Travel against COVID-19
Travel against COVID-19
With the recent of the new COVID-19 virus worldwide, bookings are at an all-time low. We are at an economically challenging time, some even suggest that we are heading into an economic downturn or recession. It’s a challenging time for those in the travel industry, however, panicking will help no one. Instead, focus on the things that can help your tour business survive this challenging time.
The #1 killer for businesses is poor cash flow.
During the economic recession, you should minimize cash outflows. Think of any, even small expenses, costs to cut out. Do you need all that office space? Ask some of your staff if they’d like to go part-time temporarily (only if they’re comfortable with it).
What about your utilities? However, be careful not to cut too drastically. For example, cutting out the office coffee supplies could affect the number of brilliant ideas, which in turn can save your business. However, it is important to keep employees happy and confident in their organization.
#2 double the self-audit and efficiency
Looking through the expenses during a hard time can be much more effective than doing it when all is running as usual. It is like answering the question: What would you cut if there is no tomorrow without you cutting it? Make serious research on the company automation options. Try to use marketing automation platforms. I am using Salesmanago.
It has a really good functionality and the support staff is very professional and knowledgeable.
Another top# is prioritization. Just stop doing things, which do not bring you closer to the goal. Whether it is some marketing processes or sales.
#3 Advertise locally
In times of international travel restriction, customers will start to look locally for hidden gems that they may not have discovered yet. Because, at the end of the day, people need to do things!
Everyone got used to traveling, if they can’t do it overseas, they’ll do it locally. Focus your marketing efforts on local customers who are also eager to learn, enjoy, eat, be active. Consider print advertisements in the local newspaper, public transport or even bars. You can re-target specific areas with Google or Facebook ads.
Can you hear the sound of one hand clapping? No. #4 Collaboration is a crucial key.
Collaborate with other local operators in your geographical area. Multiple operators in a particular region or industry working together can boost the entire region. You can even support each other by using sharing economy advantages. Any idea is welcome, any information is valuable. Merging of two smaller companies can save both of them and bring great results in the long run.
Turn lemons into cocktails. #5 It is the best time to hire
It may seem counterintuitive, but an economic downturn or a recession is actually the best time to be on the lookout for new talent. This is the time when a lot of great people are looking for new jobs. There’ll be plenty of brilliant guides, managers, etc. on the market. If your ship is sinking, bring a shipwright onboard to fix it.
#6 Add value not price.
During a recession, it may be an option to increase the price, don’t do it. Instead, increase the value of your service. Increase the quality of your product because, at the end of the day, a happy customer is the best marketing tool for your business.
When you go the extra mile, even just a little, your customers will love and value it, they will come back to you and they will tell their friends about you. You don’t have to do or spend much to achieve this, a small unexpected gesture makes all the difference.
#7 Educate yourself.
It’s true, your numbers are probably down during this challenging time. However, do remember that bookings recovered quite quickly following the SARS epidemic in 2003 and the recession in 2008.
If you’ve got more time, prepare yourself for that rise in bookings. Educate yourself, how can you take advantage of that rise later on? How can you improve your products? How can you make your travel business more efficient?
Don’t know where to start? The Internet is full of all types of courses, lectures, and readings.
#8 Join a community of travel people.
We have created the FB page where we all can share thoughts and information. Ask for help and find new partners. We are based in Vilnius, Lithuania and closely work in the Baltic sea area. Offering high-end FIT and Group tours to foreign travelers. We are a team of well educated professional guides and a very strong back office support team. Let’s share and brainstorm on how we can make this situation into a win-win one.
#9 Asking for help is a sign of strength. Look for government grants or reliefs.
There’s no shame in asking for help, especially during tough times like recessions. Due to recent weather events and COVID-19, many governments are offering economic stimulus to the tourism businesses’ impacted. If you haven’t already, check in with your local government representative or website to see if your business qualifies for any such relief.