Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:
“Vrbo, Expedia Group’s vacation rental business, has noted an uptick in bookings for May 2020 and this is not surprising. Vacation rentals offer travelers a wider array of options across more rural areas away from large groups of people and concentrated city centers. A hotel can also offer this but vacation rentals may have an upper hand. Social distancing and hygiene measures will be the game changers for the future travel industry leading to more independent travelers.
“Like all agencies, the balance sheet for Expedia Group took a substantial hit – net loss attributed to the Group climbed to US$1.3bn from US$103m in Q1 2019. Diluted loss per share was US$0.69 in Q1 2019 and stood at US$9.24 in Q1 2020.
“While it is clear there is still a long, winding road ahead for the spread of COVID-19, online travel agents (OTAs) are undoubtedly at an advantage over the traditional in-store travel agent; incorporating a variety of services for a range of customers provides the opportunity for a swifter recovery.”