Thinking

June 2020

Preparing for Take-Off

Since coronavirus began its global spread back in 2020, the pandemic has hit few sectors harder than the travel industry. But, hope is on the horizon. With mass vaccination beginning, our very own M&C Saatchi London have developed a comprehensive report into how the industry will recover post-COVID-19. Will it be more grounded fleets or warmer climates ahead?

Like the thousands of empty suitcases gathering dust under beds around the country, the travel industry has been truly grounded by COVID-19. Over half of UK consumers have either cancelled or decided against going on a holiday that was already booked (Mintel). And who can blame them? When it comes to safety, uncertainty is a deal breaker, no matter how good the duty-free, onboard film selection or lure of sunnier climates are. As the saying goes… Safety first.

"People are getting a bit restless. There’s a real desire, of course with caution and concern, to get to back some version of normality." -Annabelle Cordelli, Virgin Atlantic

But the headlines of horror don’t tell the full story. Nor do they do justice to the resilience of the nation and the travel industry as a united force going forward (and upward).

"There has been so much change to operations and procedure, it’s important to remember we’re dealing with people, so keeping the human aspect is key." -Terry Daly, Etihad

Alongside the government’s announcement to lift some European travel restrictions from the 6th of July, we’ve been fortunate enough to speak to expert marketers from brands including Virgin Atlantic, Eurotunnel, and National Express about how they’ve navigated and harnessed change in the face of adversity – sensitively and creatively. And we are starting to see little pockets of optimism and opportunity.

"The new luxury consumer will expect more than even before from a luxury online experience. They will want even more of a highly personalised, private in store experience, and will no doubt influence the return of timelessness heritage and craftsmanship to the luxury sector "

- Jenni Benzaquen, Marriott International

So how will the travel industry recover post COVID-19?

Download the full report here.