"Let's plan a trip." It is one of the most commonly heard phrases. Every one of us lives in some tiny corner of the enormous, gigantic orange-shaped planet we call earth. Earth is the only place in the universe for the human species. Before Lord Jesus walked the ground till we currently live, the world has grown magnanimously. Humans have left their mark in construction, culture, and language from civilization to civilization.
All three landmark inventions of our species have given birth to a beautiful curiosity called explorer and traveller. Over time, the world has known several renowned explorers and travellers. Since aeons of people travelling worldwide, the outcome has resulted in vastly profound business we know, i.e., travel industry.
Impact of Covid-19 on the Travel Business
From "Let's plan a trip" to "Let's stay at home" became a commonly replaced phrase in a matter of months, when the Covid-19 pandemic began. Travelling gets considered as the main reason behind the spread of the Coronavirus that led to the worst pandemic in nearly a century. The cause and effect of the Coronavirus spreading like wildfire impacts the travel business in the worst of manners.
In fact, between the peak of 2020 and the first half of 2021, the world experienced some of the most stringent travel restrictions globally. Several countries had sealed borders and prohibited travelling within and outside, bringing the travel industry to a screeching halt. However, with the effective Covid-19 vaccine drive, the travel industry now has some breathing space to spread its wings again. Furthermore, the travel business must start picking itself from the near grave experience caused by the pandemic. After all, travelling is essential and some people even travelled during the pandemic while carefully following the guide to travel abroad during Covid-19.
Importance of Travel
Travelling has remained part and parcel of everyone's life. Be it for work or leisure; people travel a lot in their lifetime. But how do we gauge the importance of travelling? Well, numerous factors make travelling necessary, and these factors essentially are:
1. Boosts Revenue of the Economy
Travel helps tremendously boost the governments' severely dependent on tourism revenue. Places like Maldives and Indonesia host thousands of visitors every month. Likewise, several small towns and cities, especially the hill stations, depend on tourists.
2. Job Creation
The travel business has created job opportunities across the globe. Today, millions of people's livelihood are dependent on the tour and travel business. The jobs created by the influx of travel business also help people across various agriculture, education, and health sectors. People working in the travel industries have been the most affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the striking features of a tourist place is its infrastructure. Over time, the infrastructure of such areas has improved vastly, and the government invests in the infrastructure to ensure the visitors keep coming.
4. Cultural Exchange
Culture is amongst the oldest creations of humankind. It has sustainably kept floating and acquired throughout generations, and travel and tourism contribute considerably. The travel business has enabled people to live and learn about other people and simultaneously explore their culture.
5. Creates Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs' minds don't just belong to the cities with towering skyscrapers and buildings. The world has known many entrepreneurs who have worked from remote areas to dream cities. However, local citizens alone cannot fulfil the entrepreneur's needs. The budding entrepreneurs require help from outside to sustainably work on their products or services, and travel again immensely helps in it.
Strategies to Restart Travel Business Post Pandemic
The importance of the travel business is evident from the factors mentioned earlier in which it contributes. However, the Covid-19 pandemic had nearly brought the travel business to its knees. Therefore, the travel industry must develop strategies to restart the travel business post-pandemic. Here are some strategies to reboot the travel business after the Covid effect.
1. Adapt and Innovate
We can no longer go back to the travel routines before the pandemic hits hard, and at least, not until the world is declared pandemic-free. So, if you are an entrepreneur or a startup built around tourism, how do you reboot or restart your travel business?
You start with adapting things that are no longer possible in the travel business, such as random trips, travelling without planning, etc. Once you list everything down, you can no longer do it in the travel business and start to think about innovation. Innovation is the way to recovery. Also, ensure that you have linked your Covid-19 vaccination certificate with passport.
For example, We live in the digital era where technology is involved in everything. You can start leveraging some relevant technologies to restart your travel business. Video calling is a great technology, and you can use video calling to arrange online tours. Particularly for the museum and parks experience, video calling is a great way to attract travel enthusiasts.
2. Prepare a Tourism Recovery Plan
The Government must actively work on the tourism recovery plans to support the travel industry. Here are a few points to consider:
Proactively lay down plans to create a safe environment for travellers to visit
Must keep a check on local events such as local festivities and plan for visitors accordingly
Select seasons for extensive travel activities and keep schools and market places less crowded
Create a short term drive market to achieve maximum impact on the travel business
Provide Covid-19 travel insurance plans
3. Develop Group Travel Strategies
Group travelling is the most popular way of travelling. It is mainly because group travelling is highly cost-effective and full of experiences. Hence, the travel business must also strategize around restarting the group travels. You can develop new guidelines for the group tours and educate the customers, and let them know the exact pick-up and drop times and other essentials for the term. To effectively do it, you can create a social media group in Whatsapp or WeChat and further educate them about some helpful local lingos for effective communication amongst themselves.
4. Prepare Health and Safety Plans
With people's health always in danger due to the Coronavirus, you must prioritise health and safety plans the most. Also, some people are immunocompromised, and it would be best to take the most precaution while dealing with such customers. Consider all factors and decide whether you must allow them on tour or not. Apart from it, ensure that travellers are vaccinated and are not suffering from any symptoms of Covid-19. Best way to handle it is ask the people to carry their Covid status certificate.
5. Do Storytelling
Storytelling is the most significant way to attract and engage customers. Storytelling allows customers to relate to the product or service and purchase. When you focus on telling your company's story or the product or service you want to sell, you determine your target audience. You can finally get your customers from that target audience and reboot the travel business.
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