When it comes to one of the most affected industries from the coronavirus crisis – tourism is near, if not at the top, of the list. Travel bans, self-isolation, quarantines and social distancing have all had their effect with devastating consequences, yet the travel sector is well-placed to lead recovery.
With vaccines now on the verge of public distribution, there is a new air of optimism. For me personally, my friends and family, the turning of the calendar from 2020 to 2021 also feels like a new chapter – and a time to once again ‘experience more’. This combined with the pent-up desire to travel will be an opportunity, and one that any tourism-based business should grab with both hands!
Now is the time to firm up and ramp up marketing plans. To not let the last 12 months define your travel business – but take action to come out the other side stronger, more resilient and more sustainable.
So, what should you consider for your tourism marketing moving forward? Well here are a few areas that we believe should be part of your plan:
1. Peace of mind: Over the last 12 months many (I’d even go so far as saying most) are not worried about travelling because of any increased risk of catching the virus., but more of the risk of cancellation or losing their money. We need to bring back confidence in a changing world.
2. Tackle it head on: I’ve got news for everyone out there, everyone knows about COVID … there’s no point in pretending it doesn’t exist. Focus on what that means for your customers and create marketing to address that. This is not the time to just do the same as before…
3. People need to know who you are, where you are and what you are doing: I can’t stress this enough – you need to maintain brand awareness, NOW MORE THAN EVER!
4. Engage, engage, engage: With PR, social media, your website, influencers, partnerships – there are so many ways to engage and join the conversation. Now more than ever you need to not only communicate out to your customers, but engage with them. Be a leader, and expert, the one to make the first move and join the “conversation”.
5. SEO and content: Invest in now and the future. Whether allocating budget to drive movement in rankings, or doing what you can internally, you NEED to look at driving quality PR links and partnerships, as well as improving the quality of, and content on, your website to make you more visible on Google and other search engines.
The fact is that those who are not ready to step up their marketing, will be left behind in 2021. News of Vaccines has already affected the financial markets, and with tourism having a proven track record for resilience following the 2008-2009 financial crisis and the 2003 SARS outbreak – NOW is the time to step up your tourism marketing.
Firstly, we hope this helps those in Tourism to refocus and take stock, however we are always happy to talk about how the team at Sway Communications can help. Give us a call and we will put you back on the map.