The Future of Travel (with my Fantastic Female Friday) guest Mary McKenna
I invited Mary McKenna from Tour America and Cruise Holidays to my latest episode of Fantastic Female Fridays.
I had the pleasure of inviting the fabulous Mary McKenna from Tour America and Cruise Holidays to my latest episode of Fantastic Female Fridays, where she gave me her unique insights into the future of travel. Mary set up her business 25 years ago and has seen all sorts of ups and downs in her journey. She was nominated for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year and has been a leader on Going for Growth. Mary is supremely placed at the heart of her industry to give insights about what's happening now to shape the future.
You can look at the entire conversation here, but this is a summary of our discussion:
Tourism made up 10 per cent of global GDP in 2019 and was worth almost $9 trillion, according to McKinsey. Covid-19 pandemic costs the tourism industry $195 billion in revenue worldwide, according to Official ESTA. However, everybody still loves to go on holidays!
Of course, the show is dedicated to women and investing and thus Susan put some statistics to Mary to get her reaction. 80% of all travel decisions are made by women, according to Gutsy Travel and that is independent of who they travel with, who pays for the trip or where they go. Mary smiled as she concurred completely!
In fact, female travel has become a major phenomenon over the past few years with travel companies dedicated to woman-only clientele increasing by 230% but women have made up a sizeable minority (i.e. roughly 40%) when it comes to corporate travel.
Of course, all of this pre-dates #COVID19 but #SavvyWomenInvestors have a lot of sway in how the #future of #travel pans out. The travel sector has gone through some huge volatility. Airline stocks have reduced by half (as measured by $JETS since this beginning of the year) but travel tech as (measured by $AWAY) has been much more resilient.
Mary feels that corporate travel could be hit the hardest, short-haul could come back the quickest and long haul will soon follow thereafter. She makes the point that millions of companies have seen that much of the expensive and exhausting trips made before in the name of building relationships, conducting sales and getting things done. However, there are still so many people who want to go to Disney or Universal Studios, take in the beautiful scenery of a different part, sample the cuisine elsewhere and soak up the culture of a trip abroad.
Mary went on to say that airlines have to cut capacity, agencies will have to become more boutique and customer service will win out. She's planning for her own office to have more spaces for coffee, conversations with customers over Zoom and to maintain that same customer service that her business is known for. She has written off 2020 but hopes international travel would be back by Easter and she says that only those companies with deep pockets can survive.
I reflected on how I've been using options to get paid for the volatility in the travel market through selling puts and calls. (You might remember my Views about Carnival and others.) The conversation finished up by highlighting how VectorVest intuitively analyses sectors through looking for the fastest growing industries within them and then drilling down into the best combination of value, safety and timing.