What do you think are the keys to reviving the sector at the moment?
Of the several keys involved in this, I would highlight three. The first, that the sector recovers an acceptable level of confidence sufficient to “reopen” and even to “invest”. To help recover it, it is necessary to ensure that the sector has rigorous evidence that demand is taking off -even if it is slow and will take 18 months-, that the Government acquire market intelligence that helps to generate a positive climate, and that the Executive organizes a great event that brings together the great tour operators, OTA and airlines, managing to close certain commitments with them. And that the sector understands the government aid program well … and trusts its application. The second key would be that demand and reserves begin to grow steadily. That demand and reserves begin to grow steadily, and that people lose their fear of traveling.
“The Balearic Islands pilot plan should be exploited to demonstrate safety in travel, and studies should be carried out to show a very low level of infections among those who travel by plane, and the market should benefit from flexibility policies in reservations and of the early birds “
The third and last is, without a doubt, that an effective and accessible medicine is available. To do this, advance agreements with the European authorities and certain laboratories to ensure prompt availability of the vaccine once it is on the market.
What are the objectives of the event organized by THR for this Tuesday?
The next THR and Hosteltur webinar will have some important take outs for the participants: a rigorous and impartial vision of the effects of CV19 on the world tourism sector; Little-known figures about what will really happen in Spain in 2020 … and, especially, in 2021; the quantitative impacts of the triple crisis on demand, jobs and benefits, by subsector; know what will determine the winners and losers of this crisis -we will analyze tactics versus strategies-; And, of these, which could the various authorities use to navigate the crisis and adapt to the new territory in which we will have to operate.
How can data and reports that measure the market situation help right now?
They can help, and a lot, in various ways. First, because they help to better understand the evolution of demand by issuing markets and by segment types. They also help reduce uncertainties by indicating the recovery speed that we can expect in each issuing market. And they can shed a lot of light on the appearance of new segments and, above all, new KSF’s (Key Success Factors) necessary to be among the winners. In addition to helping financial institutions remain calm about the tourism industries and help streamline the marketing efforts of companies and destinations.
What aspects do you consider will determine who will be the winners and losers in this crisis?
In almost any reasonably open and transparent sector (and tourism is), the winners are not necessarily the largest or the strongest, but rather those with the best business model. Companies and destinations do not really compete with each other. Those who compete are their business models. And they usually win what they have the best business model.
What would be the most successful?The best business model is one that is based on a better competitive strategy. Its key elements are five:
–Segmentation and targeting. It is about segmenting the market well and then focusing on suitable segments. And forget about the rest … for a while.- The Value Proposition. The set of benefits, less efforts, goods and services that we offer to the tourist. Winners strive to keep their Value Proposals highly attractive.- The technology. The global tourism sector is based on technology and will increasingly be based on it. To be a winner you have to use winning technology. This will be the great battle for years to come- Marketing. The winners are those who understand their clients, treat them in an empathetic and personalized way and generate emotional bonding with their brand, among them.- Human capital. The winners make sure to hire almost exclusively people with the right attitudes to empathize and serve customers sympathetically and effectively. And this is ahead of your technical skills.
When these five aspects are brought together and there are also partners suitable, is usually among the winners. And we can talk about winning companies, but also about winning destinations … or losers. Where are we going in Spain?
Do you consider that the crisis in 2021 could be closed if the vaccine were available or would the structural effects go further?
The vaccine will help a lot, without a doubt. But the structural effects of which so little is said will go much further. I would like to highlight three things in this regard. The first reflection would be: How will a reduction in GDP in Europe of between 7 and 15% in 2020 affect at least the demand? When the virus allows travel, will people be able to pay for it? A second reflection would lead to ask: What will happen if there are major outbreaks in Spain this summer and these generate significant health stress in the hospitals of our tourist areas? What would happen to dozens of photos of stressed hospitals appearing in the European press? This could block confidence in Spain as a tourist destination for several years.
And the third?
It would lead to thinking about the effect on integrations, mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, etc. Once the vaccine is over and we enter the new territory, we will begin to see major turbulence in the sector that can change the forces that govern it forever. Could large technology companies that already operate in the sector end up controlling a good part of it? In the webinar on June 23, we will tackle all these topics and others rigorously. And we will bet on a more strategic than tactical approach because the winners will be built on the strategic. The tactical is also very necessary … to survive. Not to win.