ETOA Webinar | Immediate crisis concerns
USA Drop In, 21st April 2020
Nearly 350 delegates attended this webinar with many more registering to receive the recording. The event was hosted by ETOA CEO Tom Jenkins and featured on its panel leaders from USTOA, Tauck Tours, Rick Steves’ and Worldstrides.
Before COVID-19 struck, operators in the US were widely predicting a bumper year for travel to Europe. Just 8 short weeks changed that and the level of uncertainty related to the timing, speed and shape of the recovery was recognised as the central challenge. In a series of live polls participants were invited to share their views on both the immediate COVID-19 challenges and the type and speed of recovery.
Panellists expressed optimism about a demand-led recovery in 2021 but concerns were also expressed related to airline capacity and pricing combined with uncertainty as to how local suppliers will respond. The extent to which the situation could stimulate and support greater industry collaboration whilst also reinforcing the value of intermediaries such as tour operators, agents and wholesalers was also a major discussion point. There was also lively debate related to consumer attitudes to risk, likely changes to product ranges, and the preconditions for a sustainable recovery in consumer confidence.