This week, in the Travel Goods HUB Spotlight – collapsible water bottles that let travelers show Mother Earth some TLC while keeping themselves hydrated – a collection of wallets as rugged as the American West and as safe as Fort Knox – and bags and backpacks so in step with travelers that they can practically pack themselves. Pop into the Travel Goods HUB to check out brand-new travel gear – from the comfort of your desk and free of charge.
Travel Goods Magazine is now paper-free and live online. The benefits of a digital magazine abound, and our readership has excitedly adopted the new, interactive format. Now that the magazine team has shifted gears to paperless publication, we can offer you significant budget-friendly opportunities to get the word out on your company and its products. Place a rotating digital ad in Travel Goods Magazine for just $300 for three months worth of exposure. Your ad will rotate continuously and appear on all magazine pages for 90 days. And if you act by March 31st, we will give you a complimentary ad placement – effectively two ads for the price of one – and we’ll post your ads as soon as we receive them. Contact Cathy Trecartin at firstname.lastname@example.org today to reserve your space!
As shipping delays continue to grow, from Asia, to the U.S. West Coast, and beyond (see Marketplace, NYT, Footwear News, Supply Chain Dive, Sourcing Journal, Loadstar, American Shipper, LA Times), TGA urges members to contact their members of Congress to urge them to address the crisis. The easy-to-use system allows you and your colleagues to send multiple letters to your members of Congress in just a couple of minutes. Please send letters, and encourage your colleagues to do so, too.
On March 5, the U.S. government published January 2021 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 31.3% (by volume) in Jan. 2021 (versus Jan. 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 Jan. 2021, U.S. travel goods imports from China fell 41.1%, with China accounting for only 54.2% of total U.S. travel goods imports. For comparison, in 2016, China accounted for 84.7% of all U.S. travel goods imports. U.S. travel goods imports from most major suppliers also fell in Jan. 2021 – #2 Vietnam (-2.9%), #3 Cambodia (-23.5%), #4 Burma (Myanmar) (-12.0%), and #5 India (-29.3%). Despite the declines, most top suppliers gained import share from China, with U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam now accounting for 21.8% of all U.S. travel goods imports, followed by #3 Cambodia (7.6%), #4 Burma (Myanmar) (4.8%), and #5 India (3.4%). U.S. imports of travel goods account for approximately 99% of the U.S. travel goods market.
THE WASHINGTON POST
The Biden administration pledged Wednesday to place American economic security at the center of its decisions about international engagement, trade and the U.S. response to an increasingly assertive China. That gentler version of President Donald Trump’s “America First” protectionism is part of a strategy to marry U.S. foreign policy with domestic imperatives, starting with the coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it caused. READ MORE
Troops in Myanmar have occupied hospitals and university campuses, and ramped up nighttime raids ahead of a nationwide strike to protest against the military coup, according to local media reports. It’s the latest move by the military junta, which seized power on Feb. 1, to consolidate its control of the country in the face of mass protests and resistance to its increasingly violent rule. READ MORE
Amazon is being called out again for allegedly copying the product of a company that sells on Amazon, but rather than taking legal action, San Francisco-based Peak Design is taking to YouTube. The maker of travel bags and camera accessories alleges in a video that an Amazon Basics bag is basically a knock-off version of a bag Peak Design sells called the Everyday Sling. Amazon even named its bag Everyday Sling, before changing the name to Amazon Basics Camera Bag. READ MORE
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has so far declined to issue new guidance on travel for vaccinated Americans due to concerns about travel-related surges but is “looking forward” to updating guidance once more people get protected. READ MORE
With spring and summer approaching, a time when travelers would normally be jetting off on trips around the world, the world’s attention is instead focused on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic to gauge when travel will return to pre-pandemic levels. While the pandemic has created a dynamic shift in the way people travel, what’s particularly interesting is the way it’s shifted perceptions of luxury travel. READ MORE
The University of California, Davis is offering students $75 to be used for “staycations” to encourage them to avoid nonessential travel during spring break. Students who choose to stay home during the March 22-26 break will get the money in gift cards. Student response has been “awesome,” the university said in statement. READ MORE
HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR
Economic recovery, of course, is the rallying cry of leaders in 2021. Yet the most experienced executives know, recovery after an upheaval calls for a change in leadership style. It requires a “whole new mindset and a whole new skill set,” said Edward Hess, business professor and author of “Hyper-Learning: How to Adapt at the Speed of Change.” READ MORE
When COVID-19 lockdowns shuttered brick-and-mortar stores, people flocked to e-commerce like never before: IBM estimates that the pandemic accelerated the consumer shift from shopping in person to shopping online by five years. Many of the companies that stood out in this environment innovated to create a seamless experience between physical and digital spaces, building communities as well as customer bases. Here are some of the most innovative examples of the year. READ MORE
TRAVEL + LEISURE
With plenty of newbies getting on board (literally) with RV life, there are a few practical things to know, like how to pick the right RV, what to pack, and mistakes to avoid. But, as any longtime RVer knows, half the battle is finding a campground that has the amenities you need, the space you crave, and the views you want. To cut out some of the legwork, we asked experts to share some of the best and most beautiful RV campgrounds they’ve ever experienced, and then added a few of our favorites – because one of the best things about a home on wheels is waking up to a million-dollar view. READ MORE
SOCIAL MEDIA TODAY
Snapchat has published a new report, in partnership with Oxford Economics, which examines the role that Gen Z will play in driving the post-pandemic recovery, and how this generation will become a key focus for marketers moving forward. READ MORE
Missed last week’s issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
- Don’t Miss the Boat – The HUB Is Live. Are You There Yet? (TGA)
- U.S. Retailers See Millions in Sales Delays Amid Shipping Logjam (LOS ANGELES TIMES)
- What Will We Want When We Can Travel Again? (THE ATLANTIC)
- Trade Won’t Be on ‘Back Burner’ for Biden, USTR Pick Tai Tells Senate (POLITICO)
- Biden’s Team Says It Will Use ‘All Available Tools’ to Fight China’s Unfair Trade Practices (CNBC)