from 1010Data and powered by AI platform Exabel, is broken into 18 different categories:

  • General Merchandise & Grocery: Big Box, Pharmacy, Wholesale Club, Grocery
  • Retail: Apparel, Office Supplies, Pet Supplies
  • Restaurant: Casual dining, Fast casual, Fast food, Fine dining
  • Food Delivery: Food delivery, Grocery Delivery, Meal/Snack kit
  • Travel: Airline, Car rental, Cruise, Hotel

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has consumers cutting back on most of their purchases, but that doesn’t mean that specific categories don’t benefit from changes in consumer habits.

Consumer Spending Changes By Category

The onset of changing consumer behavior can be observed from February 25, 2020, when compared year-over-year (YoY).

As of May 12, 2020, combined spending in all categories dropped by almost 30% YoY. Here’s how that shakes out across the different categories, across two months.

General Merchandise & Grocery

This segment saw a sharp spike in initial spending, as Americans scrambled to stockpile on non-perishable food, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper from Big Box stores like Walmart, or Wholesale Clubs like Costco.

In particular, spending on groceries reached a YoY increase of 97.1% on March 18, 2020. However, these sudden panic-buying urges leveled out by the start of April.

  Feb 25, 2020 YoY Spending May 5, 2020 YoY Spending Overall Change
Big Box +14.2% -1.5% -15.7%
Grocery +1.0% +9.4% +8.4%
Pharmacy -3.6% -23.8% -20.2%
Wholesale Club +13.0% +2.6% -10.4%

Pharmaceutical purchases dropped the most in this segment, possibly as individuals cut back on their healthcare expenditures during this time. In fact, in an April 2020 McKinsey survey of physicians, 80% reported a decline in patient volumes.

Retail

With less foot traffic in malls and entire stores forced to close, sales of apparel plummeted both in physical locations and over e-commerce platforms.

  Feb 25, 2020 YoY Spending May 5, 2020 YoY Spending Overall Change
Apparel -5.6% -51.9% -46.3%
Office Supplies -8.9% -2.8% +6.1%
Pet Supplies +2.7% -18.5% -21.2%

Interestingly, sales of office supplies rose as many pivoted to working from home. Many parents also likely required more of these resources to home-school their children.

Restaurant

The food and beverage industry has been hard-hit by COVID-19. While many businesses turned to delivery services to stay afloat, those in fine dining were less able to rely on such a shift, and spiraled by 88.2% by May 5, 2020, year-over-year.

  Feb 25, 2020 YoY Spending May 5, 2020 YoY Change Overall Change
Casual Dining -2.7% -64.9% -62.2%
Fast Casual 4.2% -29.6% -33.8%
Fast Food 2.0% -20.9% -22.9%
Fine Dining -18.6% -88.2% -69.6%

Applebees or Olive Garden exemplify casual dining, while Panera or Chipotle characterize fast casual.

Food Delivery

Meanwhile, many consumers also shifted from eating out to home cooking. As a result, grocery delivery services jumped by over five-fold—with consumers spending a whopping 558.4% more at its April 19, 2020 peak compared to last year.

  Feb. 25, 2020 YoY Spending May 5, 2020 YoY Spending Overall Change
Food Delivery +18.8% +67.1% +48.3%
Grocery Delivery +23.0% +419.7% +396.7%
Meal/ Snack Kit +7.0% -5.9% -12.9%

Food delivery services are also in high demand, with Doordash seeing the highest growth in U.S. users than any other food delivery app in April.

Travel

While all travel categories experienced an immense decline, cruises suffered the worst blow by far, down by 87.0% in YoY spending since near the start of the pandemic.

  Feb 25, 2020 YoY Spending May 5, 2020 YoY Spending Overall Change
Airline -7.7% -99.1% -91.4%
Car Rental -6.3% -86.0% -79.7%
Cruise -18.7% -105.7% -87.0%
Hotel -7.0% -85.9% -78.9%

Airlines have also come to a halt, nosediving by 91.4% in a 10-week span. In fact, governments worldwide have pooled together nearly $85 billion in an attempt to bail the industry out.

Hope on the Horizon?

Consumer spending offers a pulse of the economy’s health. These sharp drops in consumer spending fall in line with the steep decline in consumer confidence.

In fact, consumer confidence has eroded even more intensely than the stock market’s performance this quarter, as observed when the Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) is compared to the S&P 500 Index.

Consumer Sentiment Index

Many investors dumped their stocks as the coronavirus hit, but consumers tightened their purse strings even more. Yet, as the chart also shows, both the stock market and consumer sentiment are slowly but surely on the mend since April.

As the stay-at-home curtain cautiously begins to lift in the U.S., there may yet be hope for economic recovery on the horizon.

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How COVID-19 Consumer Spending is Impacting Industries


This post is by Katie Jones from Visual Capitalist

Consumer spending impact on industry

How COVID-19 Consumer Spending is Impacting Industries

Consumer spending is one of the most important driving forces for global economic growth.

Beyond impacting some of the factors that determine consumer spend—such as consumer confidence, unemployment levels, or the cost of living—the COVID-19 pandemic has also drastically altered how and where consumers choose to spend their hard-earned cash.

Today’s graphic pulls data from a global survey by McKinsey & Company that analyzes how consumers are reining in their spending, causing upheaval across every industry imaginable.

While some industries are in a better position to weather the impact of this storm, others could struggle to survive.

The Link Between Sentiment and Intent to Spend

As consumers grapple with uncertainty, their buying behavior becomes more erratic. What is clear however, is that they have reduced spending on all non-essential products and services.

But as each country moves along the COVID-19 curve, we can see a glimmer of increasing optimism levels, which in turn is linked to higher spending.

consumer spending optimism

India’s consumers, for example, are displaying higher levels of optimism, with more households planning to increase spend—a trend that is also evident in China, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

Meanwhile, American consumers are still more optimistic about the future than Europeans. 37% of Americans believe the country will recover in 2 or 3 months—albeit with optimism levels at the highest for people who earn over $100K.

Strategic Consumer Spending

Globally, consumers continue to spend—and in some cases, spend more compared to pre-pandemic levels—on some necessities such as groceries and household supplies.

Due to changes in media consumption habits, consumers in almost all countries surveyed say they will increase their spend on at-home entertainment. This is especially true for Korea, a country that already boasts a massive gaming culture.

As restrictions in China lift, many categories such as gasoline, wellness, and pet-care services appear to be bouncing back, which could be a positive sign for other countries following a similar trajectory. But while consumers amp up their spending on the things they need, they also anticipate spending less in other categories.

The Industries in the Red

Categories showing an alarming decline include restaurants and out-of-home entertainment.

However, there are two particularly hard-hit industries worth noting that are showing declines across every category and country:

Travel and Transport

The inevitable decline in the travel and transportation industry is a reflection of mass social isolation levels and tightening travel restrictions.

In fact, the U.S. travel industry can expect to see an average decline in revenue of 81% for April and May. Throughout 2020, losses will equate to roughly $519 billion—translating to a broader $1.2 trillion contraction in total economic impact.

consumer spending travel industry

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, a staggering 50 million jobs are at risk in the industry, with 30 million of those jobs belonging to employees in Asia.

Considering the travel and tourism industry accounts for 10.4% of global GDP, a slow recovery could have serious ramifications.

Apparel

Apparel is experiencing a similarly worrying slowdown, with consumption 40-50% lower in China compared to pre-pandemic levels. Both online and offline sales for businesses the world over are also taking a major hit.

As consumers hold back on their spending, clothing brands of all shapes and sizes are forced to scale back production, and reimagine how they position themselves.

