By Kaitlin Dunn, Writer, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)
On June 17, hospitality revenue optimization professionals from around the world will participate in HSMAI’s virtual ROC@Home experience. Presented by HSMAI regions in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East, ROC@Home will feature more than 20 experts presenting live sessions, including four economists — one in each of the regions — who will share their outlook for their part of the world and how coronavirus has changed their predictions for the year.
HSMAI is contacting each of the economists prior to ROC@Home to get a preview of their presentation. Tony Webber, CEO of Airline Intelligence and Research in Sydney, Australia, and former chief economist at Qantas airline, will be giving a presentation for the Asia Pacific region. Here is what he had to say:
Can you give a brief overview of your presentation?
There are six main topics I will be covering in my presentation. They are the aviation backdrop; economic growth in Asia; the timeline for key economics, aviation, and tourism to return to pre COVID-19 levels; lessons learned from the SARS virus; the impact on business travel; and my own views on personal protection at hotels.
How have your predictions changed in the past month to two months?
Restrictions are lifting around the world (aside from South America and Africa) faster than expected. I think governments are quickly recognizing that they can’t afford the economic impact.
How are you tailoring your presentation for this audience of hospitality revenue professionals?
The focal point of the presentation is aviation and the economy, both of which are critically important to hospitality. It also examines the historical impact of SARS, the likely long-term impact on business travel, and my views on what changes could be made to the hotel sector, all of which directly relate to hospitality.
What is unique about the economic outlook for your region, compared to the other regions of the world?
It was hit with the pandemic first and has come out of the pandemic first. This region is best equipped to deal with the pandemic because it has been the epicenter of past epidemics and they have learned lessons from this.
Why are you passionate about economics?
I did well in the subject in school so decided to study it at uni. Then I developed a passion for it and how math can be applied to it. When I started applying the economic tools to aviation, as I did when I was the chief economist at Qantas, it reaffirmed the power of economics in solving problems.
Learn more about ROC@Home and how to take part at www.hsmairoc.org