It’s not hard to believe that the pandemic situation is particularly hard for countries relying on tourism, especially for many in Europe such as Spain, Greece, France, and my beloved Italy.
As shown in a recent Tripadvisor research, I’m part of that 53% of travellers enthusiasts that have recently planned — and booked — their next holiday.
Even though, the data in tourism field highlights a significant drop since the spread of the virus begins, taking a precise picture is not possible as of now, as the data changes as quickly as the virus spreads.
What we can definitely see by ourselves are the effects this pandemic is having in the tourism industry. While browsing on the internet, and on social media — especially on LinkedIn, I saw many talented people being laid off and looking for new opportunities because of their employers’ tough calls. Also, companies need to move on, relaunch their business and regain trust among travellers all over the world.
What companies in tourism can do to relaunch their business?
🙌🏻 Support your market
Work closely with other partners in the industry to expand opportunities for your customers. An example could be creating some packages to combine multiple services, offering discounts or any promotions alongside other companies within the travel industry (food and beverage, and transportations, perhaps).
Encourage people to support other minor businesses in their area by some creative campaigns and keep investing, if you can. A good example is the #loveyourlocal campaign promoted by Tripadvisor that engage people globally to share on social media their favourite local spots, and support them online https://www.tripadvisor.com/blog/support-local-restaurants-love-your-local/ .
🤳🏼 Redesign the Travel Experience online
What do people like the most when they go on holiday? The majority of us would immediately say something they had experienced through their senses, like the food, the weather, the smell of the sea, basically those authentic feelings part of the holiday memorability that cannot be supplied virtually — not yet.
Despite we agree that experiences cannot be replaced at the moment, businesses can still offer people to travel from home and engage them by promoting online tours, keep posting suggesting pictures, sharing past holiday experiences and so on. Travellers will take note of that place, restaurant, or tour, for whenever it will be possible to travel again.
💫 Stay true to your brand tone of voice
Stay in touch with your customers and promote safety when it comes to travelling. Have a single voice to communicate is important to be consistent with your brand and to avoid creating confusion among your customers. Do not speculate by advising people to travel letting them assume this is possible everywhere when that’s not true. However, remember you are not a local authority, so do not limit to share official and fact-based information, but remain close to your customers’ needs. Use the right communication and channels. Be real-istic.
⛺️ Promote Staycation
With the borders being closed in many countries over the globe, it doesn’t make any sense to keep advertising your brand new products or services thinking people would purchase it. Think smaller, be focus on what your business can offer in reality, and what your clients need. A good example of a think smaller campaign? Promote weekend escapes or short-term gateway, where possible, to distance people from the work-from-home and home-schooling routines.
👩🏻💻Act in real-time
As the situation changes as we speak, prompt actions are essentials. Keep your clients alert and safe. Talk to them, work out smart solutions ad make real-time (re)arrangements. Make them part of the problem and the solution. Accurate and timely information is important for everyone, also to determine next steps and track new trends.
Respond quickly to your customers, and dig up those old forums to address potential concerns, and limit disappointment.
🌼 Display the positive and be flexible
Many businesses in the travel industry have been affected by the spread of the virus. Promote and encourage alternative options is the way. Can they reschedule or move the dates? Will they get a voucher, gift card or coupon to use in the future? Make sure your customers know what you are doing for them, and let them help you too. Are you sponsoring some promotions for the future? Share it online, use social media, and add a positive and clear banner on your site. This is not the time to remind customers of your company policies or terms and conditions, isn’t it? Try to arrange mutually beneficial contract terms with both suppliers and clients.