by Savio Monsorate, LCC Headquarters
While we may not be in a position to say that the long-term impacts of the pandemic are completely behind us, the one thing we can be assured of is that we no longer refer to the pandemic as the dreaded barometer against which to measure up our business performance.
In short 2023 has been the year when we have moved on with life and with our business!
With a total of 103.4 million seats on offer, airline seat capacity is only 3.1% below 2019 as this article is being written.
The airline industry is expected to hit net profits of $9.8 billion which is more than double of what was forecast at the same time last year for 2023.
4.35 billion people have travelled in 2023 and 2024 is forecast to break all records and surpass the 4.54 billion number that was reached in 2019.
Yields have improved significantly, and this has resulted in some major carriers announcing extraordinary results.
The demand trend is expected to continue through 2024 and this should call for a steady business year going forward.
The industry however continues to be highly dynamic in terms of development and some of the key trends that will continue to demand attention and action are:
While in the above paragraphs the airline industry is particularly addressed, the trend for hotel and short term rentals have seen a surge that is slowly plateauing as 2023 draws to a close, excepting the seasonal year end demand. The car rental segment on the other hand has had its high yields and demand of 2022 drop to more realistic levels in 2023 and 2024 will see a further rationalization.
Both these segments continue to build on technology in their respective areas and have the same challenges like aviation when it comes to sustainability and CO2 neutrality.
Travel agencies: What has been in 2023 and what awaits in 2024?
Agencies in general heaved a sigh of relief as the pressure on cutting costs was eased in 2023. Business travel made a come back and leisure travel brought in the much needed return to profitability with stronger yields due to longer, more frequent and in general higher paying holidays.
Corporate travel tenders made a strong return and corporates with unmanaged travel began to look for good TMCs to service their business.
OTA’s pushed the envelope further when it came to capture of market share but this was more for point to point bookings. It was a reality check for Corporates when it came to making a choice between going with OTA’s or choosing a TMC. In most cases the latter won as corporates came to an understanding that travel after all is a people’s business. With all the Artificial Intelligence behind a chatbot there is still a long way to go before human judgement and consultation can be replaced by a machine.
Travel agencies and TMCs can look forward to a strong 2024, however not without addressing the below areas:
The team at the LCC Headquarters is very upbeat about what awaits in 2024. We are confident that it will be yet another strong year for our agencies and we are happy to receive your thoughts and feedback on topics that are important to the daily functioning of your business.
We are at your disposal to consult and guide you in areas concerning corporate sales, technology and servicing and look forward to our continued collaboration.