How To Prepare for Future Travel Industry Shocks

Over the last 25 years, several major crises have significantly impacted the travel industry, including the September 11th terrorist attacks, the SARS outbreak, the global financial crisis, the swine flu and the coronavirus outbreak. These crises had a catastrophic impact on the travel industry. They required considerable recovery periods where travel demand, and therefore revenue, was significantly reduced for quite some time. Today, it is absolutely vital for travel businesses to prepare for future crises because the industry is inherently vulnerable to shocks and disruptions. So, what can travel providers do to prepare for future shocks?

Build Liquidity

Building liquidity is a vital part of preparing for future crises. You can build liquidity by maintaining cash reserves at all times, reducing debt to free up cash flow, improving operational efficiency, diversifying revenue streams, offering customers flexible payment options and, where possible, negotiating favourable payment terms with suppliers.


Diversifying travel products and offering services in new markets is essential for preparing for future shocks. You can diversify your business by offering new destinations, activities or travel experiences, expanding into new geographic or demographic markets, building new partnerships with other travel businesses, developing new distribution channels, and investing in technology to create personalised travel experiences.







Contingency Plans

Effectively managing a crisis is impossible without contingency plans in place. There are several steps you need to take to create effective contingency plans. First and foremost, you must identify potential risks by assessing the impact of various potential events, including disease outbreaks, financial crises, geopolitical unrest and natural disasters. Next, you must develop response plans for each potential event, including steps to minimise damage, maintain essential operations and protect employees and customers. Assigning roles and responsibilities is also essential, so people know exactly who is responsible for executing each step in contingency plans. Finally, you must communicate contingency plans to all stakeholders and regularly update and test the plan to ensure it is fit for purpose.

New Technology and Automation

Investing in new technology and automating processes help travel businesses prepare for future shocks for several reasons. First, new technology and automation can help to streamline processes and reduce manual tasks, freeing up time staff members can spend elsewhere. Investing in new technology and automation tools also provides customers with a more personalised and convenient travel experience, including handy mobile apps and helpful chatbots. Additionally, technology helps to reduce costs and improves data analysis, allowing you to collect and analyse data on customer preferences, behaviour and industry trends. 

Relationship Building

Building strong relationships with customers, suppliers, and partners is essential, especially when a crisis hits. To build strong relationships with these individuals, you must communicate openly and regularly to build trust and transparency between all parties. You should also be responsive and proactive when problems occur, or concerns are raised, as this will show that you are a responsible business owner that can be trusted.

Strong Leadership

Having strong, effective leaders is essential for travel companies to prepare and successfully navigate future crises. Strong leaders establish a clear vision and strategy for the business, ensuring the company is well-positioned in the market should a crisis occur. Additionally, strong leaders encourage a culture of innovation and risk-taking, foster a culture of collaboration, develop effective contingency plans and lead by example, demonstrating their commitment to the company and employees during times of crisis.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for future crises is no simple task. It’s impossible to know precisely what the future holds without a crystal ball. However, travel businesses can take steps to prepare for future shocks by building liquidity, diversifying products and services, creating contingency plans, investing in new technology and automation tools, building relationships and showing strong leadership.