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New survey about how COVID-19 affects the global travel industry

New survey about how COVID-19 affects the global travel industry

Together with our global agency network Travel Consul, we have conducted a global survey that reveals the impact of COVID-19 on the global travel industry.

Between 11th – 25th May 2020, over 900 travel executives (tour operators and agency owners) from the top tourism source markets participated in the global survey, whose goal was to get a better understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and what is required to get the industry back on its feet.

Here are a few highlights of the results at a global level.

How destinations can support distribution partners in recovery

When asked how DMOs can best help these travel agencies and tour operators in recovery, the number one answer was clearly “introducing health and safety certificates for agents to feel sure the destinations are safe to send their customers” with two out of three participants requesting help from the destinations. The next top three answers included marketing campaigns, presenting useful and timely data, and industry and media updates.

Business implications of COVID-19

Overall, distribution partners expect a 73% decrease in business volume in Q3 2020 and 60% in Q4 2020.

Actions implemented during the crisis

Approximately 41% of global respondents reported designing new products and adjusting the business model as the main measures adopted during the pandemic. Customer service improvement and training programs ranked second.

Tourism associations serve as primary data sources

Concerning the top three data sources that were used for information during the COVID crisis, tour operators and travel agencies associations clearly lead the pack (69% as a global average). This was followed by destination tourist offices, trade media, their own national government, and industry friends.

How COVID-19 is changing the rules in 2020 and beyond

When asked how the role of travel distribution partners will change going forward in order to adapt to these new circumstances, 70% of the respondents believe that modifying cancellation policies or terms and conditions will be among their main undertakings. Additional strong responses were “expand customer communications channels,” and “diversify/change your product and destination offerings,” and “creating new partnerships with new buyers are suppliers.”

Loyalty with destinations and hotels and resorts is questioned

Almost 50% of respondents said that they were extremely likely to consider hotels and resorts they had never sold before. Additionally, another 37% said that it was somewhat likely they would consider other options.

To learn more and/or get the report, please don’t hesitate to contact Henrik Koch at