The pandemic ushered in disruption across the globe, however the resilience of travel, tourism and hospitality industry seem to be steering in a new era for the sectors. Frank Trampert, Managing Director and CCO, International, Sabre Hospitality Solutions and Abdul-Razzaq Iyer, Vice President, Sabre Travel Network Middle East share their thoughts with TRAVTALK.
Frank Trampert, Managing Director and CCO, International, Sabre, Hospitality Solutions
Q What changes do you see in travellers today?
The new ‘staycation’ trend is something that is impacting the changes amid travellers. For hotels, leveraging on this and attracting a new segment of guests i.e. people living close to the property or less than 15 km away, could be a new way of raising hotel revenue.
Q How has the hospitality landscape changed?
Hoteliers sell much more than just a hotel room; they provide restaurant services, meetings and incentive services. They can enrich guest experience by selling theatre tickets, city tours and other in-destination experiences. These are new revenue opportunities that a hotelier should be utilising.
Hoteliers should consider going beyond the simple accommodation and think about themselves as retailers of an extended customer experience – all through smart technology.
Abdul-Razzaq Iyer, Vice President, Sabre Travel network ME
Q How are travellers coping with the new normal?
Travellers’ appetite to travel has increased after these travel restrictions, but they are waiting for the right time to start flying again. We see high volume of travel searches for coming months; hoping that travel restrictions will be eased, or a vaccine will be out. These searches won’t materialise into actual bookings until travellers trust the process and feel safe to travel again. They are looking for travel agents to provide them with accurate and reliable updates on safety and health measures for airlines, hotels and destinations. Some are looking for new destinations that are less popular or least impacted by the pandemic. This is an opportunity for travel agencies to support travellers with a new personalisation definition that is based on health and safety measures. We are working with travel agencies to equip them with intelligent solutions and data analytics tools to help them respond to these new travel behaviours.
Q Are they travelling for business or leisure?
The travel industry is witnessing faster recovery for the leisure segment. Business travellers and employers will need the reassurance of new safety protocols and lifted travel restrictions before they are open to flying again. Even then, business travel will be scrutinised and prioritised based on economic value to the company.
Inputs by Shehara Rizly