I recently heard a fellow tech analyst complain: “The Covid-19 pandemic has ruined every trend chart we’re ever going to build again”.
What she means by that: no matter how the world will recover down the road, the impact of the pandemic will always stand out instantly in any given data chart covering the 2020 time period – no matter the context.
Think about any type of business chart showing trends over time. For 2020, you’ll either see a massive dip (e.g. travel demand) or spike (e.g. Zoom usage) that needs an explanatory comment and takes attention away from the underlying megatrend and purpose of the given chart.
This also holds true for the widely discussed sustainability trend.
Travel and Mobility Tech in 2019 was arguably most characterized by the rapidly expanding greener-travel hype, boosted by Greta Thunberg and the “Fridays for Future” movement. As a result, Google search interest for sustainability-related terms exploded in popularity last year.
But search interest disappeared almost as rapidly when the pandemic broke out in February.
It turns out that the biggest enemy of climate awareness in 2020 is not Donald Trump but Covid-19.
Maybe this statement is far-fetched. But the pandemic certainly ruined the steady upward trajectory every sustainability advocate would like to use in their next keynote slides.
But apart from that, the really important question the chart raises is whether sustainability and the urge for greener travel will gain in relevance again.
Our take is a clear YES!
The rising environmental awareness of travelers has only temporarily been paused. Soon travelers will continue to spend and consume according to their principles again, making this tremendous ecological renovation economically viable as well as inescapable down the road.
Our Managing Director Gleb Tritus recently elaborated on this thinking in his comprehensive piece on the seven predictions on how digital will shape travel and mobility in the 2020s.