Over the past few years, there have been many crises that directly impacted our industry: the 2008 Financial crisis, H1N1 in 2009/10, and the 2015 Paris attacks, to name just a few. Each of these challenges was a big test for our industry, but each time, the travel community has emerged stronger as a result. Here are some tips on what you can do if you can keep running your business or to help you be ready for the future tourism upswing.
1. Focus on travelers near you and from neighboring countries
Travelers are looking for experiences that are easily reachable by car, train, or short-haul flight. In the past week, we’ve seen interest in experiences that are “nearby” in terms of travel rise by 12% globally.
We recommend, if applicable, to reach these customers by adjusting and expanding your availability in specific languages. You can do that in GetYourGuide’s supplier portal here:
2. Consider reducing your tour’s cut-off time
The share of last-minute bookings (made within 3 days of the start date and time) is up 15%, now representing half of all GetYourGuide bookings in the past week. This indicates that travelers are in a “wait and see” mode.
We recommend reducing your tour’s cut-off time to 24 hours or less as it will allow you to accept last-minute bookings and capture those “wait and see” travelers. You can do that in GetYourGuide’s supplier portal here:
3. Implement a flexible cancellation policy
Over the past 2 weeks, our customer service inquiries have tripled and our global cancellation rate has doubled. This indicates increased global hesitation around leisure travel. We’ve also experienced overwhelmingly positive feedback from travelers regarding our more flexible cancellation support.
We recommend updating your cancellation policy to allow cancellations up to at least 24 hours in advance to provide flexibility. Cancellation windows as low as a few hours provide travelers with even greater peace of mind, increasing conversion rate.
4. Reach out to the travel network in your region
This situation is impacting everyone in the travel industry. Reach out to your network and talk to friends to share ideas on what they are doing to keep their business strong. What can you do together to ensure you limit the impact in your region? You are not the only one looking for new strategies and everyone can benefit from sharing knowledge.
Keep your eyes open for opportunities to partner with local authorities or government programs that can support your business during the temporary downturn.
5. Go the extra mile with travelers requests
Understandably, travelers have more questions than usual. We’ve seen an increase in traveler contact ratio and you are likely experiencing the same.
People are seeking the answers they need to feel confident about their plans. Make sure that you are flexible and ready to respond.
6. Overdeliver on your promises
This is an opportunity to wow travelers and show them that the experiences you’re offering are more interesting than they have ever been. People will forever remember the time you managed to provide them an incredible experience in the midst of these challenging times. You can be sure that they’ll tell their friends about it!
Use this opportunity to strengthen your brand: there is no better marketing than a happy customer.
7. We will all recover
As difficult as it may seem to see beyond the present situation, remember that this will eventually subside, as all crises do. The travel industry has been here before. It has always recovered and ultimately, emerged better than before.