New Creative Collaborations
We are delighted to announce two new projects in the works:
Through an exclusive partnership with ATA, Zagat, a trusted source for restaurant and entertainment recommendations since 1979, is bringing destinations to life through food with its new travel brand, Zagat Travel. The first “Culinary Escape” will celebrate regional culinary traditions, support chefs and restaurants, and take you behind the scenes in Charleston, New Orleans, Florence and Bologna, and Mexico City. Zagat is committed to supporting local businesses and helping to revive the restaurant industry.
Dinner with Friends Abroad
Restauranteur Nancy Silverton, Critic and Author Ruth Reichl, and Food Journalist/Editor Laurie Ochoa join forces this fall to host Dinner with Friends Abroad, an Italian food lover’s dream come true. This trip sold out in less than a day and has a long wait list! Clearly the experiential and affinity markets are poised to recover quickly!
Time to Hit the Road Again?
Vaccinations are happening at a rapid pace of 2.6 million doses a day in the U.S., many administered to citizens over 65. Travel bookings are flowing into tour operators and travel agencies, with eager soon-to-be-mostly immune customers ready to hit the road.
In mid-March, news emerged that airports had seen the largest travel day since the beginning of the pandemic. At the time of this writing, 1.5 million passengers were processed by TSA (updated statistics are available here), up from 548,132 in 2020 and down from 2.2 million on the same day in 2019.
A recent poll conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) captured data from 4,700 individuals who had taken a plane trip in the past 11 months. Responses point to a fall recovery, with some willing to board a plane when the vaccine has taken effect.
- 57% expect to be travelling within two months of the pandemic being contained (49% in Sept 2020).
- 72% want to travel to see family and friends as soon as Covid is contained (63% in Sept 2020).
- 81% will be more likely to travel once they are vaccinated.
- 84% will not travel if there is a chance of quarantine at destination (83% in Sept2020).
- 56% will postpone travel until the economy stabilizes (65% in Sept 2020).
Our own Executive Vice President, Chase Poffenberger, and Chair of NTA, our trade association, will be heading to Memphis in early May for the annual tour operator meeting, “Contact”. Travel is in our blood and is coming back with renewed verve!
ATA’s Reimagining Work Continues
Has your organization considered virtual options that support and complement your programs in the field? We’d love to talk to you about your plans! In the meantime, if you know a young person considering a gap experience, you can learn more here. Our fall term application deadline is May 1.
COVID-19’s Silver Linings
A few weeks ago, the commemorations that marked a year since the world went into lockdown were a sobering reminder of the pandemic’s toll on our lives, our families, and our industry. Yet when we asked our colleagues around the world about their “silver linings” from the last 12 months, we were inspired by the ways their stories—both personal and professional—have been forever changed. Read on to hear from them, in their own words.