“It’s an unprecedented interruption of an industry that has relied on speeding from one season’s sales to the next. And it is bringing with it a new sense of connectedness, responsibility and empathy.”

—Tamsin Blanchard, The Guardian

Towards an Uncertain Future

Clearly the force majeure that is COVID-19 has not impacted every industry equally.

For some, rebuilding their customer experience by appealing to changing values could result in a profitable, and perhaps much-needed revival. For other companies, there is no other choice but to play the waiting game.

Regardless, every industry faces one universal truth: life after the pandemic will look significantly different.

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Survey results — Travel industry outlook after CV19


This post is by Mauricio Prieto from Travel Tech Essentialist - Medium

Survey results — Travel industry outlook after CV19

These results shed some light on the expected impact on various travel categories and competitors as well as the new opportunities for travel companies

Route 50. The Loneliest Road in America (Photo by Mauricio Prieto)

Last week I sent out a survey covering the post CV19 travel environment and addressing the following topics:

  1. Travel categories — relative winners and losers after CV19
  2. Individual competitors — relative winners and losers
  3. Estimation of travel activity in 6, 12 and 24 months
  4. Main long standing impact on the travel industry
  5. Main opportunities for startups
  6. Previous biggest travel mega-trends that make less sense after CV19

I sent the survey to two groups:

  • Group A was a selected group of travel industry professionals that I handpicked to represent a wide variety of travel categories across geographies. 26 people completed the survey in this group.
  • Group B. Individuals that receive my Travel Tech Essentialist newsletter, sent every two weeks with my pick of the 10 top stories in travel tech. In my most recent issue I included a link to the survey. 39 people completed the survey.

Question 1: Which will be the relative winners and losers emerging after CV19?

Options: Relatively weaker, neutral, relatively stronger.

It is clear that this crisis will affect every player in a negative way, but this question seeked to address who will be *relatively* worse or better off compared to other players in the industry.

Question 1 for Group B had a few additional categories that were not in Group A’s: Cruises, traditional airlines, low cost airlines, traditional travel agencies.

In order to have a visual of the results in a numbered line, I did a weighted average for each answer, where “weaker” = 0, “neutral” =1, “stronger” = 2.

Group B’s answers were generally more optimistic than Group A’s. Group A did not have any travel category with a weighted average above “neutral”.

Both groups had the same top 4 travel categories: Online Travel Agencies, alternative transportation, alternative accommodations, metasearches. This points to a belief that intermediaries and companies that have an asset-light model could have an edge after the crisis. Within the same category, the level of confidence increases with the more digital native companies. For example, OTAs are rated relatively stronger than traditional travel agencies; similar for alternative accommodations versus hotels and for low cost versus legacy airlines. It is worth noting that alternative transportation is believed to be the relatively strongest in Group A and second strongest in Group B. This makes sense as travellers seek transportation alternatives to air travel both for perceived health-related benefits and also for convenience of multimodal transportation.

On the weakest end of the spectrum, there is some consensus that traditional suppliers, companies most exposed to business travel and startups that might not have solid cash positions will have a tougher time after CV19. Group A had corporate travel management companies, startups (certainly too generic of an option) airlines and hotels. Group B had cruises, traditional travel companies, hotels and traditional airlines.

Results: Question 1 Group A

Which will be the relative winners and losers emerging after CV19? Weighted average based on 26 responses for Group A.

Results: Question 1 Group B

Which will be the relative winners and losers emerging after CV19? Weighted average based on 39 responses for Group B. Group B had the following additional categories to complete than Group A: Cruises, traditional airlines, low cost airlines, traditional travel agencies

Q 2: Similar to Q1, but now specific to individual competitors

Zooming into individual competitors, Group B shows again more optimism, but Group A now has 3 companies in the positive half of the line.

Just like in question 1, in order to have a visual of the results in a numbered line, I did a weighted average for each answer, where “weaker” = 0, “neutral” =1, “stronger” = 2.

Both groups coincide in the 4 companies that will be relatively stronger than the rest of the field: Google Travel, Booking, Ctrip, Airbnb and Expedia.

In the OTA category, the six players are very spread out. There is a very significant difference between the perceived weakest (eDreams) and strongest (Booking), occupying the ends of the spectrum among the 17 competitors in the survey. Both groups had the same order for the six OTAs (from weaker to stronger): eDreams, MakeMyTrip, Despegar, Expedia, Ctrip and Booking. Flights focused regional OTAs are believed to be impacted more compared to global OTAs. This is an outcome I suggested in my previous post:

Hotels, airlines, OTAs and other travel players whose business is most reliant on emerging markets and developing economies will suffer a greater impact. Truly global intermediaries like Booking.com or Airbnb that do not have a high dependency on any single geography and can quickly and opportunistically redirect its business to the most promising geographies are better positioned to adapt than other OTAs that are more reliant on a particular country or region — Mauricio Prieto- A New Normal in Travel Post COVID19

Of the 5 players in the accommodations category, Oyo is seen as the weakest and Airbnb as the strongest by both groups. Sonder is the second strongest by Group B. The alternative accommodation product and platform model is perceived as better positioned out of the crisis.

Corporate travel seems to be an exception, since the traditional player (American Express Business Travel) is ranked higher than Tripactions, launched in 2015 with $480 million raised to date.

In metasearch, Trivago lags in both groups, with Kayak ahead in Group A and TripAdvisor in Group B. But all three players are in the negative half of the line.

And Google Travel, as always, seems to be in a league of its own. Group A had it as the best positioned by a good margin, and Group B had it second to Booking.

Results: Question 2 Group A

Which will be the relative winners and losers emerging after CV19? Weighted average based on 26 responses for Group A.

Results: Question 2 Group B

Which will be the relative winners and losers emerging after CV19? Weighted average based on 39 responses for Group B.

Q3: Indexing at 100 the previous “typical” travel volumes/activity of 2019, what’s your estimation of where this index will be in 6, 12 and 24 months?

For example, “50” would be half of typical/normal 2019, “200” would be twice as much, etc…

Group B is slightly less optimistic than Group A (contrary to the previous questions), with an expectation that travel activity in 6 months will be at 35% (median of responses) compared to 2019 versus 50% for Group A. In 12 months, the estimation for both groups is that we will be at 75% of “normal” 2019 travel activity, reaching 100% of 2019 activity in 24 months.

100 = 2019 travel activity. Where will we be in 6, 12 and 24 months? 26 responses in Group A; 39 responses in Group B.

Q4: What do you think will be CV19’s long standing impact on the travel industry?

See below in italics some of the representative responses made by survey respondents. I am dividing the responses between main themes.

Higiene / health

At its core, CV19 is a global health crisis and wake up call that we cannot take our health for granted. When we do return to travelling, our health and well-being will be top of mind with every decision. Travel providers and destinations who survive will emerge and win when they provide consumers with travel choices that promote health and well-being. This will include new levels of cleanliness, physical space and “touchless tech”. Insurance, health-tech and virtually every travel sector has an opportunity to innovate in this space. Corporate travel may not come back as fast as it has from previous crises given how hard many companies have been hit financially. Airbnb and other companies in that space may also be impacted if they don’t have a way to control standards for guests.

Focus on hygiene factors across the industry and more demand for non-massive destinations.

Sanitation measures for suppliers (airlines and hotels) will require new procedures and investment to adapt to new standards

Insurance / cancellations

Travellers’ behaviour will probably shift towards personal security. Until a vaccine is found, there’ll probably be a sharp uptake in insurance policies, as well as accommodation type changes (e.g., self-contained accommodation units vs shared living)

Insurance policies, flexible bookings, more bookings through agencies,

Intermediaries / suppliers

The war between direct/indirect business for hotels is less relevant now. First priority will be to get any bookings, whoever can do that will be a beloved partner, no matter the commission.

