The travel industry has been hit hard by Coronavirus. Many of us have had to cancel or reschedule upcoming trip plans, and people all over the world are dreaming about much-needed holidays.
With destinations all around the world itching to open their doors, businesses in the travel industry are fighting for a spot on vacation wish lists for when it’s safe to travel once again.
Here are six creative ways to be top-of-mind and emerge from this pandemic situation with demand at the ready:
- Transport Guests Virtually: Properties and destinations are developing virtual experiences that allow individuals to get a taste of the brand from the comfort of their own homes. Virtual tours are being created by hotels, cities, and museums. Beaches and other outdoor sites with natural beauty are being live-streamed from all around the world in greater numbers than ever before.
- Create Shareable Content: This period of low traffic is giving content creators the opportunity to capture visuals without crowds or guests in the frame. People are spending more time online, according to The New York Times, which reports that traffic to YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and Netflix has increased by more than 15%. To share compelling content during this time, brands should think about their niche expertise and unique selling propositions. Are you using Instagram Live or other video-sharing apps like TikTok to create new content and reach new audiences quickly? You ought to be. It’s critical to be visible, engaged, and relevant on social media right now–people are paying attention!
- Promote–But Don’t Sell:
Stories of businesses missing the mark when it comes to communications on social media. Leave the sales language at the door and instead focus on insightful storytelling and human connection. Are your staff engaged in something fun while the doors are shut? Has your team been able to concentrate on sustainability or an environmental endeavour while guests are away from the property? During this period, what maintenance or enhancements are being carried out? Highlighting these efforts will keep you in front of potential guests’ minds without coming across as desperate, sales-driven, or tone deaf.
- Share Your Plan: Everyone is wondering what will happen next, given the uncertainty of the future. Travel and how people move around the world will never be the same again. Make sure your guests are aware of the precautions your resort is taking to guarantee their safety. Being open and honest about your plans for reopening will give potential customers the confidence they need to make a purchase.
Consider the overall customer experience: will you be limiting dining room capacity or modifying the food and beverage experience entirely? On a daily, if not hourly, basis, what are your cleaning policies? Answering these and other questions ahead of time can assist to alleviate fears and encourage future consumers to book.
- Focus Locally: Travel may take a little longer to return as the world slowly regains a sense of routine. When reopening, local and drive-in markets may be a suitable focus for more immediate business.
Destinations will need to assess their communications strategy carefully to ensure that they are not only reaching out to these audiences, but also communicating successfully with them. Are your guest packages appropriate for small parties planning a weekend break or a staycation? Are you marketing daytime drive-in activities aimed towards local families?
While the COVID-19 problem will have an impact on the travel industry for some time, travel businesses should continue to explore for new methods to engage with their target audiences so that when demand for travel returns, their destination is friendlier, smarter, and safer choice.
Be transparent at all times, no hidden tricks, just the best option for the customer.
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