As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, constant attention is paid towards foreseeing and demystifying the future of travels world over. As tourism marketers consider the fate of travels post-Covid-19, it is expedient that they consider a second campaign at this point as the changing scene has necessitated a new theme and target.
At the start of the pandemic when all indicators pointed at the fact that travels would be put on hold, tourism campaigns took on the message of hope and yearning as they moved to bring travels as closer to tourists as possible.
From videos showcasing the beauties of major tourist attractions, reminiscing to online cooking classes, travel agencies and brands came forward to connect to the traveler who would ordinarily come to them.
As time continues to pass, new questions must be asked, and new angles must be considered to fit into the future as we can imagine it to be post-Covid-19.
The recession that follows the pandemic will be far-reaching and long-lasting and would make long haul travels unaffordable for many. We will also see a shift in priorities as travelers will become more conscious about their health and safety unlike ever experienced.
It is expected that travelers will experience a change in value and interest after this crisis; tourism brands stand to lose a lot if they don’t begin to think in line with the changes travelers are experiencing
The Future of Traveling
Tourism experts believe that people would still travel after the virus even though patterns will change. “People haven't changed in that they still want to go places, but they're going to necessarily be a lot more cautious about what they do," said Adam Blake, a professor of economics and head of research in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom. "And they're going to need not just persuading that it is safe to travel, but they'll need to see actual physical changes made to make travel safer."
One of the first measures that will be taken to update the sector after the state of alarm will be the elaboration of a new health and hygiene protocol that all tourist businesses will follow.
Travelers will turn to companies that can offer them cheaper and enriching travel experiences and it is only these companies that will thrive after the pandemic. It is expected that especially hotels and cruise lines will have to lower their prices dramatically.
The leaders in the travel and tourism sector will change as the demands of travelers. Brands and companies that cannot afford to follow the change that occurs and take shape to fit new interests might have to pack up.
Technology, that has become succor to many in these times will also affect the traveling agencies as it has proven that it can handle activities that people had to travel long distances to handle
It is not hopeless for tourism centers as many guests have left their reservations open with hopes to resume after the pandemic passes. While we might experience a steady pickup, the taste and purpose of traveling will change for many
Nature is also expected to become a major interest for travelers post-Covid-19 so companies with resort centers showcasing and connecting travelers to nature are expected to thrive.
As we watch these changes occur, hospitality providers and travel agents must pay attention and stay close to their customers to notice the changes that occur, connect with them and have an understanding of the next step to take.
What do you represent?
Before the pandemic, tourism research data showed that Gen Z only showed interest in brands that portrayed purpose based on the connection they share with such brands.
Now, we will see a wider shift across all generations as customers will only want to interact with brands that create an emotional connection and bear similar values with them
To thrive as a brand, you must project life and positivity while focusing on the unique feature of that environment. For example, when inviting travelers to visit Singapore, you must project values such as clarity, transparency, and pragmatism. For a place like Thailand, you would go with their love for others as has been portrayed as beautifully as possible.
With people becoming increasingly glued to their phones where they carry out nearly every transaction, you must find a way to get visibility even on these mobile devices used by customers. Create messages that stand out and remain on the minds of the travelers long after they begin to travel.
To stay on top of things while building the emotional and mental connection with tourists, travel brands should consider partnering with major agencies at the front of this crisis and play a supportive role while putting your brand and offer forward for travelers to identify with.
The world is changing, and it is one change we can neither control nor avoid. What is left for tourism marketers and agencies to do is to evolve with the current trend every time it changes, connect with customers as they go through their adaptation phase so that you are in sync with them and their needs.