Strong market consolidation on supplier side for airlines, weaker airline intermediaries, accommodation intermediaries might become stronger due to lots of distressed inventory to sell, very few startups will survive.

Intermediaries who play well their cards and add value quickly will gain share (similar to 9/11 and other strong demand crises).

Guests will likely feel more protected by booking on intermediaries than directly. Reduction of direct revenue and drop of not-refundable rates. More flexibility on cancellations.

For suppliers, this is a great opportunity to build a closer relationship with travelers and decrease their dependency on OTAs.

The relationship between suppliers and retailers will be worse than ever especially with the airlines.

Airline concentration and a more direct approach between airlines and customers.

Corporate travel

Return of Duty of Care considerations by corporates and TMCs, greater appreciation to the need of corporations to look after travellers and higher concern with flight delays and cancellations and their impact on business continuity. Trying to minimize time spent in airports.

Business travel and events permanently altered as more meetings (both intra and inter company) go virtual at an accelerated pace.

Industry changes and dynamics

Main industry changes: 1) Corporate travel will go down; 2) Some airlines will shut down, there will be M&A activity; 3) Cost base of all travel entities will reset to a notch lower; 4) Reduction in marketing spend.

Air travel will become more cumbersome due to new hygiene and social distancing regulation.

Alternative accommodations and domestic trips made by car or train will grow because of more open space or a perception of safety. Also I think people will begin to travel to non typical destinations, they will avoid crowded cities.

Companies with weak balance sheets/strong indebtedness/strong fixed costs will go bankrupt or have to be bailed out by investors or governments.

Years of greatly reduced travel demand and oversupply. Many companies folding. Accelerated consolidation.

Short and medium term: boost in domestic travel. Long term: back to normal, except the cruise industry, permanently weaker

Cruises, Long haul and business travel will be extremely affected

Increased fragmentation in a broad sense due to more “purposeful” travel as world gets accustomed to tech-driven virtual experiences and all types of travelers hone in on what’s important to them — decreased biz travel (cost — unless absolutely necessary), greater environmental awareness, physical distancing/health risk impacting destination selection and type of travel.

Less air travel will lead to less flights, less congestion in airports, less accommodation in large cities. Hotel prices will drop as occupancy drops and demand from corporate travel weakens. Airbnb type inventory in cities will move to the long term rental market while rural inventory will become more lucrative. Price parity in US hotels will collapse as hotels focus on occupancy rather than own channel / maintaining control.

Airbnb/VRBO will rebound first; hotels will rebound second — airlines third — cruises last. We will have a bull market in stock market as these industries stabilize. Rebound will be 6–8 month — with full bull run in 8–12 months.

Corporations will have to build stronger balance sheets. This won’t be the last outbreak…

Consumer behaviour

More friction in the system and less consumer appetite will translate in less intercontinental travel, less group travel, more individualized tour, less corporate.

People will hold on leisure travel for longer than we think. The economic impact and job losses will strongly impact purchasing power in the short-mid term. Fear of a new surge in cases will prevent people from taking longer-haul flights. Alternative accommodation will gain share over traditional hotels as people will prefer to stay away from crowded places for some time.

Less leisure travel as income shrinks or at least is less secure and less money is available per household for optional spending (such as travel) and more money is saved due to increased insecurity.

Consumer behavior changes: 1) Average advance planning window for leisure travel could go down; 2) Customers start focusing more on cancellation policy when selecting fare type; 3) Customers might prefer individual accommodation (such as Airbnb) as against hotels to minimize risk of infection; 4) Europe might have a long term dent on international tourist inflows from outside Europe, as people continue to avoid countries that were most impacted by Coronavirus.

Being in isolation will make people more conscious of the things they care about the most. Social distancing will increase the emotional value of traveling. This is giving a lot of people a wakeup call on what they used to take for granted.

Travelers will enjoy their trip mores, even if it’s a weekend getaway, a single day trip or a multi-week trip with family/friends, people will be more mindful when traveling.

Tourism will not be seen by locals as just a business opportunity but also as a sanitary threat. Initiatives against tourism may increase.

Q5: Previous crises have also originated new innovations. What do you think are the main opportunities that travel startups will focus on after CV19?

See below in italics some of the representative responses by survey respondents.

Travel health/medical related startups. We might also see some startups focused on domestic markets and shorter trip durations. Travel and hospitality providers that can truly blend e-commerce with excellent customer service should also have a competitive advantage at scale; on the one hand, people want to buy products online but will demand high quality and timely customer service that they can access with travel advisors. On the corporate side, better duty of care products may also emerge as companies need to proactively track, notify and rebook travellers.

Travel was about finding experiences; now it will be about minimizing anxiety.

Rebooking apps and travel insurance will live a renaissance moment.

Standards around hygiene (similar to LEED certified) across the travel industry.

Consumer interest in Asia as a destination (given safety and treatment of virus) and waning interest in traditional European destinations (Italy, France, Spain).

Remote work becomes a standard corporate policy, and destination (e.g. Costa Rica) remote work facilities emerge.

Masks as essential wardrobe element. Everyone (not just Asians) wears masks in a plane / airport.

Innovation in conference design. What can only happen in person? Conferences get more expensive and more elaborate.

Customer service in crisis time; no travel industry player has gained trust from their customers in this crisis.

Data companies who are able to cater to the travel ecosystem providing actionable insights and enabling conversations between suppliers and end consumers

Duty of Care solutions, health and safety on the plane and in airports

There is an opportunity to improve quality/cost of “close to real” virtual meeting platforms.

Companies that are hyper-local will win on this one. So markets that are typically net senders (nordics, UK, Germany) will win tourism related to the losers (Italy, Spain…).

SaaS of all types, solving pain points of surviving travel companies.

Local travel.

Agile organizations and workforce; niche tourism; new industry standards.

Vaccinations controls, air filters, health insurances.

Cancellation policy will become an integral component. Traditional insurance companies are not what is needed. A new network of insurers for both companies and travelers will appear.

Automatization of back office and customer front end related services

Solutions that incorporate and/or mitigate travel risk factors — financial / health / environmental into the travel decision-making process.

Travel and pharmaceutical partnerships

Q6. What do you think are the previous biggest travel mega trends that make less sense post CV19?

See below in italics some of the representative responses by survey respondents.

The business where the opportunity lay in managing margins based on the assumption of a continuous increase in demand: Oyo with hotels, Sonder with apartments. That is, not being the provider neither the distributor, but a middleman.

Master lease model and revenue guarantees in alternative accommodations.

The alternative accommodation industry will have to do more to build travelers’ confidence for their safety, health and well-being.

Bots, I think people will become more human and want to speak with humans instead of bots (automation will be tools but not for customer service). OTAs not focused on customer care will disappear or they will become aggregators of content, reducing their bill and market share.

Significant reduction in corporate travel — company meetings, customer visits, and group events. Zoom gets richer (more non-verbal communication tools) and becomes an acceptable substitute for a lot of in-person connection.

Low cost long distance.

Tours and activities will be a challenging space as many consumers are likely to feel uncomfortable for some time around crowds. Museums, popular attractions and events will all be more challenging to sell.

International leisure travel.

Tourism growth strictly for economic benefit at the expense of social / environmental impact.

Peer to peer businesses. Travelers will have less money but at the same time will be more cautious about where to stay, eat, etc. First 6 months alternatives methods will have to work hard to give the sense/evidence of full sanitary conditions.

Urban crowded tourism down in favor of travel to open and natural environments.

