DragonSlayer’s new travel information platform provides real-time updates on COVID-19 travel restrictions and regulations, helping consumers feel safe and informed when they travel. Originally an invitation-only app within the luxury travel sector, DragonSlayer adapted to the disruption caused by COVID-19 in the tourism industry’s booking and planning segment.

Shifting product focus and adapting to the new normal is key to long-term COVID-19 recovery in the travel and tourism sector. GlobalData’s COVID-19 Cross-Sector Impact report indicates travel and tourism companies are currently implementing short-term cost-cutting strategies. The uptake of DragonSlayer is likely to be limited at first due to global travel restrictions caused by the second wave of COVID-19 infections, weakening consumer demand for travel and damaging confidence. However, DragonSlayer’s platform is the kind of innovation that companies in these industries must adopt to survive.

Sector recovery strategies

The travel and tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. Travel intermediaries have experienced sharp declines, with both Booking Holdings and Expedia scoring 1 out of 5 for the COVID-19 theme on GlobalData’s Travel and Tourism Thematic Scorecard, indicating a significant negative impact. Booking Holdings and TUI have formed a partnership to aid short-term recovery, while other companies, like STA Travel, were unable to weather the storm and ceased trading.

GlobalData’s COVID-19 Cross-Sector Impact report predicts demand for intermediaries will pick up again in the long-term as consumers rediscover the appetite for overseas travel. However, long-term strategies will require products and services to be adapted. The GlobalData Key Trends in Online Travel report cites a lack of consistency and different international rules as the biggest challenges facing all operators. Continued investment is necessary to adjust to the new consumer climate.  Companies should channel efforts into restoring consumer confidence and mitigating confusion. While DragonSlayer is ahead of the curve, intermediaries must partner with risk assessment technologies, adopting a consumer-centric approach within a changed travel and tourism market.

Consumers are unwilling to travel

GlobalData’s COVID-19 Recovery Consumer Survey Results indicate that international travel is currently not a priority. Consumers are reluctant to travel, with advice and quarantine regulations frequently shifting at short notice. The survey showed that 64% of US citizens would not consider booking an international trip this year, with 41% strongly against international travel. Many countries, particularly in Europe, are experiencing second waves of COVID-19, further damaging traveller confidence. DragonSlayer helps consumers regain the confidence to travel. However, this will take time. The company will experience limited uptake while countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19.

The platform is part of a new normal for consumers. Travel and tourism companies are currently mitigating the immediate detrimental effects of COVID-19, with many cutting costs and securing government funding. DragonSlayer provides an example of how travel and tourism companies could respond to COVID-19 disruption. Continued innovation and product adaption must be part of their long-term strategies.

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