Joe McClain - Mar 23, 2020
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Authentic and honest information is more important than ever in the time of crisis. It should not only supplement classic marketing, but replace it to a large extent. Tourism businesses need to communicate with the customers even now when travels and holidays are not on anybody’s minds. Tourism Review presents the top five marketing tips on crisis communication to help businesses come stronger from the hard times.

Be Honest with Your Business Partners, and Your Customers

The truth is inconvenient, but it cannot be hidden. While many of the business activities in tourism are no longer possible for the time being, companies may remind the customers of possible holiday joys in the future. On their websites, tourism businesses should address the following questions that worry many partners and customers:

What about the safety of travelers at home and abroad? What is the current situation in the given destination that the company offers? What restrictions and security measures impact the offers of the company? What about the rebooking or even cancellation of the booked trips? When can business operations start again realistically?

Questions like these should be answered credibly and without errors: on the homepage, in social media, perhaps also in special newsletters, podcasts or video messages.

Publish Official Information Unfiltered

Things will be all right if we do everything right. Phrases like "Everything will be fine" are currently not helpful. Crisis communication should focus on publicizing official messages and warnings as they are – unfiltered and clear. Every tourist website should contain at least a clear and easily recognizable warning about Corona, ideally a comprehensive information page.

Trust Established Sources More Than Social Media

Make a good distinction between official communications, verified news from an established source, and rumors and opinions from bloggers, for example, or plain fake news. For example, the National Tourism Authorities in most countries provide quality and well-structured information. You can find a verified selection of relevant data on the subject of Corona, for example from established media, authorities, institutes and associations, and a selection of important news and topics for tourism professionals. The range of information is continually expanded through in-house analyzes.

Best Marketing? Become an Established News Source

Tourism companies should be aware that marketing is not about performance and conversion at the moment. It is about credibility and timeliness. It is important to be transparent, useful and fair. The time of marketers and sales will come again. Reliable and transparent information is required. This is precisely what is currently paying off – building the brand, strengthening trust, reliability and, ideally, even brand awareness.

Believe That You Can Emerge Stronger from the Crisis

If the managers do everything right, there is a realistic chance that the company will emerge stronger from the crisis. Professional and authentic communication will pay directly to the brand image. In most European countries, the governments work on rescue packages for local companies so that no business goes bankrupt because of the Corona pandemic. Since the tourism industry is one of the hardest-hit areas, it can be expected substantial investments will go in this field. It is thus important to stay in touch with the partners of the companies and its customers, think ahead, and plan the offer for the time when travel is yet again in the center of the attention of many people.

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