We hope that you and yours are safe and healthy. It’s nice to connect with you this week beginning on a positive note. Since we last wrote, more European countries have opened their borders for travelers. And while people remain cautious, we are seeing a slow but steady increase in the demand for travel within Europe. We look forward to the day when we can share the news that the US/European borders are open as well. The good news for now is that people are still interested in willing to travel, whenever the time is right.
But travel industry recovery remains a slow process and comes too late for some. This week’s announcement of Tenzing Travel’s bankruptcy in the Dutch trade news sent shock waves through the industry. Tenzing, in business for over four decades as a reliable and financially healthy company prior to the pandemic, has succumbed to the economic effects of COVID-19. The company was named after Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa who successfully guided Sir Edmund Hillary to the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. Hillary became famous as the first man who set foot on the Mount Everest, and only few knew the name of his Sherpa – a man who achieved the same feat. Tenzing Norgay prepared the trip, planned the route and solved problems along the way – and that’s what Tenzing Travel promised their customers. Over the past several months, Hans de Wilde, CEO of Tenzing Travel, along with his team were transparent with their customers, and as a result were able to fulfill nearly all of their obligations.
Tour operators are only one part of the travel business who have been significantly impacted. The convention/exhibition industry struggles to find new alternatives and formats for their events. ITB in Berlin, the largest travel trade show in the world, has announced their plans to resume in March of 2021 and has added a new event, “welovetravel-Berlinfestival” for October 2020.
The Target Team is regularly communicating and consulting with Jaarbeurs, the organizer of Vakantiebeurs, as they consider various options for the annual travel fair planned for January 2021. From a split travel fair to a B2B event only, the ideal format is not yet clear. Many considerations for attendee safety need to be addressed and solutions considered: pre-registration with a scheduled appointment time; pre-determination of areas of interest; route planning; uniformity of booth spaces; aisle widths; one-way traffic patterns; and so much more. With an expected 50,000 visitors (half of the regular attendance), limited vendor participation, an expanded hall space and more digital tools are all strong considerations for the annual travel fair. A survey was conducted with potential participants, and although 75% did show interest in attending/participating most were unable to commit any sooner than October 2020. And so, the future of the show remains uncertain, but we are hopeful for developments in the coming months and look forward to sharing those with you.
More positive news
In each update we would like to share more positive news and indicators from Europe and The Netherlands. We hope that wherever you are at this time, you are finding hope in positive news and stories. We invite you to share your good news with us and would be pleased to include it as part of our bi-weekly updates.