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Expedia’s Peter Kern is Bullish on a Quick Recovery for Travel

National  + Weekender  | 

Peter Kern began his tenure as Expedia Group’s CEO in April, right around the time that large swaths of the economy were shut down by efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. Few if any were shut down as completely as the travel sector, impacting both airlines and hotel operators, yet a Bloomberg News interview with Kern, appearing in the Orange County Register, finds that he would “rather look forward” than backward.

“Even in comparison to other bullish industry leaders, Kern is steadfast in his conviction that travel’s recovery isn’t just on the horizon but around the corner,” Blomberg reported. “And it won’t be just on forested hiking trails and scenic byways but in big, dense, boarded-up cities, too.”

Kern told Bloomberg earlier this week, “Rome has been through a plague or two. And it’s still there. New York has been through all kinds of things. It’s not the first time we’ve had civil unrest. It was a much different place, in terms of safety, when I was growing up in the ’70s, yet we still went there.”

Also in contrast to previous crises, Kern is confident that this arc of history will bend sharper and faster toward full recovery than any before. “This is a time with more science, more technology,” he told Bloomberg. “We’re not going to give up.”

In fact, he predicted, “This [process] will be less than the three to five years others are predicting.” Further, he believes that travel will be jump-started by news of an impending vaccine, rather than the vaccine itself.

“People will think, ‘Well, by the summer Europe might be open, or I might have the vaccine, so let’s book it,’” he said.

Although a shift in consumer confidence doesn’t happen overnight, it’s been steadily rising, Kern told Bloomberg. “Barring the vaccine, my sense is that people were getting increasingly comfortable with how safe air travel and hotels are—the precautions that the industry has been taking—and the numbers [of bookings] have been creeping up [as a result],” he says. “Of course, it helps if everybody does their part [to keep the virus in check].”

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Inside The Story

Read more at OC RegisterConnect With Expedia’s Kern

About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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