It’s safe to say that many people around the world have missed the most in the past year, one of which is the opportunity to travel and explore new places. But what is the real future of the travel industry? And, will public transport resume soon? With COVID-19 still affecting free movement and the first vaccination campaign currently underway in various regions, we are all wondering when it will be possible to re-enact hops and jet lag during aircraft leisure time (yes, too).
We spoke with Todd Handcock, president of Collinson’s the Asia Pacific, a travel experience firm that owns the luxury Priority Pass Lounge and the world’s largest lounge network, predicting the future of the travel industry and the future of any influential person in the world.
When is the world travel industry recovering from the epidemic?
In anticipation of what 2021 might bring, I think it’s mostly for us excited about a vaccine outbreak and an end to the epidemic. But we still have a complex road ahead of us. Each country will have its own vaccination journey and countries must have clear and agreed protocols to be able to verify vaccine records from foreign travelers when adding travel to the equation. Countries will not be ready for travel during travel bans and isolation unless they can trust health data. That is why the cooperation between the government, the travel industry, and the larger business has been criticized for establishing effective infrastructure for safe return to long-term, world travel.
Last year brought a lot of new innovations to travel in a very short time frame. In just a few months, we’ve seen Collinson’s installations at airport testing initiatives, such as Airport Common Pass, Heathrow, Stansted, Luton, Manchester, and East Midlands airports in the UK, which will play an important role. On tests and possibly on vaccination records. The future of travel doesn’t look exactly the same as before but we are hopeful that safe and effective recovery is not too far away!
Do you think this will happen in any region or continent?
Each region and even country will have its own way of recovering travel. Still, traveling around the world looks very different. The number of Christmas travelers at airport security checkpoints in the United States has risen to nearly 1 million, while across the Atlantic the UK feels isolated from more than 40 countries around the world.
Here in the Asia-Pacific region, we continue to explore the bubbles of safe and effective travel, but the incredible rise and fall in numbers affect them.
I am encouraged to see more opportunities for people to fly again and to test safely to reduce or remove the period of decline in the Asia Pacific. Our region has many accommodations for travelers anywhere in the world. Travel is the key to how we do business and how we spend our free time. Of course in places like Hong Kong, we know very well right now that we can’t just drive cars or domestic planes. The test will help Asian travel enthusiasts return to their desired jobs while we wait for the positive effects of the vaccine.
Can you share our predictions about the future of the travel industry?
Travel recovery won’t be instantaneous … but I think it will be better than before. One reason is that not being able to travel. Has made us appreciate the ability to do so – and it provides us – much more than before. Whether it’s exploring new countries and experiencing different cultures. Or spending time with loved ones, we believe we all like to travel a bit more. The other is that the future of the travel industry was ripe for the pre-integration of innovation. And I see continuity and continuity of change. We are already seeing the travel experience.
In various ways, the poet has acted as a catalyst for the evolution of art. When travelers return, they will find stronger health and safety systems, as well as discover better-developed neighborhoods to meet their needs – think of slots during pre-booked protection to avoid queues; New artificial intelligence (AI) tools that speed up the check-in process; And digital solutions that allow travelers to order food, book a lounge space and shop for duty-free products – all at the convenience of their smartphones.
Airports are becoming more and more destinations – human ‘gems’. Thanks to the poets, we will see a new focus to enhance the end-to-end travel experience by focusing on wellness, comfort, safety, leisure, recreation, and much more.
How has the epidemic affected travel and tourism?
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). We know that by 2020 the number of passengers worldwide has dropped by more than 0% and in some months by more than 95%.
One aspect of the story that we don’t often see is the impact on those who continue to travel. And those who continue to work in the industry despite the epidemic. We recently spoke with a number of hardworking frontline lounge staff at priority pass lounges at four airports. Around the world to learn more about their challenges during COVID-19 and how they are changing in the future. As you can see in this lounge legend video the effects of the epidemic on the trip are behind the scenes and it is a great memory of the human touch and connection that makes the trip special.
Do we know the trip is dead?
COVID is shaking the confidence of passengers, yet people in Asia are willing to travel. Tourists want to return to the air, workers want to return to business as usual, and families want to be reunited. In fact, we conducted a recent survey – which received responses from 22,000 travelers worldwide – revealing that 11,111% were ready to relaunch the aircraft immediately or within the following three to six months. It was a clear demonstration that – as long as travel can be done safely – people are eager to come back to do what they want.
How has Collinson adapted over the past year?
Utilizing our 55 years of experience in the medical support sector, we have led COVID-19 testing initiatives for major airlines worldwide, as well as pre-flight tests at Heathrow, Stansted, Luton, Manchester, and East Midlands airports in the UK. It is helping many of us go back to heaven. We are constantly looking for where we can bring the test to more people in most parts of the world, especially since we know that vaccine rollouts and verification protocols will not happen overnight. And these vaccines and tests will probably coexist for some time.
Over the past year, we have expanded our efforts to create a better airport experience future of the travel industry. Much of this is happening through our priority passes, our airport lounges, and experience programs. The Health and Sanitation Baseline is critical, but there is no communication that provides non-contact solutions. That encourages lounge passengers to order food, beverages, and duty-free shopping directly from their mobile devices. Lounge These national discoveries give travelers a more interactive airport experience. At the same time connecting them with the interesting and luxurious aspects of their desired travel.
What are some current and future projects?
We continue to work on pilot initiatives to make air travel more secure, convenient. And accessible in many parts of the world. We are partnering with CommonPass to conduct trials on their digital health passes – essentially a global framework. That can be used to secure and protect the personal information of passengers while traveling in the country. These are all steps towards ensuring safety. And the sustainable return of worldwide travel, the admirable progress around vaccines.
Another key focus is that businesses help their employees meet their responsibility-care obligations. Business travel has changed without recognition and companies need to update their travel risk management strategies accordingly. One positive side effect of 2020 is that business traveler wellness has found its way to the C-Suite agenda. As a medical and safety support provider, we are a trusted supplier. So, Collinson is now focused on assisting companies in the complexities of corporate travel in the CVV-era. Including employee fluctuations and health, including physical and mental health.
What do you miss most about personal travel?
As a Canadian citizen, I have been able to travel and see mostly family and friends. As part of my role with Collinson, I really enjoy traveling and meeting with assistants, clients, and partners. I believe that meetings as individuals will always play an important role and add truly valuable value. There is a place for video conferencing in the future but it can never replace face-to-face engagement.
We are aware that many companies rely on their employees to be able to personally manage travel and meetings. So we look forward to launching our new COVID-19 business solution next month – regular COVID-19 testing. The 24/7 medical helpline, and priority. Pass Lounge Access – Both support organizations deal with the complexities of corporate travel. In the COVID era and help ensure those travel workers feel protected and supported by their employers.
If you could go somewhere now, where would it be?
This is a difficult one. I would love to ski in Whistler with my three sons and family in Canada. And I would also love to go to the Maldives to dive in with my wife Joy. I look forward to doing both in the near future.