touched on by our latest guest speakers. Watch them at VIATOR FOUNDER ROD CUTHBERT


Travel Rod Cuthbert

Travolution’s Lee Hayhurst

‘More-expensive travel will favour specialists’


ravel agents with a specialism are more likely to emerge in a strong position from

the Covid-19 crisis, delegates at the Travolution Start-Up Summit were told. Keynote speaker Rod Cuthbert,

who founded tours and activities specialist Viator in 1995 before selling it to TripAdvisor in 2014, predicted travel would become more expensive post-pandemic. He said this could be a good

thing for the sector and there would be opportunities for destination specialists that are not reliant on technology. Cuthbert said: “We’re going to see

that very specialised travel agent who, for instance, specialises in the Greek islands, or Malta, or the Australian outback, and can make that be known, do well. “People are going to be looking

less for the cookie-cutter solution that pops up on your screen from Google or, or whoever, and are going to want something more. “It is going to be more expensive

to travel and I’m sure that, in some ways, is a good thing. “It presents opportunities for

companies that aren’t necessarily technology-driven.” Cuthbert said technologies that

enable travel firms to operate more efficiently and automate processes were also likely to be a big winner following the coronavirus crisis. He is an investor in Magpie, a

firm that makes it easier for tours and activities companies to manage their written and visual content and distribute it across multiple platforms. “We’re seeing a lot of interest

from companies who want to adopt technology that will make them more efficient,” said Cuthbert. “We understand they don’t have

half a dozen staff in the back office anymore because they’ve had to let them go.” And Cuthbert said for travel

start-ups, European investors have a “better world view” to those from the US because they are “less blinkered” and appreciate that markets operate differently across the globe.

Lewis Araujo

Weekly’s Ian Taylor

‘The decision is damaging for us and UK operators’


ortugal is ready to receive UK visitors whenever government restrictions requiring quarantine on

return are lifted, the country’s tourism officials insist. Speaking ahead of confirmation

on July 24 that Portugal had not been added to the government’s ‘safe list’ during its first three-week review, Lewis Araujo, president of Turismo de Portugal, said: “We have hotels open, restaurants open, and the reaction [of visitors] is very positive. Museums are open, shops are open.” Beaches have been open since

June 6, with information on which beaches have space and which are more busy available on an app. There are currently no

restrictions on arrivals to mainland Portugal, but visitors to Madeira or the Azores are required to have a Covid-19 test at their arrival airport. Speaking about Portugal’s

exclusion from the government’s safe list, Araujo said: “We didn’t expect it. Portugal has done well in terms of controlling Covid.

We didn’t expect

it. Portugal has done well in terms of controlling Covid

“This kind of decision creates

a lack of trust and confusion in tourists. It’s not just the UK – other governments in Europe are taking similar decisions. “We don’t know if the data the

decision was based on was clear. “We say daily how many cases

we have, how many deaths.” He added: “You have to see

the overall picture in a country. Portugal was one of the EU countries testing more and tracing positive cases and all the people in contact with those cases. “More than 10% of the

population has been tested. “Hopefully, the decision will be

revisited because it’s very bad not just for Portugal’s economy, but for British tour operators, travel agents, airlines. It damages everything.”

30 JULY 2020


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