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    The actual change of paradigm is bringing new opportunities that could become the new norm for the travel industry. In the context of one of the major unprecedented crisis, the travel industry is working on the projects that before came second. These new initiatives could redefine the market as to how we knew it.  

    Thereby, new realities like online check-ins and check-outs, a better sanitization and becoming cash-free could become the norm and put aside the practices we did before. Most of which are unsafe in the new context. 

    The major we had before it is not valid anymore. We have to think out of the box”, assured Marco Torrente, Chief Financial Officer at Europe WebBeds during the baVel Digital Summit, held last May 7th in an online session. 

    Therefore, during what some have called a maintenance shutdown, experts agreed on that the industry has to bet for new technologies that would help them streamline their processes to adapt the strategy according to the demand and direction of the market. “The crisis brings new opportunities. We have to be flexible and digitize the customer journey”, added Valerio Duchini, Chief Executive Officer at B&B Hotels Italia SpA.

    Flexibility, innovation and transparency

    On these lines, Mike Carlo, Board Member at HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association), shared his vision as an industry representative and highlighted that the sector should bet on new initiatives such as the Open Payment Alliance. The OPA is a new standard of B2B payments that aims to create a unique payment channel for the touristic industry that will replace the current distribution channel: “We will experience a significant human change and we will have to renegotiate the trust in the industry”. 

    In a highly uncertain context for the sector and with a lack of trust, flexibility, innovation and transparency will be key for the recovery. Even though it is mostly said that it will be a slow and difficult process, as it was one of the first affected industry and probably one of the last ones to recover, this crisis will bring new challenges that could define again the travel sector.