Major S.Korean travel agencies expected to recover from pandemic fallout

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Seoul, Oct 18 | Major South Korean travel agencies are expected to recover from the prolonged fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic and swing to a profit in 2022 on growing demand for overseas travel, a market tracker said on Monday.

Local brokerage houses have projected that industry leader HanaTour could register a consolidated operating income of 3.9 billion won ($33 million) in the coming year, a sharp turnaround from an operating loss of 114.9 billion won last year, according to financial information provider FnGuide.

In the first half of this year alone, HanaTour posted an operating loss of 65.6 billion won. The company chalked up an operating income of 5.9 billion won in 2019 before the Covid-19 outbreak, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Runner-up Mode Tour is also projected to record an operating income of 200 million won next year, compared with an operating loss of 10.5 billion won in the first half of this year.

Yellow Balloon Tour Co. is predicted to rack up an operating income of 9.7 billion won next year, compared with its first-half loss of 6.4 billion won.

The positive outlook for local tour agencies comes amid growing demand for overseas trips on the back of fast-rising coronavirus vaccination rates and Seoul’s “travel bubble” pacts with other countries.

Major tourist destinations across the globe are reporting high vaccination rates, and South Korea has been pushing to sign travel bubble accords with several countries.

Also responsible is Seoul’s move to prepare for a “living with Covid-19” scheme next month, in which the virus will be treated as an infectious respiratory disease, like seasonal influenza.

However, FnGuide said it will likely take more time for sales and earnings of those travel companies to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Local tour operators have been hit hard by the global spread of Covid-19, which has resulted in a tumble in travel demand following lockdowns major countries.

An industry source said local travel companies were the last to bounce back from the aftermath of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002 and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak.

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal Campusutra.com  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal

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