Will the Travel Industry Bounce Back From Covid-19 Like it Did From 9/11? [Interview]
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"While Q2 2020 is expected to recover slowly, I’m personally expecting the major recovery to take place from Q3 mainly for domestic travel with a full recovery, including international travel, towards Q4."
Founded in 2017, Travala.com has grown from a small start-up to a leading crypto-friendly hotel and accommodation booking service. The Travala.com platform currently offers 2,000,000+ properties, covering 90,124 destinations in 230 countries, with prices up to 40% cheaper than mainstream travel booking platforms.
1. As the new CEO of Travala.com, what is your first order of the business?
The global outbreak of COVID-19 is creating significant challenges for companies of all sizes so my first order of business is to handle this crisis the best possible way to ensure that Travala.com comes out much stronger on the other side.
In my opinion, it’s critical to lead well in times of crisis so teams know that we are all in this together and have clear objectives to maintain high levels of productivity while adapting to change.
The long-term focus is to turn Travala.com into a world-leading travel booking platform while promoting widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies. Travala.com was always envisioned to be more than a simple travel booking platform. We intend to decentralize more aspects of the business, introduce more compelling use cases to our native cryptocurrency AVA and give more control to our community. I will help ensure we progress towards this vision.
2. Has Travala.com witnessed any decrease in demand or revenue due to the corona virus outbreak?
Yes, like many businesses in the travel space, we have experienced a significant downturn in our bookings due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, going forward as more markets start to lift their travel restrictions it is very likely that we will witness a sharp turnaround in bookings, particularly due to the built-up demand and localizing our website and apps with different languages and payment options for different markets.
We have successfully released our first country-focused localization in Vietnam: https://www.travala.com/vn
so we expect to roll out other markets very soon.
We believe that marketing the right travel product to the right audience will be key to succeed in the travel industry post-pandemic so we’ll be focusing on domestic travelers in specific countries that have a higher proportion of domestic travelers such as China and the US, where over 90% of all travel spend / trips occurs domestically.
Travala.com has a competitive advantage in the travel industry as we are not tied down to physical assets so, as long as we’re able to reach the right customers in the right locations, we will be able to recover fast when countries lift their travel restrictions.
3. What strategies is the company adopting to fight the coronavirus pandemic?
We are confident that Travala.com will come out of this situation stronger than ever. Our strategy is to continue improving the platform and booking experience so that we are ready to meet the next phase of growth.
As part of our plans to remain resilient in the face of change, we are doing everything possible to combat a slowdown in bookings. This includes the following:
● Marketing: We will be concentrating our marketing activities on local escapes and staycations, as well as future bookings and aggressive discounted deals offered by some of our travel partners in top destinations around the world.
● Reduced Booking Fees: We have added further incentives to book with Travala.com. As of today, our booking commissions are significantly reduced – 50% less than regular – to further bolster our value proposition of competitive pricing.
● Refund Policy:
Our community can book with confidence knowing that we honor refundable bookings. We are also doing our utmost for existing customers that have had their travel plans disrupted by COVID-19 to negotiate with our suppliers and the hotels directly around refunds. Our in-house customer service team is on hand 24/7.
● Travel Advice:
To keep our users and community updated we have released a new section with country-specific travel advice regarding travel restrictions and other travel-related information. This info can be found on our Official Blog under Travel Advice
● Think Positive:
As a company, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our users, and the community to think positively and persevere forward.
We will continue to monitor the situation daily and react as needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
4. What are your views on the current Coronavirus situation and how is it going to affect the next quarter of the company?
I am confident that the travel industry as a whole will adapt to the new normal and so will we at Travala.com.
The travel industry has demonstrated its resiliency in the previous crisis, such as after 9/11, and it will do so again after COVID-19. While Q2 2020 is expected to recover slowly, I’m personally expecting the major recovery to take place from Q3 mainly for domestic travel with a full recovery, including international travel, towards Q4.
I believe that the new normal for travel will also present a whole set of new opportunities to existing travel companies that are able to adapt fast.
Travala.com is in a very healthy position and with our growth to date is over 90% organic (no marketing costs) this gives us a level of agility that many in the travel space do not have.
The purpose of this article is to remove informational asymmetry existing today in our digital markets by performing due diligence and by equipping readers with knowledge to make informed decisions. The views in these articles are purely personal and educational, and does not constitute any investment, financial or legal advice. Please do your research and due-diligence before investing in digital asset, token or cryptocurrency. The writer does not have any vested interest or investments in Travala.com.
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