woman with mask sitting in empty airport

The Tourism Operators’ Guide to Surviving Covid-19  

You may have noticed the world is at a complete stand-still because of the coronavirus pandemic. The world’s on fire: the stock market is shot, travel plans are cancelled, airlines are haemorrhaging money, and our beloved tourism industry is sitting at rock-bottom. Economic experts around the world are talking about the impending recession.

Without a doubt, it’s a tough time for everybody in the travel industry; but as with any tragedy, panicking is not going to help. For tourism businesses to survive, it’s best to focus on what we can do, rather than what we can’t.

Here are some of our top tips to help your business not only survive this crisis but come out thriving on the other side.

 

Embrace Local

Travel restrictions are pretty much the standard of every country hit by the Covid-19. Now is the time to reach out to your neighbours and focus your marketing activities within your immediate region or state. You may be surprised by how many people in your local area are yet to hear about your operation.

People will be looking for things to do, and since they can’t travel overseas, they will turn their attention locally. Focus your time and energy in your local area. This might look like advertising in a local paper, or running social media ads targeting people in your region.

There’s plenty of appetite for neighbourly goodwill at the moment, so capitalise on that. Consider offering special deals or discount for your local community. Tourism Accelerator can help brainstorm ideas on how to successfully execute these offers to target local tourism.

 

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Reach out to the local operators in your area for potential collaboration. Develop a working relationship with other companies and resellers. Recommend other companies’ tours, and ask them to do the same for you. You can also discuss referrals and rewards. This is a great way to boost the industry in your area and could mean more customers for you and your partners.

 

Build Your Business from Home

We don’t deny a lot of work is pretty difficult to manage from home – good luck to the ferry drivers trying to steer a boat from their dining table. But the truth is, there are lots of ways operators can continue to run the important parts of their business and prep for growth. Don’t forget, working from home will allow you to cut back on operational costs (such as electricity, water, internet, some office costs) without compromising the health and safety of your employees.

 

Get People’s Commitment

Everyone’s feeling it. Staying home all day sucks. People are bored, and lots of us are itching to start planning our next trip. So now is a great time to start thinking about discounts and deals that would encourage potential customers to commit as soon as possible.

 

Invest In Yourself, Get Ready for the Future

If there’s one thing we can learn from global crises past, like the 2008 recession and 2003 SARS epidemic, it’s that tour bookings recovered fairly quickly. If you have a bit of time on your hands right now, you can use it to equip yourself with the knowledge and skills you’ll need to handle the demands of the future. Now is the time to look for find efficiencies in your model, develop new products or investigate areas for growth.

At Tourism Accelerator, our goal is to help tourism businesses thrive. While the current economic situation might look bleak, tough times like these will pass. It’s what you do now that will determine how your business will recover once the pandemic is over.

Hayden Zammit

Hayden Zammit

Hayden is the Director of Tourism Accelerator and leads tourism strategy, digital marketing and online training for small businesses.