Customization of experiences. It won’t be seen as core part of the businesses and it will be more difficult in a fast changing environment

Fleets of A380s

Price parity

In summary, these were the challenges and opportunities that seemed to have the most traction in the responses:

Opportunities
– Insurance policies, flexible bookings
– New standards in hygiene, safety, health and well-being
– Travel disruption solutions
– Duty of care
– Domestic travel
– New destinations (less crowded, closer, safer)
– Customer service/care in crisis time as competitive advantage
– Human customer service
– Anxiety reducing experiences
– Virtual meetings / conferences
– Travel risk reduction solutions
– Alternative transportation

Challenges
– Cruises
– Group travel, tours
– Corporate travel
– Long haul air travel
– Mass tourism destinations
– Master leasing models based on constant increases in demand

Thanks to all 65 travel industry respondents who completed this survey. I hope you find these results useful. Share with me any thoughts you might have- would love to hear from you!


Survey results — Travel industry outlook after CV19 was originally published in Travel Tech Essentialist on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

10 Futuristic Ideas Becoming Reality Faster Because Of COVID-19


This post is by n Rohit n from Influential Marketing

For the past ten years I’ve been a collector of innovative ideas. When I write about them and interview the people behind them, I know they are far ahead of their industry. Over the past month as our entire culture has been upended by the arrival of the COVID-19 virus, one of positive side effects I have been watching is a rapid normalizing of ideas and technology that might have seemed too dangerous or risky to try.

Here are ten of the biggest ideas gaining momentum, along with some implications for what each might mean after the current threat of COVID-19 begins to lessen … whenever that might be:

1. Distance Learning

As schools across the world have cancelled classes and kids remain at home, the topic of distance learning has become an urgent and personal one for every parent and child. Options for learning remotely had been around for many years (Khan Academy was founded 12 years ago) but as an entire generation of kids are forced to learn online for what is likely to be several months, this is likely to be the tipping point that causes parents, teachers and students themselves to rethink the educational system itself.

2. Ghost Kitchens

More than a year ago I remember reading about a surge in what several journalists had started calling “ghost restaurants” – a term used to describe a kitchen-only restaurant that offered home delivery without investing in a sit-down restaurant. Now as restaurants struggle to rethink their business models, this futuristic concept is going mainstream.

3. Home Theater Streaming

Dreamworks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg famously said back in 2013 that he anticipated a future where people might pay to watch new theatrical releases based on screen size. That’s just one of the potential futures unfolding right now as Universal is leading the charge to release new films directly to live streaming audiences and the film industry considers a big shift in how people might watch new films in a time where theaters are closed (and even afterwards when they reopen but moviegoers may still be reluctant to come out).

4. Drone Delivery

The use and potential for drones was already moving quickly even before COVID-19 came along. Now there are new stories weekly of drones being used for surveillance, mapping, delivery and plenty of other applications. The innovation is causing an urgent debate in many sectors about just how fast they are willing to deploy these drones and how to make it work.

5. Remote Work

Over the past two weeks, I have participated in more virtual presentations and conferences than the entire six months before COVID-19. As the events industry works hard to adapt to more virtual events and just about everyone seems to be getting more comfortable on Zoom, many believe this will fundamentally change the way we work and offer proof that the rumors about remote work are true. You can actually get more work done without the constant interruptions of the modern office.

For more advice on being effective while working remotely, make sure you join my newsletter: www.rohitbhargava.com/subscribe

6. Spectator eSports

Last night I watched two NFL athletes playing each other in a video game as part of the Madden eSports Tournament. As content-starved sports fans look for their next fix of competitive action, sports networks are responding with the one sport that can easily be played in isolation from home … video games. ESPN also launched an esports series with Nascar and we can expect to see more of these types of events as the orders to shelter in place continue. Along the way, this desperation-watching might finally offer the boost the esports needed to graduate from engaged fans watching on Twitch to gain a larger audience.

7. Digital Currency

Currency has already been marching steadily towards becoming mainly digital, but this current crisis and the accompanying disruption of financial markets may be what it takes to create a tipping point around cryptocurrency options like Bitcoin and speed the transition to a new future of money, banking and transactions.

8. Virtual Travel

In recent years, the idea of virtual travel seemed limited to the cool-but-motion-sickness-inducing experiences you could have with a virtual reality headset. As planes have been grounded and tourism halted, people are starting to think more broadly about how they might engage their wanderlust while stuck at home. Virtual trips, live animal cams, and even some (much better) virtual reality experiences are now seeing vast amounts of interest and an audience far more willing to experiment and embrace a disruptive new technology.

9. Universal Basic Income

Depending on where you live in the world, the idea of offering a Universal Basic Income of any kind might have seemed hopelessly out of touch. Until crisis hit. Now the United States and many other nations are either discussing the idea seriously, or actually implementing it to offer relief to citizens unsure of where their next paycheck is coming from.

10. Facial Tracking

Perhaps none of this technology being adopted faster is quite so worrisome as the potential uses (and misuses) of facial tracking technology. The potential ills of the technology are well explored in this powerful article from Sapiens author Yuval Noah Harari. The scary part of how AI and facial tracking may be used isn’t only from what could be possible today, but what new standards and acceptable uses might evolve to be even after this crisis passes.

What comes next?

I know some of these advances will seem far more hopeful and optimistic than others. And more than a few of them will create a scary amount of disruption in each of our lives both personally and professionally.

It’s too early to know which will be positive and which will be negative, and I’m trying hard not to make too many judgements right now either way. When the world is moving this quickly and we’re surrounded by noise, the best thing any of us can do is try to be a bit more intentional about what we choose to pay attention to.

These are ten ideas I’m watching, and for now the best advice I can offer is that you pay attention to them too.

A New Normal in Travel Post COVID-19


This post is by Mauricio Prieto from Travel Tech Essentialist - Medium

Some parts of life will return to normal quickly, but the travel industry will undergo a fundamental reset. Here are four variables that will define the travel industry’s post pandemic new normal.

Source: getty images

The WHO Declared Coronavirus COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11 2020 when the world had 125.000 total cases of coronavirus. Nineteen days later, with 750.000 cases and with the growth curve getting steeper, we are far from hitting the top of the curve. It is yet hard to know when the world’s population will emerge from its collective isolation and when we will start regaining a new sense of normalcy.

Yaneer Bar-Yam, MIT physicist and pandemic expert who is one of the leading experts in the frontline of the COVID-19 fight, states that in order to beat this pandemic, three actions need to to take place simultaneously: 1) travel restrictions, 2) testing and contact tracing, 3) lockdown. Two of the three have a profound impact on the travel industry.

At least until there is a vaccine (unlikely in the next 12–18 months) and widespread testing for virus and antibodies in place, the travel industry will not go back to the previous normal. The impact on the travel industry will continue to be more severe and long-lasting. Some parts of life will return to normal quickly, but the travel industry will undergo a fundamental reset. This posts attempts to address some of the variables that will define the travel industry’s post pandemic new normal.

1. Closed borders

Countries are experiencing the epidemic curve in different waves. The virus is cascading from one region to the next on a worldwide scale. With the exception of a handful of Asian countries, every country in the world is either undergoing a dramatic and deadly uphill climb up the pandemic curve, about to start it, or blind about what’s about to hit them. 115 countries across the world so far have adopted complete or partial border closures. In the US, given the absence of a consistent national lockdown, and given the different approaches taken by individual states, states might even need to close their state borders in order to control the outbreak.

Once countries climb their way out of the pandemic danger zone, their borders will not reopen up anytime soon. It is a lot more likely that they will put in place country specific travel restrictions depending on country risk levels. In any case, the result is that there will not be a sudden and simultaneous reopening of all the world borders, and borders will most likely remain either closed or open to select countries.

