THERE is no doubting the tourism industry has felt the impact of the recent pandemic harder than most. With non-essential travel restrictions, the banning of large events and the effects of self-isolation, the British tourist industry alone is set to lose £37 billion this year.
However, things are looking up as the world begins to search for the reassurance of some sort of normality and aspirations of adventure and escape start to feel within reach.
According to the latest government guidance, as of July 4 most leisure and tourist attractions will reopen – if they can do so safely. Now is the time to be proactive in communicating updates to customers to make sure they know you are open for their custom and can cater for them safely.
There are a raft of new opportunities for those destinations that recognise the concerns of their audiences with authenticity and empathy – whilst engaging with new customers who hadn’t previously considered a ‘Staycation’ in the right way, in the right place and at the right time.
Appetite to get away or more importantly get out of the house
Recent data from holiday firm Hoseasons shows a surge in the nation’s staycation plans, with one booked every 11 seconds.
At the beginning of lockdown, National Trust announced it would open many of its parks and gardens for free to help people deal with isolation. This was quickly followed by a bold U-turn, with all sites closed in support of the Government’s prominent ‘Stay at Home’ initiative at the time.
This messaging has been maintained as they reopen, with communications emphasising the responsibility of visitors to avoid overcrowding and littering, stay local where possible and enjoy their offerings virtually through online tours.
Other brands have adopted a more aspirational approach by encouraging their audiences to start planning future travels. Swiss tourist board MySwitzerland has taken to social media to share small tastes of the country’s beautiful scenery and attractions, using hashtags like #IneedSwitzerland and #PassportPassion to boost morale and invoke a sense of wanderlust.
How we are supporting our clients
Meanwhile at Democracy, we’ve been working alongside our travel and tourism clients to position them as industry leaders during reopening, particularly in terms of customer care and communication. Whether that be announcing changes to services that comply with new guidelines via social media, or securing broadcast coverage for expert spokespeople, we’re standing by our clients to ensure they come out of this crisis in the best shape possible and with customers who are confident to return.
If you’re interested in how we can support your business during this time, please contact Caroline Aspinall – firstname.lastname@example.org / 07951763757.