Action plans for travel companies to respond to Covid-19
The global outbreak of the COVID-19 is having a major impact on national and international trade and travel. Small to medium-sized enterprises of the tourism industry could be among the most affected. Travel service management Business are the first and most affected in the tourism industry. Most travel companies had to close their businesses, either by cancelling flights, grounding planes, closing holiday packages, or locking up hotels. As the physical capacity still exists, clever-minded travel companies have found innovative ways to refresh their capacity and build considerable brand equity. Airports have transformed their car-parks into COVID-19 testing centers, hotels transformed into isolation and quarantine wards. All these cases are brilliant initiatives that make use of the offered capacity while building a positive brand image for travel companies when things return to normal.
Travelling has been affected on a global scale. It also directly affects travel service management companies, hotels, airlines etc. while the tourism and hospitality business has been badly hit. Nothing has had such a global impact as COVID-19 and it’s the following economic impact, but lessons have been learnt now. This insight will facilitate you to take the necessary actions to ensure the survival of the travel companies and prepare for the future retrieval of the tourism sector.
Stop discounting on price
Many travel companies in the world have a system for Revenue Management which regulated prices daily based on various factors including changes in demand, competitor action, etc.. Even the few systems that are able to respond to quick and huge deviations will immediately react by dropping prices, as they assume that this will encourage demand. Travel service management business should shut down any price discounting caused by these systems and backslide to simpler and manual pricing or even leave prices untouched.
Covid-19 crisis has created significant uncertainty among customers in terms of travel and holiday plans. As of now, no one knows when people can go on holiday and whether they can travel abroad. However, a lot of travel assistances like airfares and hotel bookings have service variants along with conditions and charges for changes, cancellations, and refunds. Sticking to such a service arrangement becomes an extensive barrier for customers to book travel further in the future. Travel companies shall start to have flexible conditions in their bookings, promising customers not to charge for the changes, cancellations, and rescheduling etc. This removes a basic barrier for customers to book in such uncertain times. And provides travel companies with a better chance of getting bookings in a period where cash flow is critical.
Management of business remotely for travel service companies
In the lockdown situation setting up full homeworking abilities by video conferencing is also a must. This will save on travel costs and time. Many travel companies do this with customers and tourism partners. Still, can do day-to-day business this way easily. It is going to be hard, indeed, but if you plan and keep going, then you have an equal opportunity. Larger companies have higher overheads, whereas small companies can be flexible and move fast if they can grab the opportunities.
The operation for tours and travels business in travel service companies
Whether the travel company involves domestic tourism or not, it will be the first priority to get business back on track. Many countries around the world do not have a domestic travel and tourism market. However, this is going to be something that the Nepalese tourism industry can stimulate on a small scale moving upwards. It is going to be about working with selective partners on package, price and marketing. This is more than accommodating suppliers offering a deal for local people from particular area to stay with them. Travels and tour companies need to look at what they can do, even if they have never done any domestic tourism before.
Also, you need to remove options not to book. Customers will be worried about booking at the moment, in case they need to cancel their holidays because of COVID-19. Make sure that they have full travel insurance for travel purpose, especially if they are booking directly. Revise your terms, conditions, policies and communicate your customers. Having looked at instant actions and then the following steps, making a checklist. To make sure that you have done everything according to plan will be very helpful.
For now, your website and social media content give inspiration and as well as your planning for further marketing your business. One thing, that COVID-19 has done is level up the business houses. SMEs can now show their true capacity in the industry and build themselves in the future starting from today. After the domestic reinforcement, the next step will be regional tourism. Part of your recovery plan must adapt to what has been done before. Moreover, new things which are learnt from the domestic tourism process.
Looking at what has been done before, will it work again?
Business clients may still be a little cautious, so it is important to ensure that you are communicating what they can or cannot do. In the other hand, this will also depend on them being able to access the destinations. Regional airlines might not move as much as international routes. Video conferencing and webinars is increase after the lockdown. People have used these methods to stay in contact while working from home. As a part of this human world, we like human interactions, especially in the tourism business, but this may not really start again until 2021. There may be events and shows from October and onwards, but these are not sure due to many reasons.
In the meantime, business houses of tourism industry can try and have calls or video meetings with their overseas clients. Travel companies could also record their own YouTube videos or webinars. They could use these on their website and social media platforms to inspire people more often than they used to do before. Also, virtual tours can be organized in a way that national tourism organizations are using to promote the specific destinations. Companies can publish these on their website or social media platform and add a sub-brand. Then this will also be a good promotional tool to inspire people and engage them to in your site.
Travel service management companies will endure for sure
At this epidemic situation it may seem like the travel companies are going down. Let’s not forget that, for most of us, travel is the biggest all time leisure activity. It is our escape from working life and the excuse to reconnect with family and loved ones. When we recall he history of Nepal there is no doubt that travel companies will endure; they have gone through many crises in the past as well for example massive earthquake and other natural calamities.
Since the year 2020 was supposed to be a festival year for Nepalese tourism industry because of the Visit Nepal 2020 event. Where around two-million tourists from all over the world were counted up for visiting Nepal. However, the government need to force to call it off due to COVID-19 pandemic. And a huge loss has come to the associated companies. Now, firstly, this is the time to give remote continuity to all the travel companies. So, the tourism industry gets back on track steadily and lastly, travel companies need to start working on the motto of “Survive, Revive and Thrive”.