Every element of the travel industry is evolving in response to the 2020 pandemic. The product development and manufacturing cycle has accelerated, and yearly product introductions are no longer sufficient to drive your business.
In response, TGA has created the Travel Goods HUB, a year-round, one-stop online directory of travel goods products. The HUB, updated on a quarterly basis, features the freshest travel gear – before it even hits the market – displayed on unique profile pages with clickable content, seamlessly transforming browsers into buyers. Get connected to everyone you need to know, all in one place.
- Participation deadline for manufacturer members: February 8, 2021
- Registration begins for buyers and media: February 18
- Launch date: March 1, 2021
REMINDER: Congress Allows GSP to Expire, Meaning Full Duties on U.S. Imports from GSP Countries Starting Jan. 1
On Dec. 21, Congress adjourned for the year without extending the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade preference program. As a result, GSP expired on Dec. 31, 2020, meaning that U.S. travel goods imports from a wide range of developing countries, including Thailand, Cambodia, Burma (Myanmar), Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Pakistan no longer enter the U.S. duty-free starting Jan. 1, 2021. In response, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued the following instructions, which enables importers to retain the right to collect refunds of duties paid if GSP is retroactively renewed. In the first eleven months of 2020, U.S. travel goods imports from GSP countries increased 10.7%, supplying 15.0% of all U.S. travel goods imports during that period. TGA urges you to write your members of Congress to urge them to retroactively renew GSP as soon as possible. It only takes a couple of minutes.
TGA Joins Over 200 Organizations in Opposing New Vietnam Tariffs / Files Final Comments in Opposition
On January 7, TGA and TGA members joined over 200 organizations in opposing proposed punitive tariffs against U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam under the Office of U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Section 301 Tariff Investigations against Vietnam. TGA also filed separate comments opposing the tariffs in the USTR timber and currency investigations. There is growing concern that President Trump could impose punitive tariffs on U.S. imports from Vietnam (as high as 25%) before he leaves office on Jan. 20, 2021. Vietnam is the #2 supplier of travel goods to the U.S. market. In the first eleven months of 2020, U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam increased 12.3%, with Vietnam supplying 19.3% of all U.S. travel goods imports during that period.
U.S. Travel Goods Imports Continued to Fall in First Eleven Months of 2020, Led by Declines in Imports from China
On January 7, the U.S. government published import data for November 2020. 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 22.8% (by volume) in the first eleven months of 2020. In addition to the obvious impact of COVID-19 on the industry, the latest import numbers show the accelerating trend away from China. In the first eleven months of 2020, U.S. travel goods imports from China fell 35.4%, with China accounting for only 57.6% of total U.S. travel goods imports. For comparison, in 2016, China accounted for 84.7% of all U.S. travel goods imports. Meanwhile, despite the pandemic, U.S. travel goods imports from #2 supplier Vietnam (12.3%), #3 Cambodia (9.3%), and #4 Burma (Myanmar) surged in the first eleven months of 2020. In fact, U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam now account for 19.3% of all U.S. travel goods imports, followed by #3 Cambodia (7.2%), #4 Burma (Myanmar) (3.9%), #5 India (3.4%), and #6 Indonesia (1.4%). U.S. imports of travel goods account for approximately 99% of the U.S. travel goods market.
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Retailing has always been called a combination of art and science but for much of its existence there’s usually been too much of the former and not enough of the latter. However, more recently, the whole idea of better understanding the customer experience has allowed retailers to use research and predictive analytics to both better deal with their shoppers and position their stores, products and brands to become more successful. READ MORE
CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER
While the pandemic likely won’t end until the majority of the world’s population is vaccinated, many of us are looking ahead to a return to travel. But what will that look like after the vaccine is widely available? Here’s a peek. READ MORE
Why Walmart’s Chief Customer Officer Says Retail Can’t Go Back to Business as Usual After the Pandemic
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Officials from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed its Travel Pass digital health credential solution should be ready for use by major airlines starting in March. Travel Pass is a mobile app that helps travelers store and manage verified certifications for coronavirus tests and vaccines, which provides more security and efficiency than paper processes. READ MORE
HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
While finding ways to mitigate challenges, sellers must answer a more basic question. Where should they be spending (or not spending) their time? Three imperatives drive growth in an all-virtual selling environment. READ MORE
Missed last week’s issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
- TGA Introduces New Member Benefit: Packed in a Minute (TGA)
- REMINDER: Congress Allows GSP to Expire, Meaning Full Duties on U.S. Imports from GSP Countries Starting Jan. 1 (TGA)
- Rethinking Travel in a Post-Pandemic World (NATURE)
- Why the Decline of Business Travel Matters (AXIOS)
- Frequent Travel Makes People 7% Happier – Here’s How to Safely Reap the Benefits Amid COVID (CNBC)