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This past Sunday afternoon, I did a spur-of-the-moment livestream with my fellow partner-in-crime and founding editor of Skift Dennis Schaal on the state of online travel in the coronavirus age. About 3,500 of you tuned in live and on-demand to watch it!

Judging by the feedback, many of you seemed to get enough out of it and I have decided to formalize this a bit. Starting this Friday at 3 p.m. ET and every Friday for the coming weeks, I will be doing a one-to-one live video conversation with a guest. We’re calling it “The Long View With Rafat.” The livestreams will be informal, insightful conversations with travel industry insiders — and outsiders — on larger perspectives on the crisis in the global travel industry, the daily and long term struggles, and the different ways of looking at opportunities in these times.

This week I will be talking to Jordan Klein, the managing director at Baird. Klein leads Baird’s global travel, leisure & hospitality practice and has 18 years of investment banking experience advising clients in the sector on a wide range of M&A and capital raising transactions. Selected recent transaction experience includes: Sale of Radixx to Sabre, sale of Entertainment Cruises to Hornblower Cruises & Events, sale of Bonotel Exclusive Travel to Travel Leaders Group, sale of International Cruise & Excursion to 3i, and the merger of The Mark Travel Corporation to Apple Leisure Group.

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I was struck by a client note he sent out earlier this week, focused on the ground reality in the travel market in various sub-sectors today, but also the analysis of strategic opportunities ahead for the healthier players going ahead. I really liked this line of analysis in it: What are travel companies doing to preserve value while surviving the crisis? So that is the line of enquiry we will stick to in this half-hour livestream. Focus will be on B2C, B2B, and corporate travel companies and travel suppliers, with overall themes around:

  • Reinforcing Unique “Partnership” Relationship with Suppliers
  • Keeping Detailed Track of Cost-Cutting Initiatives Implemented
  • Taking Advantage of a Crisis to Implement Changes
  • Contemplating Creative Strategic Alternatives to Improve Enterprise Value

You can register for this free livestream below. We will send you a link that will go live at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, you can ask questions through the chat as well and the session will be archived for later viewing. We’ll also remind you an hour before the event to tune in. Don’t forget to add this to your calendar as you register.

We are doing these online events on a pay-what-you-want basis. Your support means Skift journalists and analysts can continue to do expansive and up-to-date coverage of coronavirus and its impact on the global travel industry. In the months ahead, that means watching, reporting, analyzing and guiding on how the industry recovers from these enormous changes. You can contribute to Skift’s journalism on our support page.

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