The Corona pandemic has posed major challenges on the tourism industry worldwide. Therefore, Dr. Fried & Partner and the Travel Industry Club asked at the end of 2020 how things will continue in the medium term and carried out a corresponding scenario analysis.
This analysis, in which more than 600 industry experts participated, concluded that the tourism industry is facing a crisis-induced upheaval, which is mainly supported by the current market participants. A “metamorphosis” of the industry was seen as the most likely scenario, which would require a high degree of further development in processes and products. But how did the travel industry cope with the standstill?
Almost six months later and after more than a year of the Corona pandemic, Dr. Fried and Partner has now carried out a study on the status quo of the industry development to determine how the travel industry has dealt with this period of standstill and possibly used it to its advantage. How have individual companies specifically adjusted to this? Maybe by changing structures and processes? Are there any new approaches to tourism products and their pricing?
In this blog series we look at the different areas that the study focuses on and provide insights into results and conclusions.
The survey accompanying the study, which was carried out in cooperation with the Travel Industry Club and in which over 300 industry experts participated, took place from 19 April to 5 May 2021. Over 50 percent of the participants are managing directors or owners. In addition, the sample consists mainly of the segments of tour operators, travel sales, accommodation, IT and data companies as well as consultants.
The focus of this first article is the question of how extensively companies have made changes to structures and processes since Corona/March 2020 and what conclusions can be drawn from this. With a scale from 1 (very extensive changes) to 5 (no changes at all), we asked how extensively changes were made in the areas of automation, digitisation, agile methods, and business processes.
The industry has seen a positive development in the field of digitisation (rating: 2.53). According to Dr. Fried & Partner, investments have primarily been made in the publicly known approaches to meet Corona-specific requirements such as the implementation of home office workplaces, touchless travel, or the development of technical solutions in the field of testing or vaccination. Moreover, first adjustments can be seen in the system infrastructure regarding the migration to cloud solutions or the integration and linking of (new) systems.
In the area of business process development (rating: 2.87), in addition to the relocation of stationary sales processes to the online area, the digitisation and automation of (core) processes, especially in administration, booking, accounting and finance and production, were tackled.
A not quite as extensive development was ascribed to the topic of automation. With a rating of 3.06, the general degree of automation is not yet that strong. In particular, booking and ticketing processes in the travel environment as well as check-in/check-out processes in the hotel industry were further automated.
A trend that began before Corona was the introduction of agile management and tech development methods (rating: 2.97). This has continued and above all has resulted in the introduction of new project management tools and agile methods such as SCRUM.
According to these findings, in order to do justice to the scenario of a metamorphosis, companies in the travel industry would have to invest significantly more in changing their structures and processes than has previously been the case. Innovations in technical infrastructure as well as the alignment of the entire process organisation to the changed needs of customers are required.
It will therefore be important not to “lapse” into old patterns and structures during a restart, but to continue to actively promote change.
The Travel Industry Club is opinion, network, and future. This is where the makers and movers of the travel industry meet, and together the future of tourism is thought out independently. This is where complex future topics are discussed, and ideas are developed – and all of this with a view of the bigger picture. In addition, the Travel Industry Club puts the economic importance of the travel industry in the spotlight of the public, media and politics and brings young talents together with the leading players of the industry through the initiative “Young TIC”.