Journey corporations which can be thriving amid the pandemic

Fast forward through the turbulent spring and early summer months with the journey crawling slowly, and now Bashir is telling a different story. Your company is one of the few nimble travel companies that has seen a boom. Peek recorded $ 50 million in bookings in July and has continued to break monthly sales records since then as travelers eagerly seek exciting ways to explore their own backyards.

The few thriving corners of the travel industry offer hope for relaxation and the opportunity to travel safely even in uncertain times. They can make you wanderlust or allow you to explore safely and securely – but they also remind you that the travel industry is still big business.

Local experiences wherever you get stuck

Peek is a two-way marketplace that connects consumers with thousands of small business owners and creates travel experiences like cooking classes or kayaking. “If our operators don’t get bookings, we don’t get bookings,” says Bashir, whose company cuts down on every activity purchased on their website. Peek stepped into the pandemic fresh from $ 23 million Series B funding.

Bashir used her newfound financial stability to advise clients on applying for disaster loans, implementing contactless payments, and creating Covid-19 safe tours. Bookings rose to $ 50 million in July as lodging orders increased – a number that represents 5% of Peek’s total sales.

The Big Picture: Viator, a Tripadvisor company, also took advantage of the small business relief to keep its suppliers – and its own business – going. And Airbnb stayed afloat in the early stages of the pandemic by launching 400 virtual experiences, such as a peloton-compatible “Cycling With a Olympian” class.

What You Might Book: Broadway may be closed until 2021, but you can still play show tunes with actors who serve as guides on Peek’s $ 40 two-hour walking tour of the theater district.

The holiday home that you don’t actually own

Member-only vacation clubs, which offer access to a collection of luxury properties with on-site concierges, benefit city dwellers in need of long-term getaways and quaint outdoor offices. Among other things, the Denver-based company Exclusive Resorts said it saw the largest increase in sales since 2014 in the third quarter of this year – and has had almost 10% more employees since March.

“Members are looking for a change of scenery, and now that many offices and schools are out of the way, they are taking full advantage,” said CEO James Henderson. Bookings for holidays of more than 14 days in 2021 have already doubled the number for 2020. New partnerships offering private jets and medical evacuation transportation alleviate fear of travel during a pandemic.

The Big Picture: After shutting down most of its business in the early days of the pandemic, the Inspirato Vacation Club also saw a surge in memberships for its Inspirato Pass, which offers unlimited, tax-free or fee-free rental nights for a monthly fee of $ 2,500.

The same dynamic is driving the business of RV companies like Kibbo, who create RV parks with work areas, clubhouses, and amenities.

What You Maybe Could Book: Real del Mar, a gated beach community outside of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was named the Destination of the Year 2019 thanks to the club’s 12 cliff-top, four and five bedroom houses that share access A Infinity pool and a beach club.

Simple links for risk calculation

DragonSlayer was born in December as an app that matches your travel personality (e.g. active, cultural) and matches the experiences available worldwide. This was irrelevant until March. Founder Peter Wells rebooted the company in September as a subscription-based service that notifies travelers of restrictions related to Covid-19 in any state or country. The proprietary numerical SAFE-T (Smart Analytics for Educating Travelers) (124) scores and all US states cover everything from new case trends to local testing capacity.

Memberships start at $ 10 per month with a free two-week free trial or $ 70 per year. The company recorded 55% growth in the first four weeks of the relaunch. Industry professionals drove the new business; Wells says he received 200 annual subscriptions from agents in the first month. Looking ahead, he hopes the tools will help tour operators assess risks for a wide variety of global events and share that analysis directly through a white label option.

The Big Picture: Tools with less comprehensive health insights than DragonSlayer include Kayak, which allows users to see the number of active cases in a global destination from the site’s “Browse” card, and Google, whose new booking capabilities allow users to navigate Due to the changing rules, hotels and airlines are considering helping them.

What You May Be Booking: Based on the data, Wells considers Bermuda to be one of the safest bets to travel around right now. “The island has done the absolute best job of protecting the local population while welcoming tourism back,” he says.

Travel insurance for steroids

With severe restrictions on all but the most expensive policies – those with “cancel for any reason” clauses – travel insurance is often a skipped step in the travel booking process.

Step into Berkshire Hathaway, whose travel protection products have historically included consumer-friendly options such as low fare policies that specifically target flight delays. Two new Skittish traveler options were introduced during the pandemic, which together represent 14% of the company’s total insurance sales.

LuxuryCare, announced in June, offers 100% cancellation coverage for ultra-high-end trips costing up to $ 100,000 per person. It also includes emergency medical treatments and evacuations, which cost up to $ 1 million. ExactCare Lite is now on the other end of the spectrum, offering $ 500 per person protection for road travel.

The latter in particular shows a company that is taking action. “Nobody in our industry has got travel insurance for road driving,” said Carol Mueller, spokeswoman for Berkshire Hathaway. “But we’ve seen people worry about losing money if for some reason they couldn’t walk.”

The overall picture: Success was a commonality for almost everyone who can guarantee an escape plan. Take the airline Medjet. It struggled with the pandemic outbreak, but reported year-over-year growth in October after a new service that promoted Covid-19 infected members from many American-friendly destinations to the home hospital of its choice.

What You Might Book: An Exaggerated Bush Plane Adventure Through Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia With Tailored Tin Trunk Safaris. You’ll stay in the most luxurious lodges like Singita Mara River and Giraffe Manor as you travel like the continent’s early explorers.

Flying falcons that minimize your (financial) risk

Hopper – an app that uses big data to predict how hotel and flight prices will fluctuate before your next booking – once generated almost all of its revenue from airline ticket sales. In 2019 that began to change with the addition of such popular new features as Price Drop Protection and Price Freeze, which offer payment protection at a nominal cost. With their help, less than half of the company’s revenue comes from airfare.

Covid-19 has accelerated this trajectory. In response to the fact that economy and low-fare tickets are often exempt from flexible refund policies, Hopper created its own such insurance. As of October 13, customers can pay a 5% to 20% premium on any tariff for a full refund. Combine that with a flexible appointment surcharge for easy last-minute rescheduling, and CEO Frederick Lalonde expects a projected sales increase of 100% in 2020.

“It’s amazing,” says Lalonde. “And I’m still optimistic as we’re seeing a lot of pent-up travel demands. Now that people are realizing that travel can be taken away, they will postpone travel like no more.” they used to be. “

The big picture: Changing a flight used to mean fines of up to $ 400, but the pandemic led Alaska, American, United, and Delta to permanently waive change fees on domestic flights. International flights, which carry the added risk of border closures, remain harder to cancel, with the exception of flights via Alaska.

What You Might Book: Simple cancellations and rescheduling can make the world feel like your oyster under any circumstances for the first time in months. So book everything as long as it’s not a flight to nowhere.

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