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].”
Connect CRE reaches the top commercial real estate players nationwide and across all property types, offering you a variety of ways to showcase your team, your expertise and your brand to CRE decision makers.
The home for CRE news and everything you need to stay informed on deals, trends, and transactions, providing a platform to get your brand in front of your target audience.
Reaching over 150,000 inboxes across the nation every day, Connect’s Daily News emails provide advertising opportunities specific to your market.
Focus your advertising on emails dedicated to your property sector and stay visible to current and potential clients.
Position your team as experts in your field with content created by Connect’s editorial team and published on Connect’s news emails. Showcase your intelligence and broaden your reach.