Government Executives Discuss the Impact of Natural Disasters and Industry Trends
Text by Kimberly Huth, Director of Public Relations, NDTA
Photo by Cherie Cullen
On March 7, GovTravels’ final day, several government executives provided key insights into the disaster preparedness from both government and industry perspectives. The day opened with a panel moderated by Marques Tibbs-Brewer, Regional Sales Executive, SAP Concur, entitled “The Impact of Natural Disasters and Other Emergencies on Travel Managers and Travel Industry Suppliers.” Timothy Bury, Mobility/Logistics Plans Officer, NORAD/USNORTHCOM informed the audience that anytime a storm reaches a Category 3, NORTHCOM leads the planning but relies on supporting commands to execute its plans to support evacuations and logistics deliveries. Imagine the challenges that presented when faced with back to back storms in 2017. “73,000 people were moved during a three-week period during Hurricane Katrina,” and during a three-week period last year they were coordinating logistics and day-to-day care for displaced residents from Texas, California and Florida, said Bryan Scott, Director Federal Government Sales, Enterprise Holdings. He concluded that although the government and industry representatives must work together during the planning and post-event to ensure coordinated requirements meet the intended needs of the community, which will “most likely be in desperate need of support.” Developing a plan that involves all aspects of government, both local, state and federal, as well as industry leaders, becomes a vital piece of successful recovery.
Mike Premo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC), delivered a speech highlighting the Implications of Travel Industry Trends. “In the early days of aviation, agencies could get ‘accredited’ but had to get paper airline tickets from each airline directly,” said Premo. ARC allows transparency into airline sales agents (structure and ownership) and ensures airlines get paid. He noted that “99 percent of today’s travelers use electronic means to book travel.” He noted that surprising trends need to be understood and implemented when planning. For instance: “the greatest numeric increase of 42 million in 2014 to 72 million in 2016 in ARC transactions is one-way tickets.” This increase has encouraged airlines to sell products—one-way tickets, partial fares, etc.—and decreased the number of behavior-based walls. These implications allow us to study some of the current trends, however with the industry changing so quickly, “we must look at the industry through new lenses.” The industry has recently partnered on an initiative named ONE Order, an industry-led initiative intended to replace the multiple and rigid booking, ticketing, delivery, and accounting method with one single and flexible order management process. It leverages the data communications advances made possible by the implementation of the New Distribution Capability and removes inefficiencies inherited from paper-based industry processes. In October 2016, the Passenger Services Conference adopted a Resolution on a standard for the ONE Order initiative. Full adoption of ONE Order is a multi-year, multi-stage process that will engage many participants in the travel value chain including airlines, travel agents, global distribution systems, passenger service system suppliers, airline e-commerce platforms and others.
“We have come a very long way since the first passenger travel transcontinental service on a Boeing Model 40A on July 2, 1927,” said Sean Schwinn, Vice President of International Strategy and Market Development, Boeing. “In 1946, considered an infant industry, there were 18 million passengers. Today, we are projected to have 40 billion passengers—10 million a day! To meet this growing demand, airlines will need 41,030 new airplanes valued at $6.1 trillion.” Looking into the future, we can expect that travelers will become older, more diverse and more connected. Pain points will intensify—for passengers and our planet. The challenge, according to Schwinn, will be to make travel possible for those who haven’t traveled and easier for those that have. Air taxies within urban areas and airline windows that can live stream data personalized for the traveler are just a few areas industry is looking at to innovate the travel experience. Future travel innovations must include solutions for developing countries, low-stress travel, region and urban mobility, connectivity and big data, and, lastly, sustainability.