Peter Gerstle, Collinson’s Head of Travel Products, discusses what travel will look like in 2022 and beyond.
It’s safe to say the last couple of years have been very unpredictable in many industries, especially travel. With changing policies and new variants being discovered it’s difficult to prepare for the year ahead. Fortunately, Collinson’s Head of Travel Products, Peter Gerstle takes an early dive into 2022 to share his predictions.
We are equipped and more knowledgeable
Even though the pandemic is still present 2 years later, we have many reasons to believe 2022 will bring improvement. With many successful vaccination programmes completed globally, the world is better protected from the impact of the pandemic than it was in previous years. Peter says,
“We’re now much better equipped to deal with uncertainty and the vagaries of variants and short-notice (often knee-jerk) changes in policy.”
We know more about what we are up against than we were to begin with and from this we have been able to create effective regulations. Peter goes on to say ‘”Although it might not always feel this way, there is emerging health status harmonisation. Only a handful of Covid test and vaccination status standards have survived the early-day gold rush and there is further alignment to come in 2022”’. Every day we are learning more about the virus putting the world in a stronger position if variants appear.
Working from home enabling flexible business
People have shown businesses can work effectively regardless of employee location. As more teams are offered the option of working from home, quality of life increases as people no longer have to endure their often stressful commute. Many people are now favour jobs that offer flexible working options as it provides many different benefits. Peter goes on to say “Remote working is here to stay and will generate new business travel patterns. Staff might decide – if be allowed – to be ‘digital nomads’ for a period of time, maybe located nearer to an important client and thus reducing the number of long-haul trips needed. And that dreadful word ‘bleisure’ will now finally come into its own as there will be a more fluid delineation of work and play.
“This all, in turn, has an impact on flight fare rules. ‘Saturday night stay’ is being rendered obsolete as a means to maximise fares from cash-rich business travellers – an increasingly rare breed.”
Testing in 2022
Testing has changed a lot in such a short space of time, but Peter predicts that it will be required until the end of 2022 in many places globally. He encourages businesses in the travel industry to get involved in order to put themselves in a stronger position and improve the travel environment. He says, “Engage with a roster of reputable and reliable test providers for your clients’ main markets,”
“While testing doesn’t have the margins it is reputed to have, partnerships can support the revenue lines of TMCs”
Although many brands have embraced testing as the ‘new normal’ in travelling, it’s important to make it stress-free to the end-user in order to encourage travel. Peter goes on to say “This requires more than just simply negotiating a discount code that is available through other channels. Travel buyers should act as distribution partners/resellers and jointly educate the customer through the process.’
Watch Peter discuss travel trends in 2022 and beyond
Peter discussed more travel predictions for 2022 at this year’s #Trending event with ITM. Watch the video below to see his discussion on loyalty, health and uncertainty, lifting the lid on how health status will influence not only the way we travel but also impact distribution, loyalty and policy.