Mastercard bullish on Covid recovery

SINGAPORE, 9 September 2020:– Deep data insights are driving Covid-19 recovery strategies across all industries, including the travel and entertainment sectors according to two reports by Mastercard that analyze how companies and consumers are weathering the pandemic and preparing for the future.

Mastercard claims promising signs of improvement are starting to emerge, but critics might argue they are not yet apparent in the travel and hospitality sectors. Mastercard’s observations are contained in two reports; Sailing Against the Wind and Recovery Insights: Travel Check-in.

Case studies six sectors

Sailing Against the Wind features case studies on six sectors in the Asia Pacific – restaurants, finance, mass retail, health & beauty, travel and government – that highlight effective tactics to harness the power of analytics, including performance clustering, phased benchmarking and consumer segmentation. The specific examples also connect to broader themes for each industry on how to use the right data, tools and expertise to understand the impact of a crisis and drive response strategies.

Travel picks up closer to home

As restrictions on movement start to ease and economies begin showing signs of improvement, Mastercard Recovery Insights: Travel Check-In identifies key trends in the Group of 20 nations that reflect broader consumer spending patterns – in particular the shift to a smaller retail radius as people travel and spend closer to home.

The analysis of anonymized and aggregated transaction activity across the Mastercard network shows Italy, Russia and France are leading the recovery in travel and entertainment spending, largely as a result of the opening of European corridors. In many Asia Pacific markets, the recovery depends more on domestic sentiment than on regional travel arrangements.

Trends highlighted in Mastercard Recovery Insights: Travel Check-In include:

  • Localism Takes Off: Consumers are getting out and spending but maintaining a tighter footprint with a “home-centred retail radius”.
  • Boutique is Chic: Travelers are increasingly opting to stay small – with a rise in spending at boutique hotels. Recently, the global recovery rate of small independent hotels has outpaced the recovery of large hotels by more than 50%. 
  • Consumer Travel Leads the Recovery: An analysis of consumer cards compared to business cards shows that spending on consumer air travel and auto rentals is returning ahead of commercial travel.

“Businesses in the Asia Pacific have been dealing with the pandemic longer than anywhere else. In the midst of continued uncertainty in the operating environment and the ongoing change in consumer sentiment and behaviour, businesses need a compass to chart their path to growth, and many are finding that clarity through data-driven insights,” said Mastercard Advisors, Asia Pacific senior vice president, Donald Ong

“Combined with analytics expertise, agile strategic planning, a relentless focus on the changing consumer and a sharp pivot to digital, these businesses are clearly accelerating their pace of recovery.”

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