Episode 4: The Lights are Out in the Travel Sector – Will They Ever Go Back On?

Episode 4: The Lights are Out in the Travel Sector – Will They Ever Go Back On?

Many sectors have been impacted by the pandemic, but none more completely than the travel sector. One week is was functioning at full capacity, and then the next the lights had completely gone out, or so it seems. When they go back on, they will shine on a completely different sector, one is which work roles have changed quite dramatically.

To get some perspective on where travel and its workers are headed, in this episode we talk to two guests with slightly different vantage points.

Will Seccombe is President of Connect Travel, a company that handles Event Market for B2B Businesses in the travel sector. He actually plans to do his next event in August 2020, albeit it will be one that involves N95 masks and lots of sunshine to kill germs. When he thinks of the workers in the sector, he foresees different roles for them, perhaps with staggered hours. He is bullish though, and thinks that travel will always be an important sector.

Shashank Nigam is President of Simpiflying, a marketing company for the airline industry. He does not think airlines are done, but he does think they are done doing business as usual. In his view, the future will be about safety and sanitation, and duties of flight attendants will perhaps go back to some semblance of their original role when airlines started flying civilians some seventy or eighty years ago and  hired nurses as flight attendants.


J. William Seccombe

President, Connect Travel

Will Seccombe is President of Connect Travel, a strategic marketing business that connects destination marketers with the products, services, people and ideas that help them thrive in a rapidly evolving and highly competitive global marketplace.  Connect Travel hosts and produces travel industry events including Connect Travel Marketplace, Connect Tour, the Marketing Leadership Summit, the eTourism Summit, the Connect THRIVE Summit, the RTO Summits and Active America China.

Prior to joining the tourism marketing company in May 2017, Seccombe served four years as President and Chief Executive Officer for VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s destination marketing organization.  Will joined VISIT FLORIDA in March 2008 as Chief Marketing Officer. International and out-of-state visitors to the Sunshine State increased from 80 million in 2009 to over 112 million in 2016, with an associated annual increase in visitor spending of over $30 billion.

Will’s career began as regional sales manager with Vail Associates in 1989. He moved on to Loveland Ski Areas in 1992 as director of marketing, vice president of marketing for the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau in 1995 and vice president and chief operating officer with PRACO, LTD in 1999.  In 2004, Seccombe founded Revolution Communications, LLC, a digital travel marketing firm.

Mr. Seccombe was named one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing by HSMAI, Top 50 Global Marketers in Travel by Skift and the 2014 Hospitality Legend of the Year by the South Florida HSMAI.


Shashank Nigam

CEO, Simpliflying  

Shashank Nigam is a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is the Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying, one of the world’s largest aviation marketing firms working with over 85 aviation clients in the last ten years. Nigam is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior executives globally, from Chile to China.

Nigam’s impassioned and honest perspectives on airline marketing have found their way to over 100 leading media outlets, including the BBC, CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg, and into leading publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He writes a dedicated monthly column in Flight’s Airline Business, challenging the typical assumptions about airline marketing.

His new book on airline marketing, SOAR, is an Amazon bestseller that’s shaking up the industry and inspiring other industries to learn from the best airlines. Born in India, raised in Singapore, he now lives with his wife and two young daughters in Toronto.


Here is a link to an article written by Will Seccombe on the subject of Destination Marketing in a Post-Covid world


To learn more about ‘Sanitised Travel’, check out these links from Shashank



You can buy Shashank’s book Soar from this link



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