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NEWS


touched on by our latest guest speakers. Watch them at go.travelweekly.co.uk/webcasts VIATOR FOUNDER ROD CUTHBERT


PORTUGAL’S LEWIS ARAUJO


Travel Rod Cuthbert


Travolution’s Lee Hayhurst


‘More-expensive travel will favour specialists’


T


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 Booking.com, or whoever, and are going to want something more. “It is going to be more expensive


travelweekly.co.uk


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’


P


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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