Green Shoots of Recovery: Travel Agents Ride the Wave of Post-Pandemic Travel.
In a refreshing twist, the latest OTT Global Green Shoots survey reveals that the travel industry's recovery from the pandemic is gaining momentum as we dive into the summer of 2023. While there's still ground to cover before reaching pre-2019 levels, the data reflects positive signs for travel agents worldwide.
Based on insights from over 1,100 travel professionals, the Green Shoots surveys have been tracking the industry's journey since 2021. According to independent analyst Peter Morris, although it may take until 2024 for the global industry to fully bounce back, the current trajectory is encouraging.
Bookings Are Soaring
Travel agents can rejoice as the surveys indicate a significant increase in bookings compared to 2022. More than 65% of respondents reported a surge of over 25% in their bookings from April last year. Only a mere 2% experienced a decline in business—an optimistic outlook for the industry's revival.
The Road to Recovery
The survey encompassed various booking sectors and regions, shedding light on expected recovery patterns. On average, revenue recovery is projected for 2024, with enquiries bouncing back even sooner. However, there are outliers—around 24% of respondents believe their businesses will reach 2019 levels by 2023, while 39% expect it to take until 2025 or beyond.
Cost-Saving Measures and Office Dynamics
To weather the storm, companies have turned to different strategies. Working from home emerged as the primary option (60%), followed by short-time working (34%) and government furlough schemes (25%). As for work patterns, 28% of respondents work remotely, 37% are back in the office full-time, and 34% embrace a hybrid approach—a testament to the industry's adaptability.
Regional Recoveries and Opportunities
Europe and Northern America lead the pack in summer bookings recovery, with leisure markets rebounding slightly ahead of corporate travel. Meanwhile, Asia Pacific has witnessed notable progress, thanks to the reopening of substantial markets like China and Japan.
Charting a Path to Prosperity
Respondents offered insightful suggestions to promote recovery. They emphasized the importance of developing eco-tourism, diversifying tourism services and experiences, implementing effective promotional activities, and showcasing the cultural heritage and history of destinations. Other recommendations included improving logistics experiences, enhancing the quality and quantity of attractions, and investing in tourism talent training.
OTT: Empowering the Travel Industry
OTT, the innovative training and marketing platform for the travel industry, has been at the forefront of equipping travel agents with the knowledge they need to navigate these changing times. With a wide reach and comprehensive training academies, OTT enables suppliers to educate travel professionals worldwide. If you're interested in sponsoring their next survey, contact [email protected].
As we ride the waves of recovery, travel agents have an opportunity to thrive in a revitalized industry. With determination, adaptability, and a keen focus on customer needs, they can capitalize on the green shoots of hope and guide travelers to their dream destinations once again.