‘The COVID-19 International Travellers Guide’ app, just one of the initiatives travel companies are taking to build deeper relationships with their consumer base, says GlobalData

The uncertainty of the times threatens the future of the travel industry, however, operators that continue to touch base with their consumers now will emerge from this pandemic in a stronger position. 

Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, offers her view on the way forward:

“After a long period of social distancing and self-isolation, consumer attitudes and the dynamics of the outbound travel market will undoubtedly have changed dramatically when we emerge from this crisis. Simple initiatives that travel businesses can offer now to sustain their brand awareness and visibility over the coming months will help them maintain a competitive advantage in the future.

“In collaboration with Netflix, Contiki a worldwide coach tour operator, recently started a ‘movie club’, which plays a travel-related film every Thursday which is undoubtedly helping them support the community and reach out to consumers.

“C-trip, a leading online travel agency (OTA) in China, launched a ‘COVID-19 International Traveller’s Guide’ app which allows Chinese tourists to identify what travel restrictions are in place in their desired destination and what the immigration policies are there. When restrictions begin to lift, a tool like this will offer tourists an easy way to find the information they need.

“Tour operators are also introducing online streaming content for travellers to experience different attractions and activities from the comfort and confinement of their own home. GetYourGuide for example, is an online marketplace that has now launched virtual experiences across hotspot destinations such as a virtual tour through the Vatican or a cooking class specializing in Italian cuisine, in efforts to maintain the desire and interest for future travel.

“Operators will be hoping for the ‘ultimate travel boom’ when restrictions are lifted; and those that continue to build deeper relationships with their customer base now will have a clear competitive advantage when the travel world starts turning again post-COVID-19’.

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