What does the future hold? Speaker: Ufi Ibrahim
It's worth pointing out that while the sector might be small in % terms within the indices it does employ around 4m people in the UK
The United Nations World Tourist Organization currently estimates a 30% fall in travel this year implying $450bn in lost business. As a background in the UK there are currently 80m trip pa while inbound the UK has around 40m trips highlighting just how big the staycation market already is and will no doubt get bigger. Its also worth noting that 80% of those employed (similar world wide) in the industry are SME’s employing less than 10 people.
On a positive note Ufi pointed out that historically estimates for growth have always been very conservative and generally the industry has beaten forecasts by around 50%. Conversely when the market falls it tends to under esimate
Try to give an idea of where we go from here is fraught with danger but what we do know is that Covid 19 has accelerated the process for the industry to become more flexible and adaptable. She thinks there are 3 areas the industry should and will focus on in the future:
- Transparency and good governance – with public funds comes public scrutiny. It will be interesting to see how the Govt in Germany deal with the public after its bail out of TUI to the tune of Eu 1.8bn. Risks also exist in the UK and how HMG deal with the airlines as an example. in fact does the aviation sector need so many airlines? Also see Virgin and Easyjet in the UK
- Structural and digitisation – Ufi highlighted there are 15m hotels operating in the world and 14m of them are operating off-line. This needs to change and presents a massive opportunity for the hotel industry especially the high end.
- Demand change – Zoom is a great example of this. She thinks business travel will struggle while leisure travel will rebound especially at the back-packer end of the market . Just look at Twitch.
She felt Singapore has shown good leadership in terms of future proofing the industry with the public and private sector coming together successfully but government intervention remains a risk and it will be interesting to see how Italy and Spain cope with this.
She also thinks that intra-regional travel (Europe globally no1 and China no2) will become more popular and pointed that global travel is a smaller % of overall travel.
So in summary leisure travel will rebound more quickly, business travel will struggle and the mid-market could be left in a void.
InterAxS is pleased to invite you to a moderated VC discussion with Ufi Ibrahim, Chair, Tourism for the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Trade & Investment, Chair, Hotels Energy Board, Former CEO British Hospitality Association and Chief Operations Officer, World Travel & Tourism Council.
Topics will include the following:
- Can businesses model their way through to safety?
- Consumers: creatures of habit or about to evolve?
- Corporate travel: will it be business as usual or a new virtual order?
- What if staycations are here to stay?
- How far is the journey to recovery for the airlines?
- Will new middle classes from the BRICs offer a stable foundation for the future?
- Who will the emerging winners and losers be?
Thursday 16 April
14.30 – Opening address from Guest Speaker, Ufi Ibrahim
14.55 – Q&A, chaired by Deane Pennick, InterAxS Global
All InterAxS speakers confirm that they are not subject to any confidentiality, non-disclosure (NDA), employment, franchise agreement, or any other agreement, which would prevent them from speaking on the topic. Participation in this InterAxS public event will not violate their employer’s policies or confidentiality obligations and that as a condition of their engagement as a speaker, they agree not to disclose any non-public or confidential information.