Talking Travel: How to Communicate to Consumers and Employees Right Now

Talking Travel: How to Communicate to Consumers and Employees Right Now

As I write this, the travel industry is beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel. The recovery will be likely tentative at first, and focus on staycations, drives, and short-haul trips. But there are so many dependencies—transmission rates, social-distancing regulations, border closures—that it’s impossible to make meaningful predictions. I’m curious to hear when you anticipate business returning, where your forward bookings are concentrated, and when you may start to bring employees back. Meanwhile, in the here and now, things remain confusing. For every story about reopening there is another about the virus resurfacing. That makes it particularly challenging to communicate, both externally to consumers and internally to nurture company culture. These topics were on the agenda of a series of roundtable discussion with industry leaders that…
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My Take on Coronavirus: Why Now Is the Time to Keep Talking

My Take on Coronavirus: Why Now Is the Time to Keep Talking

What a difference a month makes. Just a few weeks ago, I sent you the results of our annual Pulse of the Industry Survey, reflecting a mostly sunny outlook for 2020. Most respondents forecasted continued growth in revenue and bookings, their optimism quashing any concerns about terrorism, natural disasters, or economic uncertainty. But then Wuhan sneezed, and the rest of the world started catching cold. I don’t have to tell you about the major disruptions that coronavirus has already caused in our business. The real questions are: How bad will things get? And what do we do to get through? I’m afraid none of us can answer the first question, which depends largely on the speed and lethality of the virus as it spreads around the world. The initial analyses…
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Luxury Travel Will Continue to Surge in 2020, Say Top Industry Executives

Luxury Travel Will Continue to Surge in 2020, Say Top Industry Executives

A strong economy prevails over concerns about global instability, according to Strategic Vision’s 2020 Pulse of the Industry Survey. At the same time, travelers have become more conscious of their impact on the places they visit. Political and economic instability are no match for the insatiable drive to travel, according to a recent survey of top luxury travel executives, who predict yet another banner year for the segment. In its annual Pulse of the Industry Survey, travel consultancy Strategic Vision reports that 70% of respondents forecast an increase in revenues in 2020, while 50% described their clients’ attitudes as “optimistic” about both domestic and international travel. That positive sentiment largely overrides concerns about potential disruptors such as natural disasters, political unrest, and economic hiccups from Brexit or trade disputes. Luxury…
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FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD – Will we ever get over overtourism?

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD – Will we ever get over overtourism?

  Overtourism: Everyone is talking about it. Everyone wants to do something about it. And nobody is going to stop traveling. So, what to do? One thing is for sure: In this hyper-connected, over-polarized, blame-happy era, the issue is not going away. Overtourism is more than the controversy du jour—in fact, I think it may become the defining issue of our time, along with the overlapping issue of sustainability. And while many of us deal mostly with the higher end of the market, we can’t kid ourselves that it’s a mass travel issue that doesn’t affect us. Travelers are impacted by the crowds on the Spanish Steps whether they’re staying at the Hassler or the hostel. Nor is the problem limited to large cities. Overtourism is to blame when Barcelona…
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The Economy: How Worried Should We Be?

The Economy: How Worried Should We Be?

As fall gets into full swing and we start planning for 2020, I know that many of us are feeling the winds of uncertainty about the economic outlook—for the travel industry and for the world at large. Political instability in the U.S., Brexit, trade wars, the Hong Kong protests, the collapse of Thomas Cook—those and many other factors are contributing to a sense of trepidation, tingeing whatever optimism we may have about future bookings. The guarded mood reminded me of a speech given recently by the celebrated British economist Gerard Lyons . The talk, which was presented at an Accor-sponsored event for travel industry thought leaders, was sanguine about the various challenges faced by the global economy. But it also stressed the many positive underlying factors that should reassure those…
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Walpole’s 2019 US Trade Delegation

Walpole’s 2019 US Trade Delegation

Originally published on: www.thewalpole.co.uk Peter Bates, President Strategic Vision Luxury hotels expert Peter Bates, founder of Strategic Vision, is today’s NYC Insider, as he discusses the legendary Art of British Luxury Hospitality; the importance of creating compelling experiences for guests; and, of course, his favourite place to experience excellent hospitality in New York City. As President & Founder of Strategic Vision, Peter Bates designs and implements targeted campaigns to build the profile and revenue for luxury brand leaders that include Meredith, Accor and Virtuoso. Throughout his global sales and marketing career, Peter has served in a variety of roles, including senior executive and board positions with Cunard Line, based in the U.S.; Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, based in Hong Kong; and the Savoy Group of Hotels in London. He was…
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Accor Thought Leadership Breakfast

Accor Thought Leadership Breakfast

A speech delivered by Dr. Gerard Lyons at Virtuoso Travel Week 2019 I'm going to talk about three areas. First, about the current global situation and the key message there is considerable uncertainty. Second, if that depresses you too much, I'm going to lift the spirits by highlighting some of the key underlying themes that are impacting the global outlook, and these are themes that will impact all industries including travel, and I think we should be positive about them. But third and finally, we should also be mindful of unconventional politics and policy. And then, I will finish off by talking about what that means for the travel industry. When one looks at the global picture for any country whether it's America, Brazil, Australia or France, it needs to…
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Making Peace with Wellness

Making Peace with Wellness

Wellness may be the biggest buzzword in our industry since experiences—and with at least as many different definitions. Everyone seems to be clamoring to capture a piece of the wellness pie, whose ingredients include fitness, spa, nutrition, spirituality, mindfulness, meditation, sustainability—you name it! The Global Wellness Institute uses a similarly broad definition to size the “global wellness economy” at $4.2 trillion in 2017—with “wellness tourism” accounting for $639 billion of that.  Yoga at Six Senses However you define it, there is no doubt that wellness is on the minds of travel consumers, particularly the luxury market. I asked YouGov, whose annual Affluent Perspective Global Study provides a detailed, deeply personal picture of the lives and lifestyles of the global affluent—the top 10% or higher of households in 26 countries—to look…
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Rebuilding Your Reputation After A Crisis

Rebuilding Your Reputation After A Crisis

Crisis isn’t always avoidable, and it can have an enormous negative impact on tourism and hospitality. While no two crises have the same demand for resources or time limitations, a clear strategy will be the key to recovering successfully and reducing damage to a destination or brand. Yesterday I shared some thoughts with Forbes on crisis communication in an article entitled, The Dominican Republic Faces A Massive Battle to Regain Traveler Trust, surrounding the topic of rebuilding trust during a crisis.  “Recovery from any such incident requires the principal to be proactive and transparent from day one.”He says, “As we know all too well, the tourism industry is susceptible to crises. Just in the last few months, we’ve had incidents on cruise ships, riverboats, airlines and destinations. Some of these may not be national incidents and…
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What Does The Travel Industry Have To Be Proud Of?

What Does The Travel Industry Have To Be Proud Of?

New York City is hosting WorldPride next month, an international celebration timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which marked the beginning of the modern LGBT rights movement. The city is expecting three million visitors to join the festivities. That’s an astonishing number for those of us in the industry who remember when “gay travel” was just an oft-ignored niche. Today, the annual value of total spending by LGBT travelers is estimated to be north of $200 billion, according to Out Now Consulting. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com That purchasing power is set to grow even higher. A 2018 study by Kantar Consulting and Hornet showed that while 8% of baby boomers identify as LGBTQI+, a whopping 31% of Centennials, aka Generation Z, locate themselves somewhere along that spectrum. (The QI+ part…
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