Don’t Discount the Resiliency of Asia’s Vital Travel Industry and Its Smaller Players

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The global travel industry is facing its biggest-ever existential crisis as the coronavirus outbreak envelops the world at large.

At a time when demand for travel services has plummeted while travelers cancel existing bookings at an unprecedented rate, this week’s featured story takes a look at how Asia’s travel advisors are now caught in a daunting predicament as they navigate the messy world of last-minute cancellations and refund requests.

The critical role that travel advisors play as go-between, however, is not always understood by clients, with some even claiming fraud when compensation is not forthcoming. On the suppliers’ end, travel advisors have cited challenges in getting refunds and compensation from airlines, whose policies they have called out as “inflexible” or “discriminatory.”

A common refrain of travel advisors is their desire for more support from other sectors of the industry. This could include airlines easing their compensation policies with friendlier initiatives such as cash in place of credit refunds or hotels billing advisor commissions into their deals during tough times like now.