The era of traveling freely from country to country seems to be over for the foreseeable future. Hotels will thus have access to a smaller universe of potential guests and those hotels that rely more heavily on the domestic market will see a quicker turnaround. Same applies to those airlines that have a greater share of domestic flights, such as Southwest (domestic passenger revenues account for around 95% of its total passenger revenues). An exception could be large international mega carriers from Middle East that, even though they have a relatively small domestic share, they will be able to channel traffic from different world regions via their hubs — even if health restrictions will indeed reduce in certain cases their range of network combinations.

Similarly, countries that have a higher proportion of domestic travelers such as China (94% domestic travelers), US (90%) and Brazil (87%) will be able to recover tourism activity sooner than countries such as Portugal (7% domestic travelers), Italy (18%) or Spain (31%) (source of domestic traveler data: Transparent).

The ability to methodically market the right travel product to the right audience will be key. OTAs could have a comparative advantage vs suppliers, as they are not tied down to physical assets and their success has relied on their expertise to segment, reach, and acquire the right customer for the right product in the right location.

2. Behavioral norms

Social distancing norms and limitations on public gatherings will stay past the easing of lockdown measures and will have a profound impact on our daily life. Hotels, airlines, airports and other travel players will have to adapt their product to these new norms to comply with new regulations and to make guests feel at ease.

Similar to the airport terminal restrictions that were imposed on non-travelers in the wake of terrorist attacks, one of the consequences of the new behavioral norms could be that airport and hotel common spaces will only be available for hotel guests and ticketed travelers. This would go counter to the pre-COVID19 trend of hotel common spaces becoming social gatherings for guests and non-guests alike. Highly exclusive properties and hotels with lower “population density” will be relatively better off. Airbnb and alternative accommodation providers might be better positioned than traditional hotels from a social distancing perspective, but hotels and professionally managed accommodations could have an edge on keeping a higher “hygiene standard” than individual alternative accommodations. Being able to brand a standardized and homogeneous “virus-free cleaning and servicing protocol” will be a way to build trust for the end customer.

Hotels will also be hit by the cancellation of corporate events. O’Reilly Media, the organizer of large tech & media conferences such as OSCON, has decided that not only is it cancelling its conferences this year, but all future in-person conferences, thereby closing down the entire conference division altogether.

Social distancing measures will also have consequences for airlines as they would need to reduce the number of passengers in their cabins in order to keep the required distance between passengers. Good news for passengers but devastating news for airlines. In the absence of vaccines and antibody testing, proxies of immunity will be required. Airlines may require passengers to carry temperature scanners and similar monitoring devices for a period of time before the flight to identify disease risk and reduce the possibility of boarding COVID19 positive passengers.

One can imagine a world in which, to get on a flight, perhaps you’ll have to be signed up to a service that tracks your movements via your phone. The airline wouldn’t be able to see where you’d gone, but it would get an alert if you’d been close to known infected people or disease hot spots……..The intrusive surveillance will be considered a small price to pay for the basic freedom to be with other people. — MIT Technology Review

3. Uneven recovery- emerging markets and developing economies will be hit hardest

Since World War II there’s been only four global recessions (in 1975, 1982, 1991 and 2009), all of them lasting about a year. But until now, we had never seen the world economy shutting off into a standstill. The recovery will likely be longer and the toll it will take on individuals will also be unlike what we have seen in modern history. Countries will be hitting all time high unemployment rates that could reach 20% in the US and 50% in Spain to just name a couple. Even if the world is open for business, travelers’ wallets will likely not.

Today’s coronavirus infection map is a close proxy of the world’s richest countries. Six of the 10 countries with most COVID19 declared cases are also in the top 10 ranking of the world’s richest economies. The reason why lower income countries are not showing more COVID 19 cases is not because the virus hasn’t yet hit them but because they’re either not yet testing sufficiently or they’re not able to grasp and report the true numbers yet. The hospital systems in many lower income countries will collapse at a lower threshold, once the onslaught of cases start kicking in, which will increase the mortality rate of COVID19 and collateral deaths from other illnesses. The number of ICU beds in South Africa is around 1.7 per 100.000 people. Very low if compared to the US (34 ICU beds per 100.000 people), Germany (29) or Italy (12.5). (ICU data from Forbes and Atlantic Council).

It seems inevitable that low income countries, emerging markets and developing economies will be hit particularly hard given a combination of lack of medical infrastructure to respond to such a crisis, and inability to deploy the scale of financial assistance and emergency support programs that richer economies can. Furthermore, remote work and effective social distancing does not apply evenly across the world. The way that some countries have been able to transition into remote work does not necessarily translate to other countries with large segments of their populations that don’t necessarily have access to the basic services and tools needed (electricity, internet access, hardware, software).

More than 70 percent of African urbanites — approximately 200 million people — reside in crowded city slums, with limited access to plumbing or electricity. In those environments, social distancing may be effectively impossible. Bronwyn Bruton, The Atlantic Council

Hotels, airlines, OTAs and other travel players whose business is most reliant on emerging markets and developing economies will suffer a greater impact. Truly global intermediaries like Booking.com or Airbnb that do not have a high dependency on any single geography and can quickly and opportunistically redirect its business to the most promising geographies are better positioned to adapt than other OTAs that are more reliant on a particular country or region.

4. Focus on core business

Travel players will have to readjust to the new normal. Hotels and airlines will need to reinvent large components of their product and value proposition in order to adapt to new regulations and behavioural norms. They will also have to readjust their geographic footprint based on the new travel flows, travel restrictions and country specific opportunities.

In the previous normal, suppliers were investing heavily in their digital capabilities to increase their share of direct booking and avoid paying commissions for OTA-originated bookings. In the new normal, maybe these activities will no longer be seen as essential core business, and suppliers might welcome paying OTAs an 18% commission in exchange for acquiring elusive clients.

The asset-light nature of OTAs allows them to be able to reduce costs and adapt on a dime to the new conditions post COVID-19. The OTAs largest cost item, marketing, can mostly be reduced from one day to the next. This is a level of agility that hotels and airlines do not have.

This said, and as my friend and colleague Mario Gavira pointed out to me, a crisis could make supplier industry concentration (airlines and hotel chains) stronger, because the large ones 1) are better positioned to survive the cash crunch and 2) will be bailed out by governments if needed. A stronger market concentration means that intermediaries will be in weaker position to survive — we only have to look at the airline landscape in the US for guidance. Furthermore, OTAs sit on smaller cash reserves than most of airlines and hotel chains and don’t have the same government support for financial bailouts. A relevant case in point here is how airlines are not refunding cancelled flights and IATA is taking a hands off approach in the process, as Nicolas Brumelot (President of French OTA MisterFly) explains in this interview with Skift.

I am confident that the travel industry as a whole will adapt to the new normal. The travel industry has demonstrated its resiliency in every single crisis, and it will do so again after COVID-19. The new normal will present a whole set of new opportunities for those existing companies that will be able to adapt and for new ones that will be created without pre-COVID-19 legacy. Given the immediacy of the changes, corporates in the travel sector will also need to expand their collaboration with startups in areas such as sanitation, hygiene, personal tracking and MedTech.

Stay strong healthy and well. I look forward to seeing you on the other side of the tunnel (or on Zoom).


A New Normal in Travel Post COVID-19 was originally published in Travel Tech Essentialist on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Global Shutdown: Visualizing Commuter Activity in the World’s Cities


This post is by Iman Ghosh from Visual Capitalist

Global Shutdown: Visualizing Commuter Activity in the World's Cities

Staying Put: The COVID-19 Commuter Decline

Every day, millions of people worldwide rely on public transport networks to get around. But in times of crisis, bustling cities with high volumes of commuter traffic can come to a dramatic halt.

