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We have all heard the expression, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” In the travel industry, we are living through a time when being flexible and innovative in how we adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic is necessary for business survival. This issue’s cover story, “Top Business Strategies for Travel Agencies During and After the Pandemic,” looks at how some travel advisors have adjusted their business models and practices in order to make it through the pandemic.
In August, as part of our Need to Know research series, we asked a group of nearly 500 advisors if the pandemic has led them to make changes to their business. At that time, 36% of advisors said they had not changed the focus of their agency at all, and another 49% said they just changed the focus somewhat. Most of these agents (53%) said the changes were to make up for a decrease in cruise business, but several advisors also said they had to focus more on domestic travel, private homes and road trips.
“I can say that I have not changed the focus, but it’s being changed a bit for me,” said Lynda Turley, president of Turley Travel Group, which is affiliated with Alpine Travel of Saratoga and Coastline Travel Advisors in Northern California, in that story. “I guess you can say I’m letting my clients dictate my focus.”
Turley was not looking to shake things up, but she was smart enough to see that changes needed to be made. Looking ahead, these necessary adjustments might help her agency excel well into the future. Very often we see examples of organizations that go through tough times, only to emerge stronger and smarter than before. Necessity propels businesses — and even whole industries — into making a leap that might not have happened otherwise.
As you read this issue’s cover story, consider what changes you still need to make to make that jump. One day, you might look back on this time and see how it actually led to greater success.