Skift Take

Travel is a long-term megatrend because all across the globe people appreciate the value that it brings to their lives. This holds true across a vast range of human differences — cultural, geographical, religious, historical, generational, and more.

In our latest report, Skift Research takes a look at the world of venture capital investments in travel startups. Last year was a record for venture capital investments in travel, but now the industry is facing its greatest challenge in modern history.

Given the nature of events, we have abridged this report, cutting much of the forward-looking commentary this annual report typically delivers. Rather, we have chosen to focus primarily on delivering the core data that could guide future investment once we are out of this crisis. As a result, we can make this report available at the discounted price of $195.

The next few weeks and months will be a tough slog for travel companies big and small. We don’t want to sugarcoat the pain that we all are experiencing today. Still, we do include in our latest report a small note of optimism.

Below is an excerpt from our Skift Research Report. Get the full report here to stay ahead of this trend.

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Looking Forward for the Travel Industry

In one of our slides is titled, “Why invest in travel?” And we believe it answers the question aptly. All across the globe, people appreciate the value that travel brings to their lives. When people earn more money, they choose to spend it on travel. This holds true across a vast range of human differences — cultural, geographical, religious, historical, generational, and more.

This gives us hope for the future of travel. So too does one our later slides, which shows international trips taken over the last two decades. It demonstrates that travel is truly a megatrend.

In the year 2000, there were 642 million international trips taken across the globe. And then on 9/11/2001, the travel industry came to a screeching halt. The future seemed uncertain then, but a decade later, in 2010 we had grown to 878 million international trips. And in 2019, we estimate there were 1.7 billion international trips.

9/11 certainly changed the way we travel — we still queue at airport security after all — but it didn’t stop it. So too, we expect coronavirus to transform, but not stop, the travel industry.

And many of the most respected startups in travel today were started in the depths of the global financial crisis. Most notable is Airbnb, which began by solving for how to travel affordably and generate extra income in a time of austerity.

How travel will be changed by this current crisis remains to be seen. But you can bet that there are a crop of new travel startups eager to tackle the challenge. We suspect they are already getting to work as we write.

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This is the latest in a series of research reports, analyst sessions, and data sheets aimed at analyzing the fault lines of disruption in travel. These reports are intended for the busy travel industry decision-maker. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. Over 200 hours of desk research, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

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Tags: skift research, startups, travel startups, venture capital

Photo credit: Empty hotels, like the one pictured here, are the challenge for venture capital investors deciding whether to keep investing in the travel sector. Wendy Li / Adobe

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