Today’s chart breaks down daily data from Citymapper’s Mobility Index, according to trips planned on the transport app across 41 select cities.

The results paint a unique picture of how social distancing and lockdown measures are impacting commuter and economic activity in major urban hubs.

Cities With the Biggest Drops in Activity

As the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies and people are urged to stay home, transit activity is dropping everywhere.

However, some areas are seeing more of a reduction in activity than others. Where has activity declined the most over the month?

Rank City Country 04-Mar 11-Mar 18-Mar 25-Mar Total Change (%)
#1 Vienna 🇦🇹 Austria 128% 92% 9% 6% -122%
#2 Lisbon 🇵🇹 Portugal 128% 108% 24% 12% -116%
#3 Istanbul 🇹🇷 Turkey 117% 103% 20% 10% -107%
#4 Barcelona 🇪🇸 Spain 105% 86% 6% 4% -101%
#5 Brussels 🇧🇪 Belgium 107% 96% 15% 7% -100%
#6 São Paolo 🇧🇷 Brazil 112% 113% 33% 12% -100%
#7 New York City 🇺🇸 USA 104% 85% 17% 7% -97%
#8 Madrid 🇪🇸 Spain 100% 65% 5% 4% -96%
#9 Los Angeles 🇺🇸 USA 108% 81% 23% 13% -95%
#10 Melbourne 🇦🇺 Australia 113% 110% 53% 20% -93%

*Note: Data measures the % of city moving compared to 100% baseline.

Overall, Vienna and Lisbon are the cities with the biggest average drop in commuter activity over the past few weeks. This decline in mobility is correlated with a spike in the proportion of COVID-19 cases in the population:

  • Austria
    March 4: 2.6 per million
    March 25: 586 per million
  • Portugal
    March 4: 0.4 per million
    March 25: 232 per million

That said, not every city is seeing a precipitous decline in activity — let’s look at those next.

Standing Still, or On Guard

Cities that saw lower decreases in commuter activity over recent weeks can generally be slotted into three categories:

  1. Cities that were already on or near shutdown (Seoul, Milan)
  2. Cities that have so far avoided major impacts from the virus (St. Petersburg)
  3. Cities that successfully mitigated spread (Singapore)

Here are the 10 cities on the list that saw the lowest changes in activity:

Rank City Country 04-Mar 11-Mar 18-Mar 25-Mar Total Change (%)
#1 Seoul 🇰🇷 South Korea 48% 43% 41% 37% -11%
#2 Hong Kong 🇭🇰 China (SAR) 50% 52% 48% 37% -13%
#3 Singapore 🇸🇬 Singapore 90% 88% 79% 62% -28%
#4 Milan 🇮🇹 Italy 43% 10% 5% 3% -40%
#5 Tokyo 🇯🇵 Japan 63% 54% 42% 21% -42%
#6 St Petersburg 🇷🇺 Russia 114% 114% 85% 69% -45%
#7 Moscow 🇷🇺 Russia 112% 113% 75% 54% -58%
#8 Rhine-Ruhr 🇩🇪 Germany 75% 72% 28% 15% -60%
#9 Stockholm 🇸🇪 Sweden 97% 83% 34% 32% -65%
#10 Lyon 🇫🇷 France 75% 97% 6% 4% -71%

*Note: Data measures the % of city moving compared to 100% baseline.

St. Petersburg is still seeing commuter activity at 69% of normal levels as of March 25th, as the proportion of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Russia remains low, at roughly 3.4 per million.

Milan has the lowest activity of any city at 3%, and has been in shutdown for most of the month.

Although Singapore’s total COVID-19 cases grew from 18.8 to 95.4 per million, it still has 62% commuter activity. Interestingly, Singapore is one of the few countries that has been able to properly control and manage its COVID-19 outbreak.

Biggest Weekly Declines

As the month progressed, various cities showed stark one-week declines in commuter activity based on official healthcare recommendations and growing case numbers.

After a government lockdown announced on March 9, Rome experienced the sharpest decline of -75% commuter activity in the week from March 4 to March 11. Currently, there is only 5% activity compared to usual, similar to Milan.

In the second week of March, COVID-19 cases in France jumped fourfold, from 27.3 per million to 118.4 per million people. As a result, Lyon saw a whopping -91% drop in commuter activity—going from 97% on March 11 to 6% on March 18.

Over the past week, as cases in Australia reached 95 per million, Sydney and Melbourne exhibited the highest average declines at -36% and -33% in commuter activity respectively.

Full List of 41 Cities

Here’s the full list of cities, courtesy of Citymapper.

City, Country March 4 March 11 March 18 March 25 Total Change (%)
Vienna, Austria 128% 92% 9% 6% -122%
Lisbon, Portugal 128% 108% 24% 12% -116%
Istanbul, Turkey 117% 103% 20% 10% -107%
Barcelona, Spain 105% 86% 6% 4% -101%
Brussels, Belgium 107% 96% 15% 7% -100%
São Paulo, Brazil 112% 113% 33% 12% -100%
New York City, U.S. 104% 85% 17% 7% -97%
Madrid, Spain 100% 65% 5% 4% -96%
Los Angeles, U.S. 108% 81% 23% 13% -95%
Melbourne, Australia 113% 110% 53% 20% -93%
Amsterdam, Netherlands 98% 86% 13% 6% -92%
Washington DC, U.S. 97% 82% 15% 6% -91%
San Francisco, U.S. 96% 65% 9% 6% -90%
Boston, U.S. 97% 77% 16% 7% -90%
Chicago, U.S. 97% 92% 16% 7% -90%
Montréal, Canada 103% 104% 31% 14% -89%
Paris, France 95% 89% 8% 6% -89%
London, UK 100% 91% 36% 12% -88%
Manchester, UK 100% 91% 42% 13% -87%
Sydney, Australia 106% 99% 56% 20% -86%
Mexico City, Mexico 109% 110% 53% 23% -86%
Rome, Italy 91% 16% 6% 5% -86%
Copenhagen, Denmark 97% 80% 11% 11% -86%
Berlin, Germany 93% 86% 26% 12% -81%
Birmingham, UK 99% 91% 45% 18% -81%
Toronto, Canada 97% 91% 32% 19% -78%
Vancouver, Canada 94% 89% 38% 16% -78%
Philadelphia, U.S. 89% 85% 22% 13% -76%
Monaco, Monaco 81% 50% 12% 7% -74%
Hamburg, Germany 85% 72% 20% 12% -73%
Seattle, U.S. 80% 51% 19% 8% -72%
Lyon, France 75% 97% 6% 4% -71%
Stockholm, Sweden 97% 83% 34% 32% -65%
Rhine-Ruhr, Germany 75% 72% 28% 15% -60%
Moscow, Russia 112% 113% 75% 54% -58%
St Petersburg, Russia 114% 114% 85% 69% -45%
Tokyo, Japan 63% 54% 42% 21% -42%
Milan, Italy 43% 10% 5% 3% -40%
Singapore, Singapore 90% 88% 79% 62% -28%
Hong Kong, Hong Kong 50% 52% 48% 37% -13%
Seoul, South Korea 48% 43% 41% 37% -11%

*Note: Data measures the % of city moving compared to 100% baseline.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everything from the stock market to the environment. With cities actively working to keep populations in isolation and healthy during this time, it may take a while before commuter activity returns to normal.

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The post Global Shutdown: Visualizing Commuter Activity in the World’s Cities appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

Paris – January, 2020


This post is by bijansabet from Bijan Sabet

A few months ago, I made a short trip to Paris. When I look at these photographs, it truly feels like a lifetime ago.

