London, February 9, 2021: Strategic industry partnerships — linking businesses across different segments of the luxury travel, hospitality and leisure sector — are widely seen as a key component to further the recovery from the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. New research from VistaJet, the first and only global business aviation company, in association with Barton, the high-net-worth insight consultants, demonstrates the far-ranging value placed on partnerships by leading businesses in the sector.
While private aviation has continued to see an influx of new customers, according to VistaJet’s report, The Future of Private Travel, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has in general been severe for many international luxury travel and hospitality businesses, with over three-quarters (77.8%) of businesses having seen net revenue fall by at least 60% year-on-year, and around 43% seeing a drop of over 90%. Despite a promising vaccine program, many businesses are still cautious about forecasting a quick recovery in the immediate months ahead. However, 25.9% are optimistic and are starting to refocus their offering onto a HNW target group, predicting a rapid recovery to pre-pandemic levels. VistaJet itself saw an increase of 29% in new Members joining in 2020, while its sister brand XO has seen new membership sales up 3x.
Many businesses are already innovating to rethink their operational and commercial strategies — 94.4% having taken or are planning action to innovate their customer service and experience protocols, and 62.3% of businesses have already introduced new offerings, products or services, with increased digital services and more personalized concierge offerings being particularly in-demand.
As businesses look ahead, it is clear that a majority of industry leaders are looking to collaborative partnerships outside of their core business, to help mitigate the negative impact of travel restrictions and ensure their clients continue to experience unparalleled end-to-end service throughout their journey. 86.5% of businesses are taking action to collaborate with other top players within the industry, including hotels, tour designers, private aviation, yachts, chauffeur and concierge services. Additionally, 46.8% have said that partnerships are already helping to generate further revenue during the pandemic, which is notable due to the limitations on travel globally in 2020, while 70% are looking to establish new partnerships within the next 12 months.
Partnerships can provide customers with an integrated service at every stage of their travels, with safer and more reliable experiences in the uncertain world of COVID-19. For example, VistaJet’s own partnerships program, Private World, leverages its relationships to provide customers with a bespoke travel experience, from pre-flight to flight and accommodation, with preferred services already lined up at destination — from yachts to hotels, private islands and retreats. This is just one solution of many within the industry.
Ian Moore, Chief Commercial Officer, VistaJet said: “While the impact of COVID-19 has been significant on a number of luxury travel, hospitality and leisure businesses, it is clear that business aviation is leading this entire sector with a V-shaped recovery. Hence, we are increasing the number of partnerships to help accelerate the whole sector’s path to recovery. As consumers continue to be burdened with complicated travel restrictions, they look for simple solutions they know are safe and reliable. Collaboration between the best mobility and hospitality players on the ground provides not only peace of mind, but also the high-quality service and impeccable standards our customers have come to expect. I continue to be optimistic for the long-term growth and opportunities of the sector.”
Winston Chesterfield, Founder, Barton said: “While almost every industry has been adversely impacted by the pandemic, the global travel and hospitality sector has been the most brutally affected. There is no alternate or flexible working format for most of these businesses; legally mandated closure is often fatal. And yet as this report shows, there is still great hope for the recovery. The eagerness of many wealthy clients to ‘get back out there’ after the initial fear from the virus has been a shot in the arm for the industry. It has also required these wealthy clients to place even greater trust in those organizations enabling this to happen. It is the fulfilment of this trust in the foreseeable future that will help to fire up this giant global ecosystem once more.”
For the full findings of the report, The Future of Private Travel, please visit vistajet.com/privatetravel.
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Jennifer Farquhar | VistaJet | firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for Editors
The Future of Private Travel Report Methodology
The research invited over 650 leaders in the luxury hospitality industry to share their voices and insights. The individuals we heard from were from a range of organization types and sizes, from small luxury travel designer agencies to large, multi-national hotel groups. It was a global study, with around half of these organizations based in Europe, a fifth from Asia as well as North America, the Middle East and South America. A more detailed breakdown of data is available upon request.
VistaJet is the first and only global business aviation company. On its fleet of over 70 silver and red business jets, VistaJet has flown corporations, governments and private clients to 187 countries, covering 96% of the world. Founded in 2004, the company pioneered an innovative business model where customers have access to an entire fleet whilst paying only for the hours they fly, free of the responsibilities and asset risks linked to aircraft ownership. VistaJet’s signature Program membership offers customers a bespoke subscription of flight hours on its fleet of mid and long-range jets, to fly them anytime, anywhere.
VistaJet is part of Vista Global Holding — the world’s first private aviation ecosystem, integrating a unique portfolio of companies offering asset-light solutions to cover all key aspects of business aviation. More VistaJet information and news at vistajet.com
Barton consults businesses in sectors focused on targeting wealthy consumers, combining evidence and guidance to help these organizations and brands grow and thrive. Whether for business strategy, brand assessment, communication, trend analysis or thought leadership, Barton knows that businesses need to have confidence in their decisions. Barton offers cross-sector knowledge in a responsive, agile way, combining creativity with pragmatism, providing the perspective needed to make informed choices. More information at barton-consulting.co.uk
VistaJet Limited is a European air carrier that operates 9H registered aircraft under its Maltese Air Operator Certificate No. MT-17 and is incorporated in Malta under Company Number C 55231. VistaJet and its subsidiaries are not U.S. direct carriers. VistaJet-owned and U.S. registered aircraft are operated by properly licensed U.S. air carriers, including XOJET Aviation LLC.