Over the past year our industry has undergone some major changes. Some change has been for the good, but unfortunately some of the biggest have been in response to a softening of global demand for travel.

Published: 05 Feb 2009

Over the past year our industry has undergone some major changes. Some change has been for the good, but unfortunately some of the biggest have been in response to a softening of global demand for travel.

As an industry we have had it very good for a long time, and we will most definitely recover from this setback just as we have in the past. It’s always interesting to discover which company’s have made the right moves during a downturn, and emerge as new industry leaders as a result.

EyeforTravel’s flagship APAC travel event - Travel Distribution Summit Asia – is now only 2 months away, and is scheduled amid a “strange time for the industry” as described by event director Reece Gladstone recently. When asked what he considers to be the differences between this time last year compared with now, his answer was simply “Optimism…
…this time last year a financial crisis was the last thing on anyone’s mind, competition was fierce, the whole travel industry was really moving along at a good pace”.

And now in contrast?

“Businesses are being extremely cautious, and rightfully so, as Asia is not as immune to these economic pressures as we had all hoped.
Classic source markets like the UK for example, are choosing to holiday closer to home. We see that video conferencing has grown in popularity to reduce the need for business travel and expenses. It’s these types of things that are going to have an impact on the way that Asian businesses formulate and apply their 2009 strategies.”

Some commentators describe the key to remaining optimistic is the ability to foresee an end to difficult, less prosperous periods. With a small few indicators of a recovery beginning to edge over the horizon in the UK and US, perhaps we can allow ourselves the thought that an end might not be far off.

This year’s TDS Asia program is littered throughout with words like ‘innovation’ and ‘creative strategy’, and features travel industry veterans from different sectors and disciplines throughout the Asian region.

When asked about how TDS Asia plans to provide worth to attendees considering current economic circumstances, Gladstone comments “our presenters don’t pretend to know all the answers, but hopefully by opening discussion across multiple sectors and disciplines we will draw upon the wisdom of many and offer educated suggestions”.

The 5th annual Travel Distribution Summit Asia is being held in Singapore, April 1-2. It will cover topics including online distribution, sales, marketing, revenue management and website content www.eyefortravel.com/tdsasia

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