The Covid-19 pandemic has negatively affected businesses around the world, especially those in the travel and tourism sector. Flights have been grounded, borders have been closed, travel restrictions have been set in place, and millions of jobs have been lost globally. This has plunged the industry into unprecedented challenges. How can companies in the travel and tourism industry survive while the rest of the world is stuck at home?
We investigate different strategies for New Zealand travel companies to navigate the crisis and for locals to show support, so they can survive the current economic adversity.
Stay connected online
Businesses need to be transparent and keep customers informed. Make sure the necessary information is easily accessible online. Provide an FAQ sheet to answer client queries about cancellations, refunds, and discounted itinerary change fees. Apart from disseminating vital information, business owners should take advantage of this time when people are quarantined, as they’re more eager for content that enables them to escape from the current situation.
Try to communicate with your audience on how you can survive the pandemic together. Post destination photos to engage with your audience. Get them dreaming of the day they can travel again. Many people who don’t normally travel may be receptive to the idea now that they’ve been forced into isolation. Even though you can’t encourage individuals to travel, you can still share messages of hope. This will help form a positive brand image that will remain on customers’ minds even after the crisis is over.
Solidify your customer retention strategy
Certainly, it has proven difficult to get more customers during a pandemic. For this very reason, business owners within the travel and tourism industry must plan a good loyalty program as part of their customer retention strategy. Offer loyalty points for social media shares and tags. Incentivise referrals to customers who help widen your exposure and generate potential leads.
Look at new opportunities that bring in revenue
Whatever the nature of your business is, it’s always important to find creative ways to gain extra income. For example, airlines are obtaining revenue through charter and repatriation flights. More restaurants now provide takeaway and delivery services. Bus operators are still working to transport medical supplies to workplaces. It’s essential to look for opportunities wherein your business can still operate given the current situation. There are plenty of ways your business can generate income by offering improved and innovative services.
What customers can do to support the industry
As New Zealand businesses in the travel and tourism industries are working on their internal structure and forming strategies to accommodate the new normal, locals can also provide support to help small companies recuperate from the current effects of the pandemic. Here’s how:
- Be empathetic – As a client or customer, you need to take time to understand how the coronavirus pandemic has been an overwhelming crisis for the tourism economy. It’s good to be mindful that the pandemic has triggered the loss of many jobs and affected millions of people’s lives. The least we can do is to be empathetic and understand that businesses are doing their best to respond to clients while also responding to their own employees.
- Purchase gift cards – A little effort goes a long way. By purchasing gift vouchers or cards for future visits when social distancing is no longer necessary, you can help travel and tourism-based businesses stabilise.
- Support local – Be mindful of the sectors that rely on patronage for success. These include businesses in the food and beverage industry, entertainment industry, and more. Find safe ways to support your own community. Dedicate your patronage to smaller, local businesses to stimulate the economy and industry.
- Don’t lose interest – When faced with unsettling circumstances, it’s never frivolous to sustain your desire to explore places and learn about different cultures. Know that you still can. You can experience the world through virtual tours, live streams, articles, and online courses. There are still ways to support the industry and experience the finest destinations across the globe—online.
Secure your future with Bartercard!
Given the current situation, while travel is still discouraged, it’s hard for travel and tourism-based businesses to see too far ahead. But if you’re running a company and want to secure your business’ future, join Bartercard. Through Bartercard Travel, we help our members find great deals on travel and tourism packages for both business and pleasure. Through our services and direct contact listings, we can help fuel businesses within the travel and tourism industry. Contact us today for access to more great travel opportunities!