With the many preventative measures put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, the pandemic has put a strain on tourism businesses. While these measures are necessary to keep us safe and healthy, they also make it challenging to run a business as you normally might and make a profit. This month, the tourism sector celebrates World Tourism Day under the theme “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”. World Tourism Day, celebrated each year on 27 September, is highlights tourism’s social, cultural, political, and economic value and the sector’s contribution towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As the sector celebrates this day, tourism companies can use it as an opportunity to focus their energies on marketing and promoting their businesses to kick start recovery and growth. While critical, marketing can be challenging as businesses navigate the new normal with limited resources. To help address the challenges, here are four strategies that can help.

Focus on the customer experience:  Within tourism, it is essential to remember that most customers are not paying for products or services; they are paying for experiences. The trick is to promote the superior experience you offer to allow them share this experience with others. For example, if you work in a niche tourism area, promoting fantastic food, coffee, wildlife and nature is a great way to broaden customer appeal.

Optimize your website: How is your website looking now? Make sure the experiences you’ve developed are well promoted with appealing photography to increase inquires and sales. Now that so much has gone digital, update your website to accommodate online ordering and payment.

Innovate your brand: COVID-19 is a call-out to creative and inventive minds. If visitors cannot travel to you, you may need to travel to them – here, using virtual tours can allow potential customers to understand the layers and textures of the experience you offer. You can also offer tours with recorded audio instead of in-person guides.

Inspire potential customers: The pandemic has been tough, and people are looking for inspiration. Find out how they feel and understand what they want so you can ensure it is an essential part of your offering. Many companies have been focusing on their websites and social media pages and