With Covid-19 still impacting the tourism industry, it is important for affected businesses to create new opportunities to encourage growth and mitigate revenue loss. Although some might argue that it is bad optics to advertise tourism - even in low risk destinations - many people who are looking for a little ray of sunshine in the midst of all the chaos could appreciate the joys of local tourism.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Covid-19 has resulted in an estimated 60% decline in the international tourism sector. The OECD also suggests that domestic tourism is likely to recover much faster than the global tourism industry. So what does this mean in terms of opportunities for local tourism businesses?
Here are some ideas for local businesses to adopt.
Provide relevant & up to date information on Covid-19 guidelines
By providing current information on Covid-19 restrictions and safety guidelines, customers and potential customers will rest assured that your business is concerned with general health and well being. It also lets them know that you will put their safety first if and when they decide to patronize you.
Be consistent with your website updates, so that customers are able to access recent information to help them make informed decisions. Information shared should always be in line with public health advisory guidelines.
Support safe local tourism
Tourism has traditionally been positioned as a concept that only international travellers enjoy. However, most people who live close to tourist attractions (such as the Niagara Region) often get so used to it that they no longer consider such places for their tourism!
Being aware of this, local tourist businesses can target domestic residents to explore available services safely. Since Covid-19, many businesses have moved toward virtual rendering of services where possible. For example, a wine tasting service can allow groups to book their session, pay for the wine and it is then shipped to their individual houses where they can join a virtual wine tasting session.
Although this may not be entirely possible for every tourist business, the opportunity to book ahead of time can allow businesses to still offer their services in smaller capacities for domestic residents who are looking for a place to go.
Develop strong relationships with customers
With the decline in new customers, it is important for businesses to develop stronger relationships with their existing customers. Regular informative emails, blog posts, surveys etc. could help keep your customer base engaged and build their trust in your business.
In addition, leaving customers alone in this time and trying to pick that relationship back up when tourism is fully back could prove very difficult.
Businesses could approach this relationship with their customers as friends who walked through a difficult time together. It is easier for that friend to have trust in the business as opposed to ignoring the relationship because it doesn’t suit your needs right now and trying to patch it up when tourism is back.
Maximize the use of digital and social media
The more people stay indoors, the more they turn to the media for entertainment and information. For a lot of people, they spend their time on social media channels. Even though businesses might be cutting back on Ad spend, posting more exciting organic content can encourage engagement with followers!
Making use of video content like reels, fleets and stories can prove very innovative and captivating for viewers. Previous video or photo content can be repurposed to keep your business in front of the viewer's eyes.
Lay the groundwork for recovery
Right now, it may seem like there is no end in sight for Covid-19 and its effects on tourism. However, tourist businesses need to use this time as a period of growth and development. Taking the lessons learned from this and applying it to improve business functionality and operation can make a huge difference when tourism starts to recover.Are you a tourism-driven business, looking for an unmatched marketing strategy? H&C is here to help! Chat with one of our experts today and let’s get started.