Strategies in Building ‘Revenge Travel’
The Covid-19 global pandemic has hit the world economy in various sectors. One of the hardest hit sectors is tourism. Restrictions on people’s mobility globally as a result of this pandemic are directly affecting the estimated 75 million jobs in the field of travel and tourism around the world.
Not only a direct impact, reduced travel and tourism activities also have an impact on other industries in this ecosystem, one of them is advertising. According to data from PubMatic, spending on tourism advertising dropped dramatically by 65% in the first two weeks of March 2020. Thus, the question of the right marketing strategy for tourism sector during this pandemic has emerged.
Taking the situation into consideration, marketing does not necessarily fit with the tourism industry today. Now is the time to start building engagement with customers and even with wider community. The tourism industry needs to be able to show empathy towards the current global situation and prove that they’ll still be around regardless. They need to assist the people during the Covid-19 pandemic until people are comfortable to travel again.
The tourism industry can utilise digital platforms to stay actively connected with the public. Through the digital sphere, the tourism industry can offer a variety of services that can be adapted to the current condition. The adaptation can be in a form of food takeaway or delivery services that are inline with the social distancing policy from the government so that people can still enjoy the food at their own place.
In addition, the tourism industry can provide virtual classes for activities that are normally carried out as touristic attractions, such as surfing, yoga, hotel or restaurant style cooking, spa, or fitness classes, and many more. The tourism industry can also provide entertainment such as live music or provide travel inspirations with engaging messages to intersperse the overwhelming news about the Covid-19 pandemic.
These efforts to remain actively engaged with the public are needed so that the people will always remember the company even though they cannot enjoy the service on the spot. Hopefully, after the pandemic is over, these companies can be the first to come to the public’s mind when they plan to travel again. After reaching this stage a strategy to welcome the people back also needs to be considered.
According to Max Ueno, Vice President at Sojern for Asia Pacific, people will become more timid to travel when the pandemic ends. This can be caused by the declining economic conditions during the crisis or even a lingering fear of the lethal pandemic. Ueno saw that even if the people start to go back to traveling, most likely the people would choose local destinations first compared to international ones. Therefore, the tourism industry can consider focusing on welcoming strategy to local tourists as their priority.
In Indonesia, several tourism industries such as restaurants, hotels, or entertainment venues have begun to build engagement with the public by utilising digital platforms and diversifying services. One of these strategies can be seen from the Shangri-La Jakarta hotel services which now provide food and laundry order through means of social media.
In another part, Nihi Sumba resort also actively brings various contents to accompany and share happiness to the people during the pandemic. Every week, Nihi Sumba holds virtual classes with various activities. Not only doing the regular activities carried out at the resort, but also presenting discussions with experts on various topics, such as travel tips, healthy lifestyle, art, and so on. These efforts have been showing positive response from the public.
Nihi Sumba has even planned a welcoming strategy when the pandemic is over. They plan to attract past customers who used their services before. This is due to the public fear that is predicted to linger even when the pandemic is over. The fear consequently would shape people’s preferences to travel to places they feel safe. Hence, the strategy of welcoming back customers is important to consider in order to set the right target audience in the effort to rebuild the business.
Ditulis oleh: Rizky Sagita Daniar
Every business owner surely has a rule-of-thumb when doing their daily operational business. Yet, having a go-to plan is not always work, especially when you are facing a great storm. As public relations agency, we are keen to promote flexibility partnership with our clients as we are for sure understand how tough it is to build and sustain the ship. While you are enjoying our write-up, do let us know should you need further discussion on how to rejuvenate the communications strategy when the rainbow comes at last.
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