The Covid pandemic has hit the international tourism industry hard, and sent operations staff scrambling to put new standards into protocols and procedures. Resilience and flexibility are core virtues of the day.
We applaud the members of the tourism industry who have taken great pains to keep guests safe and to welcome them back – even at risk to their own workforce.
However, TELLING people what you’re doing and making sure you’re communicating well seems to be a challenge for some tour operators, DMC’s and properties. It is critical that your market understands your Covid procedures.
“Striking the right tone and messaging correctly is going to be key in recovering your travelers.”
Here are 6 things you should be including in your Covid messaging:
1. STATEMENT OF EMPATHY
Guests need to know that you understand the current situation and you validate their concerns and their fear. Trust is a critical USP at this moment in time. Even if you are a well-established brand, you need to prove to consumers that they will be safe traveling with you.
2. DATE OF ACCEPTED NEW BOOKINGS
Even if your destination is not yet open, tell guests when you are taking new bookings. You can’t wait until the borders or gates open to start re-igniting your market. Make every effort to capture bookings now. Put down a date!
3. GUEST ARRIVAL INFORMATION
Map out for guests what arrival will be like. This is the most sensitive touch-point for travelers; particularly for long-haul destinations. They want to be able to envision what will happen to them upon arrival. Safe transportation is key.
4. COVID STANDARD OPERATING PROTOCOL
Go out of your way to pull back the curtain on all FOH and BOH protocols. The more you share, the more trust you build.
5. COVID FAQ’S
Anticipate guest concerns up-front. Remove every obstacle to booking, and give them the information before they even think to ask it. This will streamline your communications and help your staff.
6. LIST THINGS GUESTS SHOULD DO TO PREPARE FOR TRAVEL
Engage your guests as partners in safety. You need guests to arrive at your destination well prepared and healthy, just like they need you and your staff to protect them while they are with you. Give them concrete actions to take when traveling to you.