Opening of the Congress of Travel Companies in the Dominican Republic
On this Friday, May 6, 2022, the Travel Companies inaugurate their new congress. After a three-year absence, the union has reunited nearly 400 tourism professionals in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. If the event is an opportunity for the profession to meet, it also represents a media window to get some messages across… The SNCF has not been spared, just like Air France or IATA
Opening of the Congress of Travel Companies in the Dominican Republic – Photo credit: CE
It’s almost by one phew of relief and a touch of emotion that opened this new congress of travel companies in the Dominican Republic.
And as Jean-Pierre Mas told us, a few days before the big raout, “when we have sun and feet in the sand, we can only be happy“.
A sentence that could not be resumed by the Minister Delegate for Tourism, who remained in Paris, a few hours before the appointment of a new government.
Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne nevertheless wished to send a video message to an assembly recognizing political work during the crisis.
“For the future, we wish to continue to be at your side, hand in hand, so that this working method continues. We want to encourage people to travel and tell the French people how important your work is.”
If the sun plays a little with the clouds on the other side of the Atlantic, the temperature of the ocean is at the rendezvous like the smiles on the faces of the tourism professionals gathered in the typical resort of the southern tip of ‘Hispaniola.
“Very happy to see you all there and to see all the effort you have made to be there. The congress is open” Inaugurates Mumtaz Teker, the vice-president of Travel Enterprises.
PGE: “we should allocate 3 years of operating income from the entire sector, to repay them”
Once the presentations and the good words distributed, the one who bricks a mandate (presidential?) within the APST, supported by the employers’ unions, gave the microphone to Jean-Pierre Mas, President of the Travel Companies.
“From Madeira (the last congress in 2019), we have gone through 40 difficult months. During this time, we met only by video, with some of up to 1,000 participants, it was difficult.
What should be remembered from this test is that thanks to solidarity and unity, we managed to save the profession,” looks in the retro the head of the union.
We can say that the profession has been united during these two years, probably like never before.
Distribution and production working together, to knock on the doors of ministries, in order to obtain aid to keep tourism professionals out of the water.
“We were fully convinced that if we were not united, the ministerial cabinets would be engulfed in the least fault. We worked together in a natural way, which we also did in the past,“reframes René-Marc Chikli, the president of SETO.
Now, sheltered from a systemic economic crisis, the industry can look ahead, even if a few heads are missing. Starting with an absence of brand, in the person of Alix Philippon.
The president of the APST, who may not stand for re-election, was unable to honor the invitation for personal reasons. And Jean-Pierre Mas to engage.
“If some doubted our usefulness, we may have changed the situation with the crisis. We are doing well, we are working to modernize the union, to build the future together“fixes as a course a president of the EDV, in great shape.
“We have good reason to be optimistic for the summer of 2022”
All is well, in the best of all possible worlds, but the sector, how is he? He also wears the recovery well. With one exception, since business travel is still around 75% of 2019 volume.
“I fear it won’t return to 2019 volumes either in 2022, or 2023, or even after. Companies have adopted new habits.”
Coming back to tourism, in April 2022, the volume of sales was +18% compared to April 2019, when the average basket exploded by 21%, but the number of files fell by 3%.
For June departures, the figures are a little down, but nothing alarming. The volume of business is down -14%, while cases fall by -21%.
Regarding July and August”we are at +13% in business volume and -14% in cases. We have good reason to be optimistic to make up for it.”
The dynamic is similar for tour operators, since the production estimates that it will be able to achieve as good a summer in 2022 as that of… 2019.
The only downside: the PGEs.
During the last study by the employers’ association of travel agents, nearly a third of members admitted that they were unable to repay loans guaranteed by the State. At the same time, the government is rather unclear about a possible extension of the repayment period.
“We had from the State, 1 billion euros of effective aid, for 700 million loans to repay. The overall annual operating profit of the whole sector reaches 274 million euros, so we should allocate 3 years of exercise, to pay them back.”
On this subject, the picture is black, but there remains a small spot of color, with the formation of the new government.
SNCF, NDC, IATA… everyone takes it for their rank!
“Bruno Le Maire is quite rigid on the subject of extending the deadline for reimbursement of PGEs, but perhaps the new government will be less so,“hopes the president of SETO.
Another point of contention: IATA. The union promised to set up ano guarantee fund for the end of 2021. This has been put in place, but with a really relative interest.
“The airlines guarantee what they owe to IATA, but on the other hand the sums of the travel agencies are not, so IATA is self-guaranteed, well done!” exasperated plague Jean-Pierre Mas.
Remaining, in the aerial theme, the other thorn in the side of the profession is none other than NDC. The new standard promised by Air France is still not ready.
The car is beautiful, the body shines. However, the engine and some essential parts are missing.
“We will make a point in September, but if ever the techno is not ready then, we hope that they will have the same intelligence as a few weeks ago to postpone the implementation of the overload.
Our common goal is not to roll back AIr France, but for NDC to work.”
To read : NDC: the Air France surcharge jumps… temporarily!
In the transport category, the SNCF had ears that whistled too. While the Ouigo are developing more and more throughout the network, travel agents are having difficulty selling the pink and blue trains, due to the lack of B2B tools.
The SNCF wants to lower the remuneration of travel agents…
“We are having a discussion on the remuneration of the distribution of the SNCF.
Today, the 3% remuneration does not cover the effort of the sales force. We need a global negotiation and it is not by lowering the level of remuneration that the SNCF will manage to appear as a partner,
“ continues the president of the EDV.
It must be said that the national carrier has even decided to lower the remuneration of agents.
While this EDV – SNCF convention ends at the end of the year, the president of the union displays a facade of optimism, while the national carrier has come in force with 4 officials.
Read also : SNCF: Ouigo soon in GDS on condition of…
The train will be, there is no longer any doubt, a means of travel allowing the objectives of decarbonization of the activity to be respected. And it is also one of the lessons of this crisis, our compatriots still want to go on vacation, but differently.
“Today a study was published. In this one we learn that 30% of French people say they have changed their habits in the face of the climate emergency.
They said they wanted to travel less frequently, but stay longer.”
Sometimes constraints can be opportunities. The congress is open, the game board is set up, the pawns have been advanced…