‘Typically airlines and others in the industry have relied on high turnover and low margins, but this will probably have to change. As an industry we have taught people to be price sensitive and to always look for deals.
‘We need to adapt the paradigms because travel won’t keep getting cheaper. Health related concerns will be the dominant issue during coming years. The question is how do we maintain the sociability of travel, without compromising health? We need to restore the reputation and appeal of travel and tourism. Cruise lines, airlines, tour operators and travel agents have all copped a bit of a battering.’
He says many of the new norms, especially at first, will add costs to travel. These include requirements such as no one in a middle seat when flying, cruise ships with more social distancing and sporting events without crowds.
‘Big groups will be replaced by small groups, at least for a year, and mass things won’t be happening easily.
‘This challenges the whole model of volume with low margins. This will come into question after the coronavirus.’
At the beginning of this week’s Tourism Business – Survival, Revival and Resilience to Covid webinar, where Beirman was the keynote speaker, 61% of participants in a survey felt that travel would be more expensive post the pandemic.