It is definitely a difficult time to be selling travel these days. Marketing travel can seem a bit out of touch. However, that doesn’t mean travel advisors should cut the cord with their clients.
Research shows that maintaining a connection with clients will be key to recovery when travel begins again.
Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel & Tourism analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Post COVID-19, the competitive landscape will be even more challenging. Travel agencies that operate through a multi-branded strategy are already at a strategic advantage as they are likely to encounter quicker financial recovery due to servicing a wide market base. Flight Centre Travel Group, for example, operates a flagship leisure brand alongside services for niche sectors such as mass, youth, premium cruises and corporate travel services for organizations.”
The group released an inspirational video to inspire wanderlust and encourage clients to touch base with their advisors, who are working from home.
Bonhill-Smith also pointed out that people are online, browsing. Between March 15 and April 7, 2020, browsing time increased by 91.62 percent compared to 2019, this highlights how a simple action can gather additional traction, according to GlobalData research.
“Smaller, independent agencies are naturally at greater risk of collapse and yet it all depends on the company response to this exogenous event of COVID-19,” said Bonhill-Smith. “Intrepid Travel set an example by releasing an initiative named ‘#BeTogether’ where travelers, agents and hosts alike are encouraged to write a letter reminiscing on a previous travel experience, which is then in turn published across the company’s social media channels.”
Reaching out doesn’t have to be on such a grand scale. Bonhill-Smith noted that simple initiatives can help foster a deeper relationship between travel advisors and their clients while also possibly catching the attention of new customers.
“In light of the current situation, the prospect of identifying a new market opportunity will seem ludicrous to many as all companies simply strive for survival over the next few months,” said Bonhill-Smith. “Yet this is now the time for strategic evaluation, where any opportunity for increasing brand recognition should ultimately, be a key priority.”
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