Sunny Days Are Here Again?
ACCORDING TO THE U.S. Travel Association, a nonprofit travel industry group based in Washington, the travel industry shed approximately 400,000 jobs in the past two years. This number is significant for a market that accounts for 7.7 million U.S. jobs and indirectly affects 10 million others.
"We all felt it at the same time with a very big impact," said Ivan Fishman, president of All Book Covers Arizona, Tempe, Ariz., whose company supplies items such as guest registries, stationery holders and in-room presentation binders. "Hotels and hospitality is a very, very big industry [for promotional products]."
Sure, things may be bad now, but the light at the end of the tunnel could be on the way. The Promo Marketing staff contacted several suppliers who work within the hotel or travel industries, asking them to remark on the future of such an important market. Some offered advice on surviving the still-tough economic climate, but many others mentioned they felt the situation was starting to turn. Read on to see their thoughts and advice on reaching a brighter, better 2010 within the hotels and travel market.
Paul Dubois, vice president for Ready 4 Kits
Keene, New Hampshire
"Travel, like everything else in our lives, is coming down to streamlined efficiencies," said Dubois. "The items that will do well going into the future are those that feature intelligent design and are practical for end-users. From first-hand experience flying 30-plus round trips a year, I can tell you that if it doesn't fit in the carry-on, it doesn't come with me. Suppliers and distributors alike should keep this in mind when designing or recommending products."
Stephanie McClintock, director of marketing for Pro Towels etc.
"The high-utility items will still be bought, like sun care," noted McClintock. "You will always need sun-care products when traveling to tropical or exotic destinations. Scaling back from 'nice-to-have items' to 'must haves' will be seen."