At this dark and uncertain time for the world, the temptation to give up is understandable.
Many people in the travel and hospitality industries have built businesses from scratch – with blood, sweat and tears, only to see their hard work destroyed in a crazy, unprecedented global event, which will have long-lasting implications for everyone.
At this scary time, health comes first, and our thoughts are primarily with anyone affected by this virus.
As ever, life must go on, and if you have a travel business you may be wondering what now. We need to accept that this situation is happening, and we can’t deny the fact it has hit the travel industry hard and will do for some time.
We’ve compiled some ideas to hopefully help you pivot your travel business model during the pandemic and adapt to these immense challenges.
Switch to online
This might be easier said than done but don’t underestimate the power of a creative mind.
Have a productive facetime call with your team and think about your current services and products. Is there a way to modify some of them to an online version?
To give you some ideas, for example, museums are doing virtual tours, restaurant chefs are holding online cooking classes, hotels are offering gift vouchers with flexible terms, etc.
Save the date (and the event)!
Most physical events have been cancelled until further notice, however, that doesn’t mean the whole event has to be cancelled.
Move the event online, while still keeping the high standards of it. It will be more important than ever to make the event extra engaging, to hold the attention of an audience which is not physically present.
To help you more with this transition, we have created a free guide to help you take your events online. It’s jam-packed with resources and actionable steps that will enable you to start organising your next event with confidence, so make sure to grab a copy!
Create content and assets
Invest this time into creating content that you wouldn’t have time to create otherwise.
Go through your content strategy and adapt it. Think of all more complex, more time-consuming content that you need, and use this time to batch it. The good thing about the travel industry is that you can create content for more advance then in other industries.
If you had thought about adding new services but didn’t manage to actually work on it, now is a perfect time.
Go thoroughly through your business and upgrade it on every level you can. This time allows you to fully focus on that. In addition, it can make it up for the revenue you are not generating at the moment in the near future.
Adapt your messaging
You cannot control the spread, but you can control how you are communicating during these times.
It is important than ever to show how much you care about your customers. Health is a priority and that should be the main message you are sending out.
Take advantage of email marketing and check in on them, send personalized emails to all of your customers. Show your hygienic standards and assure them you are not compromising on that anytime, not just during the pandemic.
At the same time, there is a lot of noise about the pandemic and it’s very easy to feel anxious about all of the uncertainty.
Don’t add oil to that fire. Instead, distribute content and resources that will help stay positive, calm, relaxed. That’s what we all need now.
Focus on staycations
It can be helpful to try and think beyond the crisis.
Travel is good for the soul and in the long-term people won’t stop travelling – although the way we travel may change for some time.
It is likely that people who have been locked down for several months, and have been forced to appreciate the smaller things in life – and the fragility of life – are going to want to put the darkness behind them to some extent and enjoy the fun things in life – celebrations and spending time with loved ones in particular.
We expect to see a huge surge in staycations as lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted. That’s why you should consider switching your focus to the domestic market and adapting your offering to staycations now.
For most travellers, the country they have least explored is their home country. This is likely to change, as people take advantage of their post-lockdown freedom. Chances are border re-openings will lag behind lockdown relaxations, meaning visitors will be holidaying in their own countries.
This presents an opportunity for many in the industry – even during these scary and uncertain times.
Start by going through your current offering. Staycations are usually a few days, up to a week-long trip, so you should adjust your service to fit shorter stays. Create special weekend packages or holiday-themed packages and feature your facilities.
Another major factor to take into account is your destination. Think about reasons why would someone from another city want to visit – is it because to enjoy rich urban, cultural life or to unwind in untouched nature?
Keep in mind that it will be important to make the destination appealing to people primarily from your own country – not to tourists from abroad.
We truly wish you the best of luck in navigating this crisis, and we hope you all stay safe. We’ll be continuing to work from home, and providing more relevant and information and content over the coming weeks.
Stay home and stay healthy.
Until next time,