In an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus, more countries are issuing travel bans and introducing mandatory quarantines – which have all but decimated the global tourism industry. Although China boasts the world’s greatest amount of tourists due to their heavyweight economy, many countries are shutting their doors on travellers from China – resulting in a bleak outlook for industries with a heavy reliance upon Chinese tourists.
However, Jenny Lo (General Manager of branding and marketing consultancy at CatchOn China) believes tourism-reliant destinations can rebound and recapture lost audiences. “Businesses may leverage on the power of technology to stay relevant to consumers by strengthening brand equity and preparing to move forward after the crisis,” she explains. “People may not be travelling now, but they will soon – and when they do, brands that remain uppermost in their mind stand to gain the most.”
During these difficult times, it’s important for tourism-related businesses to empathise with consumers. Take advantage of captive audiences working from home by building a stronger online presence and empathising with their situation. The ultimate goal is to have potential customers thinking, “When I can travel again, I want to go there!”
The integration of virtual technology into modern marketing means that tourism operators can virtually showcase destination highlights online, providing travellers with a first-hand experience of what to expect, while building up consumers’ eagerness and anticipation to visit.