TGA is excited about the new and different offerings we’ve debuted over the past months: the Travel Goods HUB, Packed in a Minute videos, and all-digital Travel Goods Magazine. As an association, we wanted every tool available to our members to be easy to access and all in one place. We’ve been eager to share this months-in-the-making “pandemic project,” and it’s finally time: Welcome to the brand-new Travel Goods Association website! Here, Association news and membership information, the new Travel Goods HUB, Travel Goods Show news and exhibitor information, and Travel Goods Magazine digital content will live on one website. Please, come explore! Click around, acquaint yourself with what’s new, and drop us a line to let us know what you think. READ MORE
The humble backpack, once the domain of serious outdoor adventurers, has become ubiquitous, permeating every area of our lives. Travel Goods Magazine will be taking a deep dive into backpacks – from fashion handbags to pint-sized packs to backpacks for every variety of sport imaginable – and more. If you manufacture backpacks of any variety, we’d love to feature your product in the digital pages of Travel Goods Magazine. If you are a retailer with an opinion or story about backpacks, we want to hear from you as well. READ MORE
On Feb. 11, President Biden imposed sanctions against the perpetrators of the Feb. 1 military coup in Myanmar (Burma), which overthrew the democratically elected government in the country, and detaining its leaders, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. The coup has led to massive protests and is starting to impact production and transportation. TGA will continue to keep members apprised of the impact of any potential sanctions on the industry and whether the situation on the ground in Myanmar is impacting production. Myanmar is the 4th largest and fastest growing supplier of travel goods to the U.S., growing 65.2% in 2020. Even so, U.S. travel goods imports from Myanmar still account for only 4.1% of total U.S. travel goods imports. Please let us know if your production has been impacted in the country.
On Feb. 5, the U.S. government published full year 2020 import data. U.S. travel goods imports (as described under HTS Heading 4202 – click links to get specific import data on luggage, backpacks, flatgoods, handbags, business cases/laptop bags, and travel bags) slid 22.7% (by volume) in 2020. In addition to the obvious impact of COVID-19 on sales and on travel, the latest import numbers show the accelerating trend away from China. In 2020, U.S. travel goods imports from China fell 35.6%, with China accounting for only 56.0% of total U.S. travel goods imports. For comparison, in 2016, China accounted for 84.3% of all U.S. travel goods imports. Meanwhile, despite the pandemic, U.S. travel goods imports from #2 supplier Vietnam (12.1%), #3 Cambodia (4.9%), and #4 Burma (Myanmar) (65.2%) surged in 2020. In fact, U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam now account for 19.6% of all U.S. travel goods imports, followed by #3 Cambodia (7.3%), #4 Burma (Myanmar) (4.1%), #5 India (3.7%), and #6 Indonesia (1.5%). U.S. imports of travel goods account for approximately 99% of the U.S. travel goods market.
SUPPLY CHAIN DIVE
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been overburdened with a deluge of container imports over the last few months. As a result, cargo heading into and out of the ports has slowed to a relative crawl, as the ports deal with record-breaking volume alongside a reduction in staff related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This slowdown resulting from high levels of imports has created congestion at terminals and in surrounding areas. These charts show the impact of record imports and congestion at the Southern California port facilities. READ MORE
As the White House and Congress work out yet another COVID-19 economic relief package and medical experts try to figure out what variants of the coronavirus mean for the effectiveness of vaccines, people are trying to just hang on until things get back to normal. That goes for businesses, too. READ MORE
Here’s a look at key events that have played a role in the evolution of U.S. travel advisors over the last 130-plus years. READ MORE
Consumers flocked to spend their stimulus checks in January, sending retail sales for the month up 5.3% in a blockbuster start to 2021, according to a government report yesterday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were expecting a rise of just 1.2%. Excluding autos, sales rose 5.9%, also far ahead of the 1% estimate in a display of unexpected strength from the consumer. READ MORE
According to a new survey by HealthCareInsider.com, which focused on Americans’ perceptions of the pandemic’s end, Millennials are 50% more likely than Gen-Xers and 15% more likely than Baby Boomers to feel comfortable traveling by at least Fall 2021. READ MORE
It wasn’t the usual aspirational 20-something with perfect home decor and a massive following that was Aura Frames’ most successful influencer partnership last year. It was a collaboration with Charlotte Simpson, a 65-year-old retired guidance counselor. Her work accounted for our best-performing ad in 2020, bringing in nearly five times more conversions than any influencer ad, with six times more engagement than any ad creative. READ MORE
If the leadership industry is to realize its promise and potential, it will have to evolve. It will have to become, like the rest of America, more inclusive. READ MORE
THE NEW YORK TIMES
People over 65 have been among the first in line to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. And they are leading a wave in new travel bookings. READ MORE
Missed last week’s issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
- There’s Traffic in the HUB: Are You on Your Way? (TGA)
- Should You Book Travel Now for Later in 2021? What You Need to Know (THE HUFFINGTON POST)
- Coup in Myanmar Should Raise Concerns for Industry (TGA)
- How Consumers Are Thinking About Travel in 2021 (TRAVELPULSE)
- Biden Treads Carefully Around Trump’s Combative Trade Policy (ASSOCIATED PRESS)