This year seemed to be promising for the Tours & Activities segment. The market was warm, the industry was growing and everyone was excited about the big tourism fairs that were yet to come. If someone said there would be no season this year, no one would believe it.
The fact is, now we live in a different world. In it, tour operators have had to reinvent their businesses based on lockdown policies and social distancing measures. Keep in mind that this situation can last until we have a vaccine or medicine against the virus.
Regardless of future perspectives, don’t let yourself down! Tourism will rebound. People are eager to travel, don’t you believe me? Just check the data.
Use this downturn to plan a winning marketing strategy and develop a mix of products that are post-Covid ready.
To help keep your business awake during the quarantine, as well as guide your efforts towards a winning strategy consider these predictions for the future:
Open-air experiences will be a trend
After being locked down for so long, people will be eager to reconnect with nature and gather in open spaces. Given how the market’s warm-up will be around September, temperatures are going to be an invitation for staying outside.
This scenario will be ideal for adventure activities, walking tours, outdoor attractions, events, among other activities.
If you offer an indoor experience, consider creating a new product that will fulfill the desire for freedom or adapt what you currently do outdoors.
For example: If you offer a wine tasting inside a wine cellar, move it to a park or somewhere close to nature.
Bet on small groups and private tours
Take into consideration that after the lockdown is over, grouping people should be avoided for a while. Until a vaccine is developed, this will be an important measure to prevent a second wave of the disease.
To work around that, you can create products for small groups like families and couples. A good way to attract this audience is by making a ludic and interactive tour.
You can even take advantage of the small number of people and upsell personalized add-ons to your guests.
Focus on hygiene
The quarantine has created new habits among the population. Washing hands and wearing masks are the most common and recommended of them.
Yet, it isn’t clear whether there will be specific legislation regarding hygiene procedures for tours and activities. However, offering masks, gloves and hand sanitizers is going to be a good practice during a tour.
Doing this will show that your company is aligned with public health standards and also cares about customers. Moreover, your guests will be more comfortable and feel safer during the experience.
Remember to communicate on your website and social media all the hygiene procedures your company will be adopting. This can be a deal-changer to sell your experience.
People will travel from home
Virtual tourism has had a boom, since now people are unable to travel physically. Following that, big OTAs have released their own platforms exploring this type of product. Just check out Airbnb online experiences and Viator #RoamFromHome.
Right now, whoever wants to travel has no option but to do it from home. That means a considerable amount of people have been experiencing virtual tourism for the first time, and a fraction of those will become enthusiasts. This niche will pay for virtual experiences even though travel restrictions are lifted.
Before venturing into the virtual world, keep in mind there are segments inside tours and activities more “virtual-ready” than others. That is the case of food tours and museums.
If you decide to go for it, create a product that will be interactive and unique. A successful virtual tour cannot be a passive experience in which the guest will just sit and stare at the screen. It must be something memorable. Be creative!
For inspirations, check out the Avital Tours experience creating a virtual product.
Be prepared for unusual seasons
The moment we are living now is unprecedented. Everything indicates that in the short term we will experience the opening and closing of countries’ borders as an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.
This back and forth movement will result in unusual tourism seasons, depending on whether or not airports will be operating.
During this period, local tourism and business travel will beat inbound tourism. To take advantage of the open periods, partner with business hotels and prepare products for your domestic market.
Learn now and thrive later
Despite all the adversities you might be facing right now, take all that is happening as an opportunity to reinvent your business and start from scratch. To help you with that, we’ve gathered initiatives from different industry veterans and experts in one place.