The Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole

Episode 56: Travel and Leisure

May 11, 2021 CGTN EUROPE
The Agenda Podcast with Stephen Cole
Episode 56: Travel and Leisure
Show Notes

Before the pandemic, tourism was growing faster than the world's economy and traveling had never been easier. Then COVID-19 brought globetrotting to a halt and left the trillion-dollar industry in tatters. 

But with rapid vaccination bringing optimism, can the sector now get back on the move? How different will the travel experience be? And which parts of the world are open for business?

First on the podcast we talk to Eduardo Santander, CEO of the European Travel Commission. He explains why his organization is optimistic about the European summer and why it could be make or break for the travel industry [00:36]. 

Next we talk to Angela Gerekou, president of the Greek National Tourism Organization. She tells Stephen Cole how every effort is being made to prepare and how she wants the country to be a global center of sustainable tourism by 2030 [06:50].

Another restless sector is the hotel industry. Travel restrictions wiped out more than $138bn in turnover, ending a decade of growth. Rocco Forte, chairman of the luxury chain Rocco Forte Hotels, explains how he plans to battle the ‘Zoom boom’ and bring back leisure and corporate customers [13:08].

The airline industry has far from escaped the turbulent times of the past 16 months, losing $126 billion in 2020, with a further $47 billion loss expected this year. Despite this, Bjorn Tore Larsen has founded a new airline, Norse Atlantic Airways, and explains why he's pinning his hopes and money on a great travel take-off by the end of 2021 [18:25].