2020 has been incredibly tough for businesses, particularly businesses in the travel industry. Before COVID-19, the travel industry was thriving as more people traveled and vacationed around the world. But when the pandemic happened, the industry came to a screeching halt.
Travelers are staying at home, not booking flights, planning their next trip or even shopping for Arcteryx ski jackets and pants or beachwear. The technology that made travel and tourism easy and affordable had no fighting chance against the virus and its impact since people must stay at home to protect themselves.
At a glance, it’s clear that the tourism industry took a huge hit – and may continue to experience more challenges. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, a trade group representing major travel companies, is COVID-19 continues for several more months, the industry will suffer a global loss of $2.1 trillion in revenue and 75 million jobs.
If you are in the traveling industry, you’re no stranger to the impact. You may have experienced an increase in cancellations and a decline in bookings, but these should not stop you from keeping your business afloat.
As travel restrictions continue to lift due to the current vaccinations, it’s essential that you plan for business post-COVID-19, too.
So here are a few ways to manage your travel business during the pandemic.
Focus on Marketing
Rethink Your Strategy
Your marketing plan prior to the pandemic is no longer the plan you should follow today. Re-evaluate your plan and to make sure all aspects are sensitive to the current climate. Find out what your client base needs (which may vary according to where they live) and adjust your marketing to fit that. For example, what are the current social distancing measures for clients in a particular state? How will these affect their future travel plans and how can you help them?
Write Blog Posts
People want to travel, but they can’t as of the moment. Satisfy their wanderlust by starting a travel blog. Take them back to memorable trips by writing about favorite destinations (complete with photos and videos). You can also write articles about traveling post-COVID-19: what they can expect, how they can book their flights and the deals you may offer.
Schedule your blogs to go live in the following days, weeks or months and create as many informative and creative blogs to entice your readers.
Review Your Website
Since more people are spending time at home, they are most likely browsing websites. If your website is too slow, lacks information or isn’t user-friendly, visitors will leave. Instead of losing visitors, update your website. Create additional pages, update your photos, add new awards and more. If you’re not sure where to start, look at your competitor’s websites and get inspiration.
Grow Your Business
Evaluate Your Approach
Are there things that you’ve wanted to update about your business? Do you need to tweak your business plan or create a new one? Take the “down time” to do them all. Review your year and find ways you could maximize your profits and improve your business.
Consider how you can improve your processes and/or save time. Explore technologies that can simplify your operations, such as Asana and Basecamp. Do what you need to simplify your operating procedure while you’ve the bandwidth to re-consider everything.
Proactively reach out to your clients and let them know that you are ready to accommodate their needs, especially for their future travels. For instance, if a client’s flight was cancelled, listen to their concerns, be empathic and help them come up with a plan B. If a client can trust you with their travel plans, they will come to you once traveling is part of the new norm.The pandemic may have hit the travel industry hard, but travel will return soon. Eventually, you’ll start helping customers plan their solo travel in Japan or honeymoon in the Bahamas. In the meantime, use the time to improve your business and keep it afloat during COVID-19.