If buzz words like “lockdown” and “furlough” defined the last few months, “green shoots” now seems to be the phrase on everyone’s lips.
And for the travel industry, it’s a sentiment that can’t come soon enough. As this week’s cover highlights, normality may still be a while away but there is a notable sense the industry is gearing up for the restart.
For the first time since TTG’s Travel Agent Tracker was launched in mid-April, more then three-quarters of this week’s respondents said they had taken a new holiday enquiry in the week to 12 June, while Top 50 agents at last week’s TTG Top 50 virtual winners party also reported a significant rise in bookings and enquiries.
For many agents, this positivity has been buoyed by the re-opening of shops. “It’s been really busy... much better than our expectations,” Arundel Travel’s Helen Parry tells TTG.
Meanwhile rumours of air bridges finally being established suggest the FCO might finally be ready to lift its advice (after all, what point is there in an air bridge if no-one can travel anywhere).
And with reports Portugal and Greece may be among early accessible destinations, not to mention Spain reopening its borders to British travellers without quarantine requirements, it seems the much hoped for European summer holidays could still be a reality for some this summer.
If so, this could be the salvation so many in the sector have been desperately seeking. What the industry will look like by this point though is another question.
Each week brings with it news of more redundancies with agents expressing “sadness” at dnata’s proposal to merge Gold Medal and Travel 2.
But while this crisis may have reshaped the industry as we knew it, as Charitable Travel’s Melissa Tilling points out, it has also presented an opportunity to #buildbackbetter – “through adversity, we have been shown a way to evolve and create something tremendously positive”.
The landscape has altered, but the green shoots are appearing. And from tiny acorns...