With their promise of better security, hygiene and flexibility for the customer, package tours will survive the coronavirus crisis. That was what the members of Friday’s panel on package tours at the We Love Travel! online event agreed upon. The customer’s anxiety prior to a trip was something that had to be rooted out, said Sandra Castro from the travel tech company Amadeus, and pointed to lodgings listing their hygiene standards at the time of booking as an example.
One would have to see how far one could go with goodwill gestures and cancellations, said Detlef Schroer from Schauinsland Reisen cautiously. “It has to make economic sense.“ He was keener to discuss a new element of package tours, namely private hotel shuttles from the airport. There was now also a trend towards smaller self-catering hotels and holiday complexes. Michael Schober from the Turkish airline Sunexpress mentioned being able to obtain coronavirus testing prior to travelling to or from Turkey so as not to have to quarantine afterwards. Eva Samperi from the Spanish tour operator Turespaña highlighted the positive side of the current situation, the fact that not only were other types of transport and accommodation being booked, but different regions as well, which helped her offices reduce tourist concentrations in certain areas, which was also more sustainable.
The participants did not anticipate a price war breaking out, because customers were willing to pay more “if the new conditions are right“, as Schober put it. Schroer said “Inadequate pricing and reliability are a bad combination.“