One of the hardest hit industries during the coronavirus pandemic has been travel and tourism. Whether it’s regularly for business or to get away on a summer holiday, we’ve all been unable to venture to where we need or want to as a result of major travel restrictions.
Many of the large corporations have been hit hard, with British Airways announcing they will be cutting up to 12,000 jobs, EasyJet around 4,500 and Virgin Atlantic 3,000, these businesses will need to put plans in place as a matter of urgency to ensure the continuation of their operations.
A major impact faced by all
It’s not only flights leaving the country that have been affected – inbound travel has also seen a huge blow. Speaking to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, Patricia Yates, Chief Executive Officer of VisitBritain commented “So for inbound, I mean we were looking at the beginning of this year at about £26.6bn coming from inbound tourism, we reckon a £15bn drop on that.”
So far the industry has lot the benefit of the two bank holidays in May and a lot of the school half term periods as well. With the hopes of an additional bank holiday in October, the industry will be keeping its fingers firmly crossed that some of the restrictions have been lifted, or at least some further guidance in place.
What are the challenges that travel businesses have faced?
Aside from the obvious restrictions that were implemented during the lockdown period, many businesses are facing the reality that people may be too scared or anxious to travel just yet. Organisations now face an ever growing challenge of convincing people that it’s socially responsible to travel and enjoy a holiday once again, and that where they are visiting has put all the necessary precautions and procedures in place.
Hotels, campsites and other hospitality facilities also have a mountain to climb. With new rules and regulations to help protect their guests, many have had to spend large amounts of money to ensure they are Covid compliant. Because of these great expenses, some are facing crippling debts and the possibility of redundancies to ensure they can stay afloat.
What are the best solutions for the travel industry?
The World Travel and Tourism Council reported that up to 50 million travel and tourism jobs are at risk around the world as a result of the pandemic. Although we are in uncharted territory, there are a number of solutions businesses could introduce to help them weather the storm.
One of the major but potentially very beneficial options is for businesses to restructure. This will help them to become more streamline, thus freeing up money to help them keep the lights on so to speak. Specialist organisations such as RSM Global, who have key experience in situations like this are on hand to help businesses plan and implement their long-term survival strategy.
No matter what the future holds, we all need to adapt to survive if we’re to overcome what the coronavirus has thrown at us.