EU travel tech members have joined key industry stakeholders in the travel and tourism economy in taking critical steps to support consumers and supplier partners to curb travel and stem the spread of the virus COVID-19. While this is without a doubt the right thing to do for our global community, it comes at considerable cost.
As a result, many eu travel tech members are experiencing a 70 – 90% decrease in air bookings. We call on the European Commission and Member States to ensure that any measures taken to assist airlines and hotels include the whole leisure and business travel ecosystem that market, distribute, and support the services of those travel suppliers, many of which are suffering similar risks to their businesses.
The COVID-19 outbreak represents an exceptional challenge across our society and economy. eu travel tech members are working hard to assist their customers and partners in challenging times, providing customer support, repatriation advice, filling a crucial role in air and rail travel by processing schedule changes, cancellations and refunds. Our members are providing information and adapting the way they do business with their suppliers, big and small, be it airlines, hotels, short-term rental hosts, restaurants, bus companies and tourist guides.
Secretary General of eu travel tech, Emmanuel Mounier, said: “Governments have rightly recognised that travel and tourism is being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our members support efforts to back airlines, hotels and other suppliers. However, it is of utmost importance that the European Commission and Member States include exceptional measures to assist the whole industry. This means policies that support the entire travel ecosystem, including travel agents (online and offline), technology solutions providers such as global distribution systems, travel platforms for accommodation, metasearch and travel management companies.”
Statistics on how many flights, trains and hotel rooms are booked through independent channels
50% of air travel globally and around 30% of rail travel in Europe are booked through independent channels
Global distribution systems are integral to air travel for booking tickets and as critical IT providers that manage airlines’ most complex systems;
81 million hotel nights in Europe would not happen without online travel agencies;
12% of the revenues of the independent hotel in Europe are generated by the metasearch.
eu travel tech therefore urges the European Commission and Member States to bring efficient and immediate support to those key players in the travel and tourism industry. It is key to ensure that any economic relief package prepared for travel suppliers also considers independent entities in the wider travel ecosystem that support a fully functioning travel marketplace.
Unlike other industries and digital platforms which are able to carry on their business, the impact on eu travel tech members is likely to be tremendous. Due to the increasing travel restrictions and lock-down measures, travel and accommodation bookings in our members’ platforms are already significantly impacted.