At the moment, the travel industry is NOT experiencing the case of “rising tides lift all boats”; the tide (for the travel industry) isn’t rising that fast, nor as broadly, to warrant this characterization, in my opinion, as of Sep 2022. At the moment and in the future, successfully investing in travel requires an experienced travel industry veteran point of view to know where to invest and where to avoid. You cannot just be savvy and have money and expect a positive return (in my experience).
I was listening to a Goldman Sachs “Exchanges” podcast regarding the real estate market being ‘nuanced’ and (I’m paraphrasing) how one cannot rely on the entire real estate market to appreciate, driven historically by high inflation. The Goldman Global Head, Real Estate Client Solutions & Product Strategy, instead suggested (I’m paraphrasing) a ‘nuanced’ approach of picking and choosing the right opportunities (e.g., commercial in this city and residential investments in another) rather than relying on the entire residential or commercial market to appreciate in value.
One needs to be from the travel industry to dive deeper and do the work to find the diamond amongst the shattered glass more than any other time in the past decade. Travel investing requires tactical evaluations and investment decisions on a per region, market, travel product, company, and team basis instead of a simpleton ‘all business travel is bad’, ‘all cruise travel is doomed’ or ‘all airlines are shrinking’ viewpoint. There isn’t one “silver bullet” travel product type to successfully invest in that will broadly and universally grow.
Avoid Blanket Assumptions
I’m more laser-focused on separating the signal (a lucrative prospective investment) from the noise (buying into the hype or relying on what I read in the press). I and others need to keep an open mind, and my experiences with travel companies over the past 6 months overwhelmingly affirm this approach. inCruises (cruise marketing) grew during the pandemic, Indjets and its in-flight Wi-Fi platform (via their Inmarsat partnership) rapidly grew during the pandemic, and two business travel platforms that pitched me continue to snowball from their low nine months ago.
In the past 60 days, I have seen, initially with heavy skepticism, a rapidly growing business travel-focused startup that teaches me to stop making wide-swathing incorrect assumptions.
I suspect mainstream travel industry members would assume these sectors are universally contracting, and there’s no growth in these sectors, with these examples serving as a proxy for other underappreciated travel verticals worldwide