Sounding Off: What role does the industry play in right vs. wrong?

Cyril Ranque, Expedia Group

“We don’t believe it’s our role in the industry to come up with what’s right and what’s wrong.”

Quote from Cyril Ranque, president of Travel Partners Group at Expedia Group, in an article on PhocusWire this week on the online travel agency’s partner relief fund.

Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered on our site that week.

“We don’t think it’s our job,” says Expedia Group when it comes to oversight of whether a hotel property is sticking to guidelines around cleanliness.

In some respects it is absolutely right, relying on – trusting, essentially – a hotel to put in place the protocols that will be required to both ensure a property is safe to stay in for a guest and instilling the trust that the wider traveling public needs to get back on the road again.

Such a task should probably be the role of industry associations and the authorities in a particular jurisdiction.

But should the industry’s leaders, at a brand level, be doing more to tackle plenty of other problems that exist?

The crisis that has befallen the industry and society at large is very different (as we’ve heard countless times over the last few months) to anything that has happened before.

Perhaps it is time for brands that sit in the middle of the consumer and supplier of a product to step up and show that they are determined to ensure things are right on behalf of their customers – even if it causes friction with their own partners.

There are numerous examples of where brands decide that a particular issue is worth fighting for. In fact, Expedia Group itself has shown terrific leadership with raising the profile of gender diversity in the industry.

In this particular area, for example, we strongly believe through our Women’s Leadership Initiative that both travel brands and the media that covers it should raise their game.

Instead of hiding behind rhetoric, be honest about your own workplaces and the measures you are putting in place to advance the conversation and challenge the problems that exist.

This is just one example, of course – brands can and should do the right thing for their teams, their customers and their partners.

If this incredibly turbulent period in the history of the travel industry ends without a collective realization that everyone can do their bit and show leadership across a wide range of issues, then it will be a wasted opportunity.

PhocusWire’s regular editorials

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