Tourism and hospitality are two of the most affected industries following the COVID-19 global crisis. Many jobs have disappeared, many companies have gone bankrupt, and many services no longer have a reason to exist.

Today, a year later from the pandemic’s onset, we are struggling to adapt to this new normal. The hospitality and tourism sector face a real and urgent need to resume activities. Every company involved needs to analyze the way to do it depending on the services each one offers. 

As a general idea we can think of some basic recommendations for the players in these industries:

WHAT: It is easy to be dazzled by airplanes and hotels, but we should be aware that standard audiences, readers, and followers do not know how far the benefits of this industry go and what they mean for a local or national economy. A good starting point would be to highlight its contribution to general economy and welfare and show the facts: statistics, hard data and concrete benefits these industries carry to economy, social, environment and community development in every country around the world.

WHO I: The world has changed and so have people. We have become a new tourist, with the same interests and curiosity that describe us as human beings, but with new searches, needs and precautions regarding travel and leisure. Each company should recognize this and get a deep understanding of their new target audience. Find out what they are looking for in travel and leisure following the pandemic in order to design and implement successful PR and commercial strategies. It is vital to know who you are talking to.

WHO II: Currently there are many industries struggling for survival and; the more you can relate to your audience the better. Share life stories about those whose daily work life goes by hotels, airports and tourism destinations. If your consumer feels empathetic towards your company, the more likely they will be to support you. 

HOW: Adaptability can make all the difference. We are all on our way to experiencing a very different way of travelling and companies should be ready to rethink and adapt services to the way people are going to travel from now on. Companies related to tourism and hospitality could gain recognition and visibility – and consequently, new clients by adapting their services to the times.  Using social media, massive media outlets and specialized tourism press to promote this should help them be seen as pioneers reaching those who are “just looking” with fear and mistrust, while yesterday they would have traveled with no hesitation whatsoever.

WHY: Fantasy. We humans love tales, we have been raised surrounded by stories, and whatever takes us back to those feelings certainly will reach our heart. Get your audience to remember why they liked to travel and get them to overcome the uncertainty and leads will start to come your way.

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Dominique Biquard
Specialized in strategic and crisis communication, in 2004 she founded Identia PR, agency of which she is partner with Agustín Stellatelli and Santiago Peixoto. Dominique advises domestic and foreign clients, civil society organizations, public sector and individuals. Previously, she worked as Communications Manager for the health companies of the Exxel Group. She lived in Comodoro Rivadavia (Province of Chubut in south Argentina) for over 8 years, where she actively participated in the community and political life. She was founding member of Fundacion Compromiso and Fundacion Crecer. Dominique was president of Marianne Argentina (2015-2017), an association of Argentine and French women professionally active, born in 2010 with the institutional patronage of the French Embassy, with the idea of promoting bonds between Argentina and France via leading women in the fields of business, science, art and culture. She is fluent in English and French.

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