(The color photographs were made with a Mamiya 7ii camera and Kodak Portra 400 film. The b&w images were made with a Leica MP and Kodak Tri-X 400. Developed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab in California)

310177_0008.jpg308538_0021.jpg310177_0003.jpg310178_0008.jpg308538_0034.jpg310178_0006.jpg310177_0005.jpg308538_0013.jpg310177_0004.jpg310179_0008.jpg308538_0022.jpg

Hiking Mt Charleston


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures

Went up to Mt. Charleston today. We would go later this week but they will get a lot of snow this week. Kind of funny to think about snow near Las Vegas.

A lot of locals go there in the summer to escape the heat.  In the winter, folks go skiing.

Pretty Amazing Story of Love


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures

This morning I went for a hike. Here is a 360 degree video of where we hiked.  It’s 61 going up to 75 degrees.  After working through the morning, I will go golfing this afternoon.

 

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No filter 370 degrees at the top of a small hill a ten minute hike from where we are staying #lasvegas

A post shared by Jeff Carter (@pointsnfigures) on

It’s a ten-minute walk away from where we are staying.  I was reflecting on the following linked post while I was walking.

I saw this post on Medium and suggest that if you read one thing today, you read it. Amidst market turmoil, political strife and all the other shit that comes our way every day, you might be a better person for reading and thinking about it.  It’s a tremendous story of a relationship and love.

The other weird thing about Las Vegas in the neighborhood where we are staying is that I see dumpster after dumpster in front of homes being rehabbed.  The Las Vegas real estate market was up 30% last year.  Very different than Chicago.

 

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On my walk. Fifth dumpster I have seen. In one block Don’t see this in Chicago suburbs @proftdan

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How is Coronavirus Impacting the Travel Industry


This post is by Mauricio Prieto from Travel Tech Essentialist - Medium

There might be uncertainty about how coronavirus will evolve, but there is nothing uncertain about how the travel industry is getting hit.

Please see below Issue #22 of the Travel Tech Essentialist newsletter sent on February 29th 2020 to my newsletter subscribers. If you are interested in receiving future issues in your inbox, you can sign up here. Thank you!

In the past week, Covid-19 has started behaving a lot like the once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about. I hope it’s not that bad, but we should assume it will be until we know otherwise — Bill Gates

There’s a lot of speculation about how serious the coronavirus pandemic will be. But it’s already clear that the risk of infection as portrayed in the media is eviscerating the travel industry — Max Niederhofer

When I wrote my last newsletter last week, I was consciously avoiding any references to the coronavirus (or COVID-19), hoping that we’d seen the worst of it. So much so that the title of that newsletter was “Optimism”. It is now clear that COVID-19 is having an impact on the travel industry that is impossible to ignore. I normally send this newsletter every two weeks, but given the magnitude of changes in the last week, I’m sending this special issue focused on coronavirus’ impact on the travel sector. The silver lining is that travel industry players have always been models of resilience and ability to adapt in the face of exogenous shocks. And this will be the case again this time around.

1. Continue reading How is Coronavirus Impacting the Travel Industry

AirBnB Kinda Sucks-But Las Vegas Doesn’t


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures

We have been using AirBnb for rentals for a while now.  We alternate between that and VRBO. I can say that AirBnb consistently disappoints.  The hosts are not vetted and neither are the properties.  We switched houses in Las Vegas yesterday.  The one we are in now is pretty nice and cheaper than the dump we just left.

A lot of the people doing AirBnb today are purely in it for profit.  They buy run down real estate, supply it with old or cast off furniture and supplies and then charge high rents.  In this case, the thing was barely furnished with Salvation Army castoffs.  All the dishes were chipped. Las Vegas has hard water, but no salt in the water softener.  The place just wasn’t kept up.  Maybe they have a different idea of what being a host is like.

This is not the first time we have had that experience with AirBnb.  I am done with them.  Would be a great stock to short if it ever went public because their internal operations just aren’t that good.

As far as Las Vegas goes, Summerlin and Henderson are pretty nice.  Traffic is non-existent.  We aren’t “Strip” people.  But, it has shows and some decent restaurants.  Summerlin has an Asiantown nearby.  It’s full of Chinese, Thai, Korean, Taiwanese, Philipino and Japanese spots that are decent.  What’s weird to us is that they are Continue reading AirBnB Kinda Sucks-But Las Vegas Doesn’t

Venture Capital in Travel Tech


This post is by Mauricio Prieto from Travel Tech Essentialist - Medium

Tens of billions of dollars are flowing to travel startups from Venture Capital, Corporate Venture Capital and travel players. Let’s find out who, what, when, where and why.

Travel startups are on the rise. There is a growing number of startups encompassing a wider range of travel subcategories and attracting a greater share of venture capital investments. These are some of the reasons that explain this trend:

  • A greater challenge. We are moving from the transaction era, where OTAs ruled, to an era where the traveller is demanding a seamless experience in the various phases of the travel journey: planning, booking, during the trip and post-trip. This is a tremendous challenge and entrepreneurs are focusing on the opportunities to add value throughout the chain.
  • An expanding market. Travel’s sphere of influence has expanded well beyond its traditional borders. Transportation is migrating towards integrating various modes of transportation, which is why subsectors such as ride-hailing or microbolity can be associated to the overall travel experience. Now we can see travel-related startups in real estate, social networking, media, robotics, security, connectivity, mobility, logistics, etc…
  • A greater interest by corporates. Suppliers and travel operators have realized that business as usual will no longer cut it. They are investing heavily in innovation to compete more effectively against new entrants, increase direct bookings, provide more unique experiences and increase revenues. This means that some of the world’s largest travel brands are now not only actively working with B2B and B2C startups, but actively investing in them as well.
  • Rise Continue reading Venture Capital in Travel Tech

Where top VCs are investing in travel, tourism and hospitality tech


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Arman Tabatabai. The original is [linked here]

The venture community has been fixated on travel and hospitality since the dot-com era and early-2000s, when mainstays like Kayak and Airbnb were still Silicon Valley darlings. As the multi-trillion-dollar global travel and hospitality market continues to grow, VCs are still foaming at the mouth for the opportunity to redefine the ways we move and stay around the world.

Despite the cyclical nature of the travel sector, deal flow in travel and hospitality has remained strong and largely stable over the last half-decade, according to data from Crunchbase and PitchBook. Over the same period, we’ve seen more than a handful of startups in the space reach unicorn status, including companies like Klook, Sonder, Flixbus, Vacasa, Wheels Up, TripActions and others.

High-profile funding rounds also appear to be popping up across travel and hospitality’s various sub-sectors, including bookings, activity marketplaces, short-term rental, tourism and hotel platforms. And companies are continuing to pull in funding rounds in the hundreds of millions to billion-dollar range, such as India hotel network company Oyo, which raised $1.5 billion in funding as recently as December.

While VC investment in the space has remained resilient, some investors are predicting it’s only a matter of time before the travel startup world hits a downturn. To get a temperature check on the state of the travel market, the outlook for fundraising and which sub-sectors might present the most attractive opportunities for startups today, we asked five leading VCs at firms spanning Continue reading Where top VCs are investing in travel, tourism and hospitality tech

5 Non-Obvious Megatrends Changing Our World In 2020


This post is by n Rohit n from Influential Marketing

For the past ten years I have gone through an annual ritual of publishing a book about trends that describe our shifting culture and business environment. Over the past decade, my team and I have identified and written about well over 100 trends covering everything from the rise of the #metoo movement (a trend we called Fierce Femininity back in 2017) to the growing ability for immersive technology to help us better connect with one another (which we described as Virtual Empathy).

