Three experienced travel executives with backgrounds in technology and online travel as well as mainstream are offering vital advice on how companies can survive COVID-19.
Steve Endacott, who previously set up travel technology developer Click For Travel and who exited Holiday Taxis last year has joined forced with former cruise.co.uk managing director Seamus Conlon.
They have been joined by former former Thomas Cook head of tour operating and Tui chief financial officer, Will Waggott, in forming Reboundconsulting.co.uk, a free online web resource to advise travel companies how to “survive today, rebound later”.
The website will host resources and content, including blogs and advice from the trio as well as other professional advisors – and will encourage companies to make contact if they need further assistance.
It has been set up to advise travel companies in distress on how to navigate the current coronavirus crisis, looking at long-term strategic advice, cash control, cost control, restructuring and options for financing or refinancing.
Endacott said: “Having sold Holiday Taxis Ltd last January, I have the time and experience to be able to help travel companies during these turbulent times.
“Unfortunately, as well as success in my career I have had to manage businesses like MyTravel and On Holiday Group through extremely challenging times and, in the case of On Holiday Group, administration.
“This has given me extensive knowledge of what management teams can and can’t do to manage cash and resources without putting themselves at legal risk during times of crisis and potential collapse.”
Waggott has been involved with large plc restructures at Airtours, Tui and Thomas Cook and has experience of running smaller travel businesses.
He said: “These are clearly unprecedented times in the modern travel industry. Many travel businesses are going through an incredibly difficult time and I would like to use my experience to help these businesses Rebound back on their feet when the upturn comes.”
Conlon added: “During my time at Cruise.co.uk we had to re-invent our customer acquisition strategies several times to move away from high cost channels to lower cost and evolving changes like Facebook and Instagram. This is just one of the strategic re-evaluations many travel companies need to do over the coming months and I look forward to helping with this process via Rebound Consulting.”
The three believe that as well as planning to “survive today” travel businesses need to use the ongoing quiet period for the industry to prepare for the “rebound” which they say will come “quickly and brutally”.
Endacott added: “We are likely to see an ultra-late market for summer 2020 and an ultra-early market for 2021 fuelled by customers shifting deferred holidays from the current lockdown period.
“How companies communicate and retain customers during the lockdown period will be crucial to their rebound, and strategies need to be discussed and implemented now”.
Conlon said: “Businesses need to get their heads around the post-coronavirus world being a slightly different place, with homeworking much more the norm and an explosion in social communications channels providing new and different marketing opportunities.
“Will your customers want to go back to faceless phone calls after three or four months of constant FaceTime, Skype or Zoom?”