TRAVEL GOODS MAGAZINE
New reality + new Show = new opportunities. Got two minutes? Meet two fellow TGA members who are keeping travelers organized and styled across the miles. Catch the BUZZ on industry hubbub. READ MORE
On July 9, President Biden ordered the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to take action against excessive and unjust detention and demurrage fees in a small first step toward addressing the growing shipping crisis (See Section 5, Part O). TGA continues to urge President Biden to do more (June 24 letter, Twitter, LinkedIn), including: 1) enforcing current rules and regulations against contract breaches and unfair detention/demurrage charges; 2) forcing all stakeholders to the table to develop and implement solutions to the crisis; and 3) providing relief to industry by eliminating tariffs. TGA’s actions are part of a larger social media campaign (#ShippingCrisis) to raise public awareness of the shipping crisis and spur policy makers in Washington, D.C. to act to address it. Look for an AP story in the next week featuring TGA members. Let us know if you would like to talk to the media.
TGA to Biden Administration — Don’t Impose Punitive Tariffs on U.S. Travel Goods Imports from Vietnam
On July 14, TGA joined dozens of other industry organizations in opposing a possible move by the Biden administration to impose punitive tariffs on Vietnam under the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Section 301 investigation accusing Vietnam of currency manipulation. Such a decision would contradict the January 15 USTR announcement suspending the investigation or the Treasury Department’s April 16 report that found no currency manipulation by Vietnam. TGA strongly opposed punitive tariffs on Vietnam at a December 29, 2020 USTR public hearing. Vietnam is the #2 supplier of travel goods to the U.S. market. In the first five months of 2021, U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam increased 15.8%, with Vietnam supplying 21.2% of all U.S. travel goods imports during the period.
For the first time in over a year, U.S. travel goods imports (as described under HTS Heading 420 — click links to get specific import data on luggage, backpacks, flatgoods, handbags, business cases/laptop bags, and travel bags) actually increased (4.1% by volume) in the first five months of 2021 (versus January-May 2020) thanks the end of lockdowns in the spring and the resurgence in travel this summer. While U.S. backpack imports (-22.7%) remained significantly down in the first five months of 2021, U.S. luggage imports were essentially flat (-0.1%) and U.S. imports of business cases/laptop bags (+19.2%), handbags (+35.9%), personal leather goods (+6.2%), and travel bags (+2.1%) actually saw increases. The latest import numbers continue the accelerating trend away from China. In January-May 2021, U.S. travel goods imports from China slipped 1.5%, with China accounting for only 52.8% 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 #2 supplier Vietnam (+15.8%), #3 Cambodia (+1.2%), #4 Burma (Myanmar) (+28.2%), and #5 India (+9.6%) all grew in the first five months of 2021. Most top suppliers continued to gain import share from China, with U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam now accounting for 21.2% of all U.S. travel goods imports, followed by #3 Cambodia (8.0%), #4 Burma (Myanmar) (5.1%), and #5 India (4.0%). U.S. imports of travel goods account for approximately 99% of the U.S. travel goods market.
CAPE COD TIMES
Paul Nesbit, owner of MATE apparel store in Provincetown, says he knew there would be a shortage of T-shirts due to the pandemic. He ordered big in October and November. In the spring he used three warehouses — two more than usual — to store the blank T-shirts and his business has fared well. Nesbit is one of the exceptions as supply problems have caused a T-shirt shortage across the nation. READ MORE
SOCIAL MEDIA TODAY
Are you just getting started with a marketing plan for your business? Want to know what techniques you should use to generate leads and inquiries online? READ MORE
Despite leading the way with so many digital health passport trials, it’s ironic that U.S. borders are mostly staying closed because of the uncertainty around tracking who’s vaccinated. READ MORE
MY TOTAL RETAIL
Across the country, “MASKS REQUIRED” signs have been replaced with “HELP WANTED.” And these signs aren’t coming down anytime soon thanks to a nationwide shortage of workers. Why? READ MORE
Planning travel this summer is a lot like struggling through high school math. There’s the algebra of restrictions, when X into Y can’t go. There are the rising and falling R numbers. There’s the addition of flight costs to test costs to quarantine costs. And then there’s probability theory and the risk that it might all fall through. READ MORE
NPR PLANET MONEY
It was only a few years ago that Apple finished construction of its 2.8 million-square-foot “spaceship” headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area. The glittering, doughnut-shaped building cost the company about $5 billion to construct, making it one the most expensive buildings in the world. It was all part of Steve Jobs’ vision of a highly centralized company, where Apple employees collaborate under one roof in the place the company was founded. And now — record scratch — Apple seems to be abandoning that vision. READ MORE
If you were to take the world’s most inspirational entrepreneurs, put them in a room and ask them what moves them forward, purpose would most likely be their response. Most people become entrepreneurs in order to have control of their income, but conscious entrepreneurs focus on their impact. It is the polishing of your personality that determines your brand’s success. Conscious entrepreneurs understand that the process of their growth is a spiritual journey. They have full belief in their inner vision and execute day after day, always focusing on the bigger picture. READ MORE
With 2020 in the rearview mirror, Americans are feeling hopeful about travel and taking much-needed vacations in 2021, but will vacations bounce back this year? READ MORE
Missed last week’s issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
- Launch a Travel Product During a Pandemic? (TGA)
- Bank on Sexy in the HUB (TGA)
- TGA Urges President Biden to Address Shipping Crisis (TGA)
- ‘It’s Been a Nightmare.’ Local Businesses Struggle to Find T-shirts, Hats Amid Shortage (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL)
- Economy Down/Eyebrows Up (TRAVEL GOODS MAGAZINE)