Travel Industry’s Long-term Future Looks Bright

The travel industry is facing challenging times, but it can and will recover, says Jenny Lo, General Manager of branding & marketing consultancy CatchOn in China, whose clients includes Six Senses Hotels & Resorts and Mandarin Oriental.

Businesses may leverage on the power of technology to stay relevant to consumers by strengthening brand equity and preparing to move forward after the crisis. “People may not be travelling now, but they will soon – and when they do, brands that remain uppermost in their mind stand to gain the most,” she says.

The good news for everyone is that travel is cited as one of the top things consumers currently crave the most, she says. “It delivers a promising message to the industry that people will start travelling again, as panic subsides. The SARS outbreak in 2003 gives us some level of assurance and confidence – businesses bounced back, and hotels recorded an immediate, sharp increase in occupancy as soon as the World Health Organisation lifted travel advisories. Losses were succeeded by nearly instant gains, bringing minimal impact to annual profit margins. One thing I can say for sure is that, on the consumer side, the reluctance to travel is only temporary.”


To read Jenny’s full interview, see the April issue of Jetsetter, which will be out later this month in print and online

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