Skift Backstage Podcast: Global Tourism in a Volatile Time

Volatility in the world — and the way the travel industry deals with it — was one of the big themes recently at the first Skift Forum Europe in London.

Terror attacks, political upheaval, isolationist policies and security crackdowns are all changing the way that travelers make decisions and move around the globe. As political leaders seek to reinforce borders, travel insiders are trying to convey a message of welcome to potential visitors — sentiments that frequently find themselves at odds.

On this episode of the Skift Podcast, we’re hearing from two experts who take a global view of tourism amid all that change. We spoke to them in separate conversations behind the scenes in the Skift Take Studio during the Forum in London.

First, we’ll hear from Olivier Jager, CEO and co-founder of ForwardKeys, which compiles tourism data based on reservations transactions. Jager, who was an attendee at the event, spoke to us about how global events impact tourism, the need for quick information on how travelers react to change, and the “Trump Slump” report that the company put out after the new administration’s first travel ban in January. That analysis showed a 6.5 percent drop in international bookings to the U.S. immediately following the ban.

We also have a conversation with Gerald Lawless, chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council, who was a speaker at the Forum. Lawless, who is also head of tourism and hospitality for Dubai Holding, spoke about the Open Skies fight, overtourism, the growth of the Chinese travel market, and the recent laptop ban on several airlines. WTTC held its 2017 Global Summit this week in Bangkok.

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