The wide-reaching Covid-19 pandemic has and continues to present increasing challenges for the global economy. For one sector in particular, travel and tourism – the largest single global industry market, the impacts were felt harshly. Recent findings published by the UNTWO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) suggest losses of up to 100 million jobs and $1.2 trillion revenue in 2020. As events continue to be cancelled and plans disrupted around the world, travel companies are turning to the drawing board. Seeking creative ways to stay top of mind when travel returns, letting their resilience shine through.
Communication is important. Both in reminding travellers to be aware of the safety measures and keeping them engaged. Dreaming about the next unique and authentic travel experience, coordinating their arrangements and bookings. At Balance Holidays, this means continuing with our promise. Helping people disconnect and restore in quiet environments, surrounded in nature. Focused on wellbeing and appreciating the simple things, which we believe will be embraced even more in the future. By using social media as a binding agent between our guests and us, our feed is designed to transport them away and recap the fundamental principles we remain loyal towards.
Besides communications, listening to the sentiments of the target audience is equally as important. With things moving at a slower rate, this opens a window to raise internal conversations about the products and services you are offering, the branding, positioning and messaging. From conducting mini surveys online to full-fledged market research, the goal is finding out the target audience’s wants and needs. Not just in the present but their outlooks for the future too. This information can then manifest into a comprehensive plan. Preparing for the return of travel when it is safe to do so and bridging relationships reinforced in confidence. Although the industry is riding turbulent waters, many experts see blue skies. Predicting smaller and new travel companies at the forefront, driving a wave of change in response to the new attitudes towards travel.
A recent study conducted by SiteMinder has found that over half of the UK, who are considering to travel at some point across the remainder of 2020, will prioritise flexibility over low cost. Yet, safety, security and quick-changing quarantine rules were found equally weighted as flexible options. With uncertainty continuing to ring the skies with gloom and dread, how can travel companies orchestrate innovative change quickly and in low cost and risk? According to Gartner, their analysts believe agility is the answer. From introducing new products such as gift vouchers to adapting to a new lifestyle with remote working experiences. The world today demands differently from companies, accommodating fluidity, flexibility and improvisation in response to rapid developments and market fluctuations.
It’s important to remember, that although things appear in stark contrast to the way we originally knew it. No change is forever. Discussed in an article by the World Economic Forum, the drive for travel, to discover new places and create new interactions with people will never go away. In fact, in a recent Global Wellness Institute discussion with Cathy Chon on post-pandemic wellness travel, she predicts longer, closer to home and smaller groups to be the future. So until that time comes, how about focusing on the things we can control? Utilising the time to connect and understand each other, topping up on information to forecast future behaviours and attitudes and very importantly, taking care of your personal wellbeing. Whether you are a travel company owner or a hungry-traveller dreaming about your next getaway, stay hopeful and remember you are not alone.
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