On January 14th, I am publishing the LAST of this long running series – the tenth anniversary edition of Non-Obvious called Non-Obvious Megatrends. In this new edition, we took an expansive look back at the past reports and combined this with all of the feedback, insights and discussions from more than a million smart readers who have bought, shared and debated this trend report over the years in order to arrive at ten big megatrend predictions.

I am so excited to share all of them when the book comes out in January, but as a sneak preview, here are five of the ten – along with a short backstory for each one.

Non-Obvious Megatrend #1 – Revivalism

Resurgence of analog activities such as board games, vinyl music and playing classic video games.

What is Revivalism?

Overwhelmed by technology and a sense that life is too complex, people seek out simpler experiences that offer nostalgia and remind them of a more trustworthy time.

The Backstory: 

Like most of the other megatrends, this one encompassed many ideas from past trends in other Continue reading 5 Non-Obvious Megatrends Changing Our World In 2020

Richard Jewell, Lessons

This holiday season you get asked to support a lot of things.  I hope you can support this effort I am leading.  I am raising money to dedicate a hotel suite to the Unknown Soldier at the new National World War Two Museum hotel.  Any proceeds over and above dedicating that space will go to Museum STEM projects dedicated to helping grade school children across the United States learn STEM.  Even $10 or $20 can go a long way.  

I went to see the movie Richard Jewell last night. It was good. I don’t think it will be a classic movie that people will watch over and over again like The Godfather or Shawshank Redemption, but it was good.  Instead of going to see yet another Star Wars plea for my money we decided to see this one instead.

At this time in my Continue reading Richard Jewell, Lessons

Travel Tech Essentialist #15: Reinvention


This post is by Mauricio Prieto from Travel Tech Essentialist - Medium

A short newsletter every two weeks with my pick of the top 10 Travel Tech stories and innovations shaping the world’s largest and fastest growing industry.

Please see below Issue #15 of the Travel Tech Essentialist newsletter sent to my newsletter subscribers on November 30th 2019. If you are interested in receiving future issues in your inbox, you can sign up here. Thank you!

A Harvard Business Review article suggests that the greatest challenge to companies today is not keeping up with their competitors, but with customers.

Think for a moment about people as tiny enterprises. They’ve redesigned their core processes in the area of procurement (online shopping), talent acquisition (marketplaces), collaboration (social networking), market research (peer reviews), finance (mobile payments) and travel (room and ride sharing). Have you reinvented your core processes to the same degree? — HBR

Travel suppliers, intermediaries and startups of all sizes are rising up to the challenge.

1. The Connected Trip is the next objective for the world’s leading OTAs

The Connected Trip is beginning to draw real investment and attention from Booking, Expedia and other OTAs, as they attempt to increase their position of travel aggregators and gain a greater share of travelers’ wallets.

2. OTAs and Google — Blaming Google will not lead to disruptive innovation

Online Travel Agencies’ complaints about Google are sounding very similar to the complaints that travel suppliers (hotels and airlines) have expressed towards OTAs in the past. My recent post on this topic.

3. eDreams announces encouraging results from its eDreams Continue reading Travel Tech Essentialist #15: Reinvention

OTAs and Google


This post is by Mauricio Prieto from Travel Tech Essentialist - Medium

Blaming Google will not lead to disruptive innovation

Online Travel Agencies’ complaints about Google are sounding very similar to the complains that travel suppliers (hotels and airlines) have expressed towards OTAs in the past.

A few years ago, Dara Khosrowshahi (then Expedia CEO and current CEO of Uber) offered the following advice to hoteliers:

You guys all criticize me for how much I charge you for guests to come to your hotel. I think you’re looking at it wrong. Look at us as the cheapest source of referrals that you could imagine. If they come through me, you pay me once, and if they come back to me again and again, shame on you. You should make them a loyal customer — Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia

This same type of argument could be used by Google today vis a vis OTAs. OTAs should listen to Dara’s advice and apply it to themselves as they deal with the challenges of growing in a Google-centric world.

Blaming Google

In the last few weeks, there have been spirited discussions on the impact Google had in OTA and metasearch quarterly results. I wrote last week in The Selective Scapegoating of Google that whenever results fall below Wall Street expectations, online travel executives often point to Google as the culprit. And when results are good, success is often explained as a natural consequence of optimal strategies and superb execution.

Let’s look at some recent comments:

Tripadvisor

Google has gotten more aggressive. We believe our most significant challenge Continue reading OTAs and Google

Travel Tech Essentialist #14: Think Different


This post is by Mauricio Prieto from Travel Tech Essentialist - Medium

A short newsletter every two weeks with my pick of the top 10 Travel Tech stories and innovations shaping the world’s largest and fastest growing industry.

Please see below Issue #14 of the Travel Tech Essentialist newsletter. If you are interested in receiving future issues in your inbox, you can sign up here. Thank you!

The only constant in life is change”~ Heraclitus

1. Eventful Q3 earnings for online travel companies

Since announcing their Q3 results on Nov 6, Expedia, Tripadvisor and Trivago shares have fallen by 30%, 23% and 26% respectively. Expedia and Tripadvisor pointed to changes in Google’s algorithm for their disappointing results.

  • Expedia net income fell 22% year-over-year and adjusted EBITDA was flat. Expedia CEO: “We saw incremental weakness in SEO volumes and a related shift to high-cost marketing channels”. Read more.
  • Tripadvisor revenue fell 7%, EBITDA declined 12% and net income dropped 28%. “Our most significant challenge remains Google pushing its own hotel products and siphoning off quality traffic that would otherwise find TripAdvisor”. Read more.
  • Booking had year-over-year growth in room nights (11%), revenue (8%), net income (10%) and adjusted EBITDA (5%). Booking CEO: “We saw some headwinds in the SEO channel that did create some modest pressure, but it’s a small channel for us”. Read more.
  • Trivago reported a 1% decrease in revenue, 97% drop in net income and 59% decrease in adjusted EBITDA. Trivago’s founder and CEO announced his departure effective December 31 2019. Read more.

2. Blame Google when things Continue reading Travel Tech Essentialist #14: Think Different

The Selective Scapegoating of Google


This post is by Mauricio Prieto from Travel Tech Essentialist - Medium

Google might be a reason why some online travel companies are struggling, but it’s also been a key driver of their success

Image from Graceexposed.com

When results exceed expectations in the online travel sector, executives generally point to good execution in a number of company-driven areas: mobile booking improvements, marketing optimization, investment in brand, improvements in technology, streamlined operations, international expansion, price transparency, revenue diversification, product improvements, as well as the ever present machine learning and AI. In other words, success is explained as a natural consequence of optimal strategies and superb execution.

However, when the business is facing challenges and quarterly results are falling below expectations, there is a popular scapegoat: Google. And this generally goes unquestioned. After all, accusing Google and other large technology companies of all evils falls on sympathetic ears among a large swath of the media and the political machinery.

Let’s look at some examples from this past week.

Tripadvisor had disappointing Q3 results. Year-over-year, its revenue fell 7%, EBITDA declined 12% and net income dropped 28%.

Tripadvisor stated that their most significant challenge was Google becoming more aggressive and “siphoning off quality traffic that would otherwise find TripAdvisor via free links”.

Q3 was more difficult than we anticipated…Tripadvisor saw some incremental SEO headwinds over the course of the quarter…Google has gotten more aggressive — CEO Stephen Kaufer, Earnings transcript

Tripadvisor might be the one company in the world that has benefited the most from FREE traffic from Google, many times to the expense of travel suppliers. The fact Continue reading The Selective Scapegoating of Google