The global travel and tourism industry has come to a standstill amid the prevailing pandemic. Even after the physical restrictions are lifted, psychological restrictions might take their own time. What can you as a travel and tourism brand do to attract customers to your brand? The answer is, being extremely careful with the communication you put out. But before starting to write your content marketing strategy take note of these points:
Understand the restrictions
These not only include the restrictions imposed on the travel industry but their customers. Regular hygiene checks are just the beginning, travel patterns, accessible destinations and number of travellers will have strict restrictions. The travellers will have to be checked and tested at the stations, bus stops and airports. They will have to be made aware of the new rules and policies too. The new normal will be social distancing and passenger screening. All of this is going to cost extra bucks and have lower returns.
Understand the psychology
Your customers are worried about their safety and the safety of their families. This is going to take a toll on their willingness to travel in crowds, internationally, and hence, in general. They will also be noting which travel companies, airlines, buses, etc. are offering them the safest and assured way to reach their destination. In fact they will notice what type destinations are being offered to them. Because the matter of fact remains that after staying inside the four walls of their houses for a long time people will be looking to safely stretch their legs and soothe their eyes.
Understand the new demand areas
Due to international travel being shut down for the foreseeable future, the focus will shift to domestic travel. In India, there are many places like Goa, Ladakh and Himachal that are safer to travel to. Families and groups will prefer to go to places that are private and isolated like camping areas and trekking sights so they can enjoy without the risk of being infected. Moreover, the need for a clean and safe accommodation could be something to bank on. The number of road trips might rise, promoting the use of rented cars as a mode of transportation as it is private safe and quite suitable for comparatively smaller distances.
Knowing these factors, you should plan your strategy in a way that it:
Create campaigns, advertisements and other communication on hygiene and safety. This might be a good time to get hygiene certifications so you can display them in return for the trust of your customers. Get your digital assets to convey that you are sincerely taking each and every measure required to make your services safe.
A customer will be assured that the services you are offering are indeed safe and worth exploring if you address their pain points. When you focus on domestic destinations, mention that the place is clear of infected persons, and that regular tests are happening to assure that your staff is clear too. Ask them to follow safety and hygiene guidelines as well.
This is a time when you need more support to gain the trust of your customer. Partner with certified hotels or brands like Airbnb for stays, reliable travel guides, and be extremely cautious of your food partners. Make sure that everyone has hygiene certifications and communicate the same in your packages.
The best way to attract customers is to create an experience for them. With an array of trustworthy partners and personalised service, you can design your communication to convey safe and unforgettable experience. Take them through the famous and known parts of cities, or start creating customised tours. The customers have more power now than any time before, so be understanding and accommodating in your marketing strategy and services.
Communicate brand value
This is also the time to bank on all the goodwill you have previously built. Go back to the core and USP of your brand. Tell people how you are the best option out there. Take Trivago for instance, even now when people hear “hotel” they think “Trivago” or booking cars for rent is a reminder of “Zoomcar”, this is because of the quality of service or highlighting that one unique feature that outweighs all other brands. These are the brands that leverage their USP in catchy terms and retain the attention of their customers.
It’s true that when the going gets tough, the tough have to get going. Post lockdown it’s the time for your strategy to become rock solid and to accommodate all the right things, in your services and communication.