Travel Merchants Hit Hard by the Covid-19 Virus
Virtually every business in the country has been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic in one way or another. However, there are certain sectors that have been hit the hardest or face a longer road to recovery. Travel industry is one such sector. Travel and tourism sector, particularly travel merchants, are hit hard by the virus. A recent report by High Risk Merchant Account LLC, a specialist in travel merchant accounts, stated that merchant credit card processing figures are down by 80% in the travel industry. The travel business is at standstill and recovery seems almost impossible. In the United States, about 64% of travel agencies have laid off at least half of their employees. And the turnover of the sector as a whole is still falling.
The reason behind this devastating impact on travel merchants is pretty simple: The Coronavirus pandemic forced countries to close their borders and added many travel safety concerns. These, combined with the uncertainty of COVID-19, has made many people to be less included to book a trip. This has left travel merchants feeling pressure with numbers at their lowest in what should be their busiest season.
Another unfortunate impact of COVID-19 on travel merchants is that they have to work around the clock without making a dime. This is because the travel agency sector is all about commission works and travel merchants and agents don’t get paid until their clients actually travel. Not to mention they have spent the past few months simply rescheduling or cancelling bookings without making a dime. In fact, when the pandemic first hit in March, these agents spent most of their time just trying to get their clients home from abroad. Because of the global pandemic, people are still uneasy about traveling so the recovery process of these agencies is slow.
Apart from this, these merchants are also currently facing a situation where they don’t really have a product to sell. Travel merchants and tour operators sell travel and there’s nothing that they can sell if travel is not happening. Unlike restaurants, beauty salons, and cafes that have closed, they have products that they can still sell – the beauty salons still have products to sell and restaurants and cafes do takeaways. But for travel merchants, there is no other products that they can sell.
The Coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted online travel merchants as well because of the huge decline in travelers and a sharp increase in booking refunds and cancellations. These merchants are now focusing on finding different ways to cut down on costs. For instance, a number of online hotel booking and airline ticketing platforms have moved from focusing on sales to customer service because there is an overwhelming demand for ticket rescheduling and refunds.
However, despite taking the hardest hit by virus and making virtually no revenue since the global outbreak started and having to pay back fees for cancelled trips, many travel merchants hope that … Read More...