Financial Strategies and Tactics for Adventure Travel Businesses During Economic Uncertainty

14 April 2020

In partnership with Flywire, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has released the Financial Strategies and Tactics for Adventure Travel Businesses During Economic Uncertainty report, available to download for free. The report provides timely and useful information for businesses to weather the economic storm induced by the current COVID-19 pandemic, and outlines safeguards to put in place to stand resilient in the face of future crises. 

“The impact is being felt at every level of the industry—from the largest online travel agencies to individual tour operators and the local ecosystems that support them,” says Mike Massaro, CEO of the payment solutions company Flywire, ATTA’s partner in the development and publication of this report.

“Flywire is committed to not only serving the travel industry but being a strong partner through this difficult time. So many of our travel clients started their businesses out of their own love for travel experiences, and they’re eager to get back to business, creating amazing adventure travel experiences for their customers.”

The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that 50 million tourism jobs are at risk as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and industry-wide research paints a dire picture of financial futures. According to ATTA’s recent impact monitor survey on the state of the adventure travel industry as of March 2020, organizations are seeing stark drops in business with consequences anticipated to last throughout the calendar year and 84% of respondents have a negative outlook on ongoing business prospects. With demand sharply declining (-63% in Q2 2020 vs 2019), and cancellations rising fast (+69% in Q2 2020 vs 2019), the resilience of the industry depends on the financial interventions that businesses put in place right now, and the practices they implement and carry forward to battle the next crisis.

Despite this grim forecast, experts are confident that the adventure travel industry will pull through and emerge on the other side stronger than ever. As a matter of fact, already “organizations have reported that they are using this time to invest in future business development, create stronger contingency plans and strengthen crisis communication.” 

“We felt it was important to consolidate information from various sources into a single, relevant document for the adventure travel industry members so they can actively address the financial challenges they are facing. The COVID-19 pandemic is a multi-faceted crisis that is both affecting lives and livelihoods across the globe. We wanted to do our small part to help mitigate risk,” said Shannon Stowell, CEO, Adventure Travel Trade Association.

The 6-chapter report lays out ways businesses can respond to the current financial challenge so they can prepare to get back to doing what they love the most when demand returns. Drawing from the knowledge of various experts—economists, financiers, lawyers, and leading tour operators—this report features the most up-to-date information and relevant industry-backed crisis response strategies and advice. ATTA and Flywire hope that this report provides a helping hand to adventure travel businesses of all shapes and sizes, on all continents and regions, who are struggling at the moment and looking for some guidance and concrete business and financial steps to take for the time being. 

“This is a challenging time, and we hope you will persevere through it. Our encouragement, empathy, and support are with you. Let’s use this time to re-emerge and make tourism a better, more sustainable industry than it was before,” said Stowell, when asked what message he'd like to share with businesses and industry members at this time of need.