TMCnet Feature
September 08, 2020

Things Travel Brands Should Know to Succeed in a Post COVID-19 World



The COVID-19 situation has brought an abrupt halt to the travel and tourism industry. The virus scare has stirred global lockdowns and led to bans on international travel. It has dried up the hospitality sector and resulted in the cancellation of large scale global events.



The industry has witnessed some major setbacks but always bounced back. This pandemic will require travel brands to implement changes to ensure convenience and safety. It will take some time to normalize travel even after the pandemic is over. There is no clear insight on how long the pandemic will prevail. However, travel brands should still prepare strategies to succeed post-COVID-19 crisis.

Here are some points travel companies should keep in mind while devising their strategies:

1. An Active and Upfront Customer Engagement

The travel domain has seen a massive upheaval due to the coronavirus. As tourism slowly opens, customers will be more apprehensive about their travel plans. Every travel brand should engage with customers through informative videos detailing relevant information. The use of video editing software can help create engaging videos. Strategic customer management and contact centres should be streamlined for better customer service.

As a travel brand,  companies should be prepared for a spike in doubts and queries by customers.  Contact centres must be adequately staffed to reduce the waiting time. The whole process can be streamlined by the incorporation of digital channels for queries and resolutions. This will help in building trust and better customer engagement.

2. Interesting Campaigns and Marketing

Most people want to break free at this point and travel. Thus, it is the best time for travel brands to market their brands and connect with potential customers. Travel brands should market their services and products through positive campaigns. As a responsible travel brand, it is essential to engage in the welfare of local people. For example, some hotels are offering their rooms as a quarantine centre for health workers. Brands should provide medical provisions and kits to extend their help in fighting the pandemic.

The best way to build a positive image as a travel brand is to contribute to extending help through the crisis. Travel brands can help by spreading more awareness. Campaigns driving more engagement through online platforms and social media can help in recognizing the brand more after the COVID-19 situation. A travel brand can advertise and market their services through contests and competitions for a free trip valid post COVID19 or winning travel merchandise. The brands working for a social cause will see a rise in demand by the customers post COVID19.

3. Roping in Digitalization and Contactless Service

Most people will be extra careful while travelling post the COVID19 situation. Even after the vaccinations and easing of restrictions, people would most likely keep their distance. It is expected that tourists and travellers would not compromise on their safety and well-being. They will continue to follow social distancing, at least for a while. The use of digital tools and touchless contact will see a growing demand. Hence, travel brands must expand their operations through contactless technology.

There has been a drastic increase in digital and contactless payments during the pandemic. This demand will further increase. Hence, all travel brands need to adopt contactless payment options. One of the best travel marketing tips is digitalization. Use of e-boarding passes, keyless hotel entry, digital check-in and check-out at hotels will increase post-COVID-19.

Travel brands must invest more in the integration of contactless technology to ensure customer safety and convenience. Several types of technology can be used like biometrics, automated digital interactions, and gesture controls. Kiosks for printing boarding passes can also be utilised. Travel post-COVID-19 is likely to see massive growth in the use of artificial intelligence and advanced technology.

4. Change the Market and Segment Dynamics

Travel brands that cater massively to international customer segments will continue to see setbacks and standstills. It will take a longer time to eliminate international travel restrictions. Also, people might be discouraged from taking international leisure trips. Hence, companies must change their target landscape to maintain profit fluidity. It is more likely that domestic travel will see a significant hike as compared to international travel post-COVID-19.

 Travel brands should reevaluate their audience and market segments they specifically cater to. The post-recovery dynamics will be different. Therefore, brands should develop services and products that cater to the domestic tourist segment. This will help travel brands recover. If not wholly, companies can compensate for at least the loss incurred during the pandemic crisis.

This crisis is the best opportunity for travel brands to invest in a new market. They should design services and products for the targeted audience and offer new services and products. The new services and products will help in attracting new customers and assist in financial recovery. This is the best time to analyze market and customer behaviour. Companies can then develop strategies for gaining a new audience.

Conclusion

The whole travel landscape will see a massive change post-COVID-19. It is crucial for travel brands to know these strategies and streamline them to revolutionize the travel industry post-pandemic. This will not only help them to build trust with existing customers but help in amassing new customers. Companies need to invest more in digital technology for strengthening the backbone of contactless interactions and transactions. This will help travel brands to ensure safety for the guests and build positive responses.



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