Economic troubles, Brexit in addition to trade wars may affect travel companies, executives warn

Mediterranean cruises in addition to luxury spa treatments were not the major topics of conversation at the Phocuswright Travel conference in Los Angeles.

Most pressing concern? Changing consumer trends amid economic jitters.

quite a few travel executives told CNBC they are bullish on the short term although admitted that will the longer-term picture is usually becoming more uncertain given completely new industry dynamics in addition to larger political headwinds, such as Brexit in addition to trade wars.

Kayak CEO Steve Hafner told CNBC that will bookings look soft to flat going into the holidays.

some other online travel leaders expect consumers to continue to travel, though the type of travel they book may change as concerns over the economy continue to rise.

“Often what happens is usually consumers are less willing to book that will trip six months by right now, twelve months by right now. They’re thinking, ‘Let’s wait in addition to see how we’re doing.’ Secondly, we do see more towards domestic travel, away by international. Third is usually we do see often a trade down, people are spending less. although in a real downturn, sometimes you get a four-star hotel for a three-star cost, in addition to so customers are getting better value,” Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom said to CNBC.

Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking Holdings, the largest travel operator inside the entire world, admitted there were some areas of uncertainty, pointing to Brexit in addition to the ongoing trade war. However, he said the tight labor market suggests the economy is usually in a not bad position in addition to consumers will continue to spend a portion of their discretionary income on trips.

“Look at the unemployment level inside the U.S. the item is usually booming right right now. We see people, when they have cash, they want to travel. So while there may be a pocket here in addition to there that will’s causing concern, inside the long run, the trend for travel is usually going to be upward,” Fogel said to CNBC.

Brad Gerstner, who manages $3 billion hedge fund Altimeter Capital, said some of his biggest positions are still in online travel stocks such as Booking Holdings in addition to Expedia.

Gerstner, while cautious on the current market landscape, said history has shown that will online travel operators tend to do well amid an economic downturn.

“Ironically, if you look at 2008 in addition to 2011, Priceline [right now known as Booking Holdings] in addition to Expedia actually accelerated in those cycles because hotels become more dependent on them to distribute their products,” Gerstner said to CNBC.

Taking a step back in addition to analyzing the recent stock market downturn, Gerstner characterized the item as a “healthy correction … we’re seeing opportunities.”

Gerstner said Altimeter continues to like Facebook, pointing to its valuation, which he said is usually at 1-digit multiple.

Looking to the IPO market, while quite a few companies have delayed their listings due to the recent bout of stock market volatility, Gerstner still expects Uber to list inside the first quarter of 2019.

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