Well if ever a year could be described as a clusterf*ck then this one would be it...we all thought 2019 was bad, but little did we know 2020 was just 'round the corner ready to decimate the travel industry. What has been amazing has been the resilience of the travel and lifestyle industry, the love, the solidarity and the passion for what we do has shone through and even though we have lost some amazing humans to other industries, i'm sure they'll be back.
In terms of trends however it's probably best to talk about the marketplace right now as opposed to behaviour, as there truly has been some f*ckery going on with companies. So let's highlight the trends below:
- It seems that every product manager in existence has apparently now set up as a representation company and it's completely over saturated the marketplace. With our beloved trade shows (see y'all at PURE in September) coming back in 2021 i truly feel sorry for the organisers having to vet who can attend on behalf of product. If you're looking for a rep, the best in the market is Sarah Falconer, so give her a call.
- The travel agent marketplace now looks like the US/Australian landscape, with Independant Consultants ruling the roost. Consumer behaviour has changed and travellers now want to buy from humans and not brands, meaning 'one person bands' are on the rise with agencies like 360 Private Travel and Cartology booming. I've also been so impressed with the comms from Nemo Travel and Never a Wasted Journey in 2020, with the gents authenticity and genuine care shining through.
- Rising from the ashes there are new travel agencies popping up too, with some of the most exciting being Byway Travel (travel via rail, boat & bike), Kymani Getaways (luxury tented UK retreats) and Niarra Travel (sustainable travel, launching 2021).
- We've seen big name hotels crumble (rip Ace Hotel, London) and a shift in luxury lifestyle to the work-cay, with brands like Locke Hotel at the forefront of this movement. Hotel lobbies are IN as co-work spaces with consumers now craving a home away from home, our favourites are Bermonds Locke, Citizen M Shoreditch and Treehouse Hotel...we've also seen luxury hotels like One Aldwych are now letting dogs in for the first time. WOOF!
- Hotel restaurants, which let's face it were dead in the water coming into 2020 have boomed this year, notable shout outs to Berners Tavern at the Edition, The Garden at the Berkeley (and just the Berkeley in general for being amazing supporting communities through 2020) and Decimo at the Standard.
- Due to C-19 travel corridors Europe reined supreme and with it specialist Villa companies were the unofficial flag bearers for the industry. Check out CV Villas and Beyond Spaces Villas for the best product around.
I hope this short roundup whet's your appetite and lights that fire as to all the amazing things that are going to happen in (Q2) 2021. So onto our tips:
- Take some time off over xmas, get drunk on Zoom with your besties, binge some series (Industry on BBC iplayer if you've not seen it yet), and just CHILL. You've been through enough this year and want to be refreshed going into 2021.
- There's lots of talk about 2021 being the promised land, but real talk we're likely going to be in lockdown until March, so i personally don't expect the job market to drastically change until Q2 of 2021...there will be new roles, but it's not going to be 'back to normal'.
- Take the time to research companies you'd like to work for, use instagram, follow them on linkedIn, don't be passive in your job search and create your own narrative - there's likely companies out there you didn't even know existed.
- When there are jobs online, don't be afraid to stand out, but take the time to either submit a cover letter alongside your application, or tailor your CV to the specific role you're applying for.
- Feel empowered to ask companies how secure the new role you've applied for is and how they acted during 2019 with staff retention and using the furlough scheme. If the wage isn't clearly stated on the job specification then don't apply, companies should be transparent from the get go with salary brackets.
- Choose one recruiter to work with for your roles, build a relationship with them and your candidate searches will become 1000% easier.
- Limit the amount of stages in a process to a MAXIMUM of 3. If you don't know whether you want to employ someone after meeting them 3 times then you're doing something wrong.
- Take the time to review the roles you are considering hiring for, you might not need that salesperson you once had, but maybe you need a biz dev hire instead? Give us a call and we can help you if needed.
- Pay people what they are worth, if you can't afford a £35K hire, fine, but don't try to get someone in for £25K that was on £50K last year.
And finally, a taster of our 2021 Predictions, before we release our rate sheet on Jan 01st:
- Bonus' as we knew them will be a thing of the past and companies will need to increase base salaries or come up with new incentives. We've learned from companies like Jacada that overpaying bonus' can have devastating effects and candidates now crave stability.
- Business Development Manager will be the most sought after role of the year for larger agencies and product as everyone tries to get a piece of the Independant Consultant pie.
- Africa will be the biggest destination for 2021, with Covid rates non-existent and borders re-opening, for the luxury lodges that do decide to open for peak dates there will be a pretty penny in it for them, and with many already fully booked with last years bookings rolling over, Africa will be a hot ticket in 2021.
- PR agencies will be booming with the likes of Perowne, Bird PR and Mason Rose at the forefront, but there will also be a big push from digital marketers like the newly revamped Talking Stick Global who are set for a huge 2021.