3 Travel Startup Founders Shared Opinions on how they will Recover after CoronoVirus Outbreak

COVID-19 virus is spreading so rapidly and it has hit dozens of countries globally. Travel industry, airlines companies have got the worst impact. Indian government has put 1.3 billion residents in lockdwon. So, international flights are shut, trains are shut. So, travel industry has come to a halt. After lock down, people will be scared to travel as travelling caused this virus to spread from China to different countries as it is heavy contagious. This virus originated in China but has spread-ed to many countries. Nobody knows when this contagious disease will end.

We have asked few travel companies about the impact of coronavirus outbreak on their business and what are they planning to recover it.

Also Read: Coronavirus Challenges for Travel Startups & how to Survive them?

Impact of Covid-19 on Travel Startups

Travart International

Travart is experiential travel startup working to achieve 10X improvement in discovery, booking and consumption of travel experiences through deep tech vertical integration of travel services. We talked with Akash Deep Choudhary, Founder and CEO, about their plans to recover after Covid-19 outbreak.

The last few weeks have been very tough for all travel corporations and startups with the sharp, sudden spread of COVID-19 globally, and in India. Our growth for the current FY as well as our expectations and projections for the next year are in limbo, the travel and tourism sector being one of the worst hit among all.

There has been a sharp drop in bookings with mounting cancellations, and the latest global travel restrictions have brought the entire industry to a complete standstill. We are constantly in touch with all our suppliers in over fifty international destinations we serve, and it seems to be the same story in all parts of the world, playing at different time frames.

These are incredibly tough times and we are seeing a huge number of travel startups folding due to the gravity of the situation which hasn't even peaked yet. As a mature and more established company we are focusing on two critical areas- the safety and well being of our team, customers and the general public; and minimising the impact to our business.

We have swiftly taken action, basing our market behaviour expectations on data extrapolated from the SARS epidemic of 2002-03, which in itself is a tough endeavour given that the scale of COVID-19 is incomparable to anything we have seen in this century. We are continuously working to reduce operating and variable costs. This is being achieved by taking a hard look at our costs and deciding to allocate the available resources towards endeavours which allow us to come out of this situation strong. At such times, most of our teams have offered to take a reduction in salaries, which speaks volumes about the passion these teams carry for travel and for Travart.

The path to recovery of the industry will be a slow and tough process, more so because we are yet unaware of the scale this is capable of reaching globally. As of now, it is impossible to correctly estimate the damage COVID-19 would cause the industry as a whole.

We are positive we will be able to weather this storm and come out stronger. We also understand this might not be possible for a lot of passionate travel startup founders, hence we are offering support and partnership to every travel startup with the same shared vision of providing customer-centric experiences.

We are also very thankful to the global medical services staff and crew members of the travel industry who are on the front line of this pandemic, and are working to ensure anyone and everyone needing to get home safely, does.

We will get out of this stronger together.

Journey Weavers

Journey Weavers is a Delhi based Boutique Travel Consultancy that has crafted journeys for individuals and corporates to over 125 destinations since past 4 years. We talked with Ms. Shalini Raj, Founder, about their plans to recover after Covid-19 outbreak.

The market latest storm has plunged the global travel and tourism industry into uncharted territory. This drastic effect was unexpected for which no one in any economy and industry was equipped. It is a kind of slowdown when nothing seems in our control. As we are into travel consultancy and create personalized trips for people due to lockdown and suspended all the flights and trains creates a major issue for us and our all advance bookings have been canceled and there seems to be limited queries for future months.  

We are convincing our customers to postpone their trips for next year so that they cannot bear the full loss. To look out the current situation International borders will not start in the next 6 months so we are targeting winter travel and destination weddings from December through that we will be emphasizing on the importance of beautiful India.

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FareHawker.com

FareHawker.com is an leading airline group booking platform for multiple airlines that has changed the experience of flight group ticket booking process in India. We talked with Shiv D Gadekar, Founder, about their plans to recover after Covid-19 outbreak.

The world is going through its toughest time as this Corona Outbreak has affected us in every way it can. Lockdown all over the country has done immediate disruption to the travel sector. Travel startups are boom and have screeching halt for a few weeks. It’s been seen a major drop in bookings combined with a rise in customer service demand as people with existing travel plans seek to get in touch to cancel or reschedule trips. It’s the biggest drop in demand I have ever seen in the Online Travel Industry. Airlines group booking travel is facing huge stress as demand is dropping off in booking behavior because of the orders passed by the government, our aviation portal is on hold till further notice is passed by the government on aviation. After hunkering down for three months and even more it will be challenging to recover. We’ll be very optimistic through this but we cannot expect to recover in a night or few days it’ll take at least a year to fully recover from this loss. It will likely start in 2021 and we have to think of long term recovery. If your startup has some unique selling proposition lean into that! Also we’ll work on tools to better merchandise, segment, and market our products and services. Also, another way of marketing can be a new partnership with aviation companies. We have been collaborating with almost every company but now is the time to expand. Every startup company has to be ready for a lower valuation offer. We have to lower the cost of tickets if we need capital, we have a lot less leverage with a lot fewer investors who could potentially join the round.

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