Many tourism businesses are feeling the burn of having to cancel tours and events. However, it is still important to maintain a relationship with your client based during this pandemic. Once business does resume and tourists are ready to resume travel, you want to be able to bounce back quickly without missing a beat. Here are a few tips for keeping your client base engaged during the pandemic:
1. Share in Your Client’s Pain
A little empathy can go a long way. Due to COVID-19 social distancing orders, many would-be travelers are missing out on destination weddings, graduation trips, spring break, bae-cations, honeymoons, business trips, and the list goes on. Some travel businesses are sharing in the disappointment their clients may be feeling by ‘mourning the loss’ of travel experiences. These companies use social media platforms to post where they would have traveled to if it had not been for the pandemic. They then engage their audience to comment on where they would be, too, had it not have been for the pandemic. One travel advisor utilizing this strategy is Susie Chau (@carpediemtraveler) who spoke about missing her baby-moon to Miami, Florida.
Misery loves company – Tell me about a trip you are no longer taking in the comments below. I was supposed to be on my Babymoon /Birthday trip in Miami this week 😢. In talking with my clients, friends, and family the uncertainty of travel is really hitting people hard. You may feel bad or selfish feeling this way when there are more serious – literal life and death – problems to worry about. But it’s ok to grieve the loss of travel. Feel your feelings. Not being able to travel still sucks and your feelings are valid, so let it out below… . . . . . #cancelled #cancelledflights #cancelledtrip #cancelledplans #cancellations #canceleverything #grieveoutloud #grieve #griefisreal #grievers #grieves #griefsupport #griefawareness #griefshare #griedtips #griefprocess #griefrecovery #reugeingrief #travelislife🌏 #travelismydrug #traveliseverything #travelislifechanging #travelisfreedom #travelisliving #takenforgranted #takenothingforgranted #travelislove #sadfeelings #feelingsad #feelingdown
A post shared by Susie Chau • Travel Specialist (@carpediemtraveler) on Mar 21, 2020 at 7:01am PDT
2. Increase Social Media Presence
If not doing so already, this is the time for daily social media posts at a minimum. It is important to make interactive posts prompting client responses and attract followers so that your business is in the forefront of clients’ minds when travel does resume again.
3. Re-Think Allocation of Advertising Dollars
Generally speaking, it is less expensive advertising to existing clients than to new clients. In light of the decrease in revenue, some tour operators have opted to allocate more of their advertising budget to maintaining communication and relationships with existing clients than to new clients.
4. Virtual Travel Experiences
Many businesses (tourism and otherwise) have used the social distancing mandate as an opportunity to present virtual tours. While they are not typically big money-making machines, they do serve a great purpose of maintaining connections with their customer base and even making a few dollars in the process by charging a small fee for viewing.
A post shared by carley | travel photographer (@carleyscamera) on Mar 29, 2020 at 9:17am PDT
Do you have any tips for how your business has handled changes during the pandemic? Feel free to comment below.