It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 12 months since the COVID pandemic began and turned our industry – and our lives – upside down.
I am sure back in early 2020, none of us could have imagined that the crisis would develop as it has and that we’d still be experiencing the consequences, and managing the challenges, it has brought.
Here at Hotelbeds, we pivoted swiftly to make sure we were doing all we could to support you. We switched our call centres to remote working extremely quickly and launched a suite of self-service tools to help manage the significant demand caused by the ever-changing situation.
We also took the time that the cessation in travel brought to look closely at ourselves as a company, to take stock, to reorganise and to focus on the things we know matter the most to you, recognising the need for us to work together.
Undeniably there is a long road ahead until we return to the volumes we have enjoyed in the past, but with vaccine programmes now underway across the globe and governments starting to indicate relaxations in restrictions, we are starting to see some positive signs.
There are improvements in the US, Mexico, Brazil and UAE markets generally, and in respect of domestic travel, room nights in Brazil are up by 43% compared to the same period last year and up by 12% in the US, where there is also strong demand for the Spring break.
The pent-up demand for travel is also increasingly evident and we have a responsibility as leaders in our field to make sure travel is as safe as possible when it resumes as this will be of the utmost importance to people. Initiatives such the Safe2Stay Scheme are important factors in helping to boost traveller confidence in this regard.
These past 12 months have been the most difficult in the history of the travel industry but it is my strong belief that it will bounce back, and bounce back in a way that is perhaps even more sustainable that it was pre-COVID.
Together, I look forward to moving more positively through 2021. Optimism will indeed drive recovery albeit the speed at which this will happen remains uncertain.
Thank you for your on-going collaboration and remember that our teams are here to support you so please do reach out to them.