Lockdown reflections have led us to think about new and creative ideas on how to survive the crisis. Every day, we are all waking up with one thing on our minds: How can I still be standing on the Post-COVID travel scene?
Can remote work help us spend some time in building the digital transformation of our operations? Can we use this time to catch up on tech? Can my team use the temporary downtime of travel sales to go that extra mile?
Whether we like it or not, long gone are the days where we will be able to rely fully on social interaction. Will it be for some time? How long? Where will we be able to travel? Will it be domestic or international? We can try to predict the following trends and data, but we will not be able to know for sure. And just like that, uncertainty has and will become the status quo in our industry, so we better get used to it.
As a millennial, COVID has allowed me to teach my Babyboomer family members how to use technology to be able to maintain in contact with them, and more importantly, for them to interact with their friends.
I must confess, that I feel somehow guilty because the COVID-19 crisis lockdown made me realize that in terms of tech, I have left them behind.
It was really up to my generation to help them catch up on tech, but of course they needed to show at least some interest in being able to use that tech.
That made me recognize that our role as a startup in travel tech is to help traditional travel companies catch up. And just as my father didn’t know how to use video conferencing, companies in the travel industry are also lagging. And it is with this in mind that we have begun our mission, and we want to reach out.
COVID is definitely testing us as an industry, and companies must prove their capacity to change to the world, they must also prove their capacity to lead and collaborate, and overall, their capacity to achieve digital transformation.
We have seen the impact of the crisis with the cancellation of trips, but the innovators of our industry have also seen the cancellation and delay in many of the pilot projects and solutions we were integrating into the travel arena. I have spoken to other startups as well as innovation departments of big companies, and somehow this seems to be the common immediate reaction of the market.
I guess that makes sense if you must survive financially, and definitely, some cuts are inevitable. But here is the conundrum: If you have taken the decision of cutting your innovation projects budgets completely, (and hopefully you had one) you have:
- Probably sacrificed the people in your team most capable to drive digital transformation in your company.
- Lost track in the urgent matters and have failed to recognize projects that may save your company in the future.
I ´ve seen that traditional travel companies don’t only need to catch up in tech, but some are still struggling on accepting the idea (in my opinion inevitable, or at least for early stages of the hopeful “V shape recovery of travel”): that Social Distancing will be part of the future of travel.
And the thing is, that whenever, and where ever we can travel again (because we will), the question really is: will the future of travel find you like the baby boomers in my family that didn’t know how to connect with video conferencing tools? Or will it find you with an innovative corporate culture at its core?
Startups are a great way, if not the best way, to look into innovation. And if you look around you will find hungry startups that are hoping to help you. So, use your time wisely, look to possibilities of innovation to play a role in the future landscape.
Anticipate the future post-COVID-19 traveler needs and start to look into new projects for introducing social distancing tools to respond to their needs! We have already begun finding the early adopters of the travel scene. If you are one of them, let’s talk! (Click here)
We are ready to integrate!
One thing is certain: we will travel again, and If you want to play a part in the future travel scene, you need to go that extra mile, and as Wayne Dyer, the American Philosopher responsible for the title of this post, says: it will not be crowded on that extra mile.
Founder and CEO of Soundwalkrs