In this blog series, The Effects of COVID-19 on the Travel Industry, we take a closer look at five major sectors of the travel industry and explore current trends and impacts of the pandemic.

In our series, we’ll cover the effects of COVID-19 on:

After more than a decade of explosive growth and the emergence of many innovative startups, the travel industry faces one of the biggest challenges in its history. The global COVID-19 pandemic has devastated economies worldwide, hitting hospitality businesses, airlines, and transportation services particularly hard. Studies suggest the impact will be 9 times worse than 9/11.

The travel business sector is suffering a considerable decline, as companies have been forced to handle meetings through video conferencing. Many may choose to continue with remote communications and eliminate their business travel budgets. To adapt to the new normal,  companies are evaluating existing protocols, such as:

  • Traveler safety
  • Duty of care for employees
  • Policy compliance
  • Eliminating bypass and pre-trip approval

Global Car Rental Trends

Global Rental Rates will Rise

The annual car rental revenue is forecasted to decrease by 55% compared to 2019.  The car rental industry will have to face stiff competition from disruptive business models such as Drivy, a European car rental service that allows owners to rent out their cars when not in use. The usage of on-demand transportation services and apps is expected to continue rising.



Advanced 5G network connectivity will have a major influence on the development of driverless vehicles that could drastically increase road safety. The new network infrastructure will also allow for increased usage of in-car mobile hotspots and digital assistants.


Pandemic Impact

The global car rental business reaches a decline of 32% in 2020. However, road trips gaining popularity and demand for car rentals increase as travelers are opting for domestic trips accessible by car.

The pandemic has caused rising prices of the used car market which has benefited the rental car companies to sell off old inventories, Avis sold over 75,000 cars from their fleet.  On the flip side, not all car rental companies are benefiting, Hertz filed for bankruptcy on May 2020 with nearly USD19B debt, one of the largest bankruptcies to result from pandemic, to get rid of almost 200K cars by the end of the year.

To cope with the crisis, regular sanitation of units and allowing for curbside rental transactions are some of the measures implemented for customer and employee safety.

Global Chauffeur Car Rental Trends


Digital platforms using supplier websites that allow online reservations seem to be gaining popularity, against the traditional phone-in reservation model. Increased digitization and growing datasets are also going to speed up the evolution of mobile apps that offer passenger tracking.

In addition, service providers are looking at replacing air filters in vehicles with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.



Decreased availability of licensed chauffeurs due to lower wages affects the rising demand for seasoned chauffeurs to handle increasing limo fleets.

Ride-hailing competitors with similar limo service availability like Uber LUX, have directly impacted the growth of existing chauffeured service companies.


Pandemic Impact

The global taxi and limousine services market is expected to plummet by 43.7% from 2019 to 2020. Providers have had to adapt to the pandemic in drastic ways, including:

  • Reducing the number of available seats and installing seating charts to promote social distancing
  • Minimizing driver interactions with guests and requiring drivers to wear protective facial gear
  • Offering passenger amenities only upon request
  • Replacing air filters with HEPA units

Ready to transform your ground program?

TCG Consulting is here to guide you through strategically assessing your ground program. Click below to learn how TCG Consulting can help.