The traditional intermediary model was severely challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with government lockdown measures forcing travel agencies to close for several months. Moreover, trips that were ongoing or planned for the summer of 2020 were largely cancelled and it became a major operational challenge to sort out the chaos of repatriating consumers and ensuring their safety, as well as offering refunds, vouchers and new offers on booked holidays while having little control over the actions of partner suppliers in the airlines and lodging industries.
One of the hardest hit tourism areas has been cruises, which suffered from particularly negative media attention throughout the lockdown as guests and employees on cruises were often stranded or forced to quarantine at times as the virus spread quickly in confined areas. The difficulties that cruises suffered during the pandemic, as well as the challenges of adapting cruise services to social distancing measures, including confined spaces and dependency on buffet-style meals, will be a major challenge leading into 2021.
While traditional travel agencies in Thailand are faced with many threats, they are adapting their strategies and selling methods in order to maintain their sales. HIS Tours is an example of a traditional travel agency that is putting in a lot of effort to meet the change in travel technology and other trends.
Online booking platforms like Booking.com and Expedia continued to operate during the lockdown in 2020.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Travel Retail industry in Thailand with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Travel Retail research and analysis database.
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