Trustly research reveals new landscape for travel sector

Online payments provider Trustly has found that 70% of industry leaders believe that changes in the competitive travel landscape have created new opportunities for the strongest brands.

The findings were detailed as the firm launched its first report in the three part ‘Rebound or rehabilitation?’ series, exploring a post-pandemic vision for the travel industry.

Furthermore, digital technology is seen as essential in order to capitalise on these opportunities. 42% of OTAs intend to prioritise the development of digital channels to enhance customer service capabilities, whilst a further 32% of airlines plan on elevating investment in direct-to-customer marketing.

Trustly – which specialises in the development and sale of online payment solutions – has surveyed 450 Airline and OTA industry leaders as well as interviewing specialists from its wider distribution and integration network such as Worldplay, PPRO and Amadeus.

Two surveys were carried out, one before the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel sector had become clear and widely recognised, followed by the second survey in the final quarter of the year.

Mike Parkinson, UK General Manager and Director of Travel at Trustly, said: “We’re unlikely to see a return to ‘business as usual’, however, traveller expectations and behaviours have shifted.

“The economics of the travel and aviation industries are under fresh scrutiny, beginning their recovery saddled, in many cases, with new financial and debt pressures. 

“Lessons have – hopefully – been learned from these last painful months and the sector’s embrace of technology, so accelerated by the crisis, shows little sign of slowing.”

The second part of the report will be published on 3 March 2021, with a focus on the pandemic through the perspective of payment leaders. It has already been stated that this industry ‘grappled with a stress-test few had prepared for.’

This will be followed by the third and final instalment on 17 March, which will analyse the enduring challenges faced by payment leaders not necessarily due to the pandemic but highlighted or accelerated by it.