Just over a year ago Softvoyage was celebrating its 20th anniversary with a party that was a veritable who’s who of the travel industry, at (almost) the top of the world on the CN Tower’s 346-metre high LookOut Level.
Now in May 2020 the view is a bit different for Softvoyage and every other business in the travel industry, and beyond, as the impact of pandemic is felt far and wide.
Softvoyage’s Vice-President of Sales & Marketing, Dan Langevin, says he is “ever the optimist” and adds that he can’t wait for the day that the travel industry gets back in full swing. Speaking of which, the annual industry golf tournaments may have to wait until next year but for now Langevin is riding out the coronavirus crisis just fine in his home office.
Q. How is morale and how is Softvoyage handling the crisis?
A. “Difficult decisions had to made early on. Temporary layoffs, pay cuts, etc. …the good news is that everyone understands and are embracing the new normal. This ‘quieter time’ has allowed to us concentrate and develop upgrades to our solutions, developing new modules for our customers, increase security and so much more.”
Q. What do you think travel will look like in a post-COVID 19 world?
A. “People have short memories. Despite COVID-19, people’s appetite for travel won’t go away forever. I think we will fly on the cleanest airplanes you have ever seen!!! Same with hotels and resorts as well as cruise lines.”
Q. What do you think will rebound most quickly, and what might take some time?
A. “I am ever the optimist but I do think it will take a few more months to return to some kind of normal. If we continue doing what we are told, it will happen sooner than later. I also think that incentives offered by airlines, cruise lines and tour operator will make it difficult NOT to book.”
Q. With travel at a standstill, how should agents be marketing themselves and keeping themselves in front of clients?
A. “Communicate the incentives you feel are relevant from your travel partners.”
Q. When this is over, ideally where will your own first trip be?
A. “We are booked for Europe late September. I am very much looking forward to it!”
Q. What do you like most, and least, about working from home?
A. “I have been working from home for a long time. I love it. I have a physical office. I close the door and I work. It’s not for everyone but I love it.”
Q. The travel industry is showing its strength and resilience as it rallies to take on the unprecedented impact from the coronavirus pandemic. What message does Softvoyage want to get out to travel agents?
A. “If we continue working together, I am very confident that we will look even better coming out of COVID-19! We are and ready to go!!!”