Most tour Agencies have a positive outlook for 2021. While 55% of respondents have a negative outlook for the second half of 2020, only 22% have the same outlook for 2021.
WeTravel has conducted an industry outlook survey of 592 tour operators worldwide to assess the impact of COVID-19. The key outcome is 70% of tour operators reschedule trips to October 2020 and beyond; 56% expect a major revenue decline this year but maintain a positive outlook for 2021.
Most tour operators have the confidence that travel will pick up again in the fall this year. Almost a third of respondents have rescheduled their trips to the period of June-September 2020. Almost 40% will postpone to October-December 2020. The rest plan to delay all their trips to 2021, while closely monitoring the situation.
Tour operators expect a major decline in revenue in 2020. More than half of the companies surveyed expect to see their 2020 revenue decline by at least 50% compared to that of 2019. 10% of companies even predict a >90% revenue decline this year. This number might grow higher as 21% of respondents are still not sure about the impact of COVID-19 on revenue this year.
Tour operators are caught between a rock and a hard place: travelers ask for refunds while operators’ money is tied with their vendors. Almost half of the respondents have managed to give full refunds to their travelers, while 27% are first waiting for refunds from their vendors. However, only 39% of vendors are willing to give full refunds to tour operators, while 11% are not willing to refund at all or even reschedule. Tour operators are trying to resolve the situation by offering travel credits or asking for a longer time horizon to complete refunds.
Most tour operators have a positive outlook for 2021. While 55% of respondents have a negative outlook for the second half of 2020, only 22% have the same outlook for 2021. Almost a third of the companies surveyed have a positive outlook for next year, 26% have a fair outlook, while 21% are still unsure. When asked how long it will take for the industry to recover, 44% believe that it will be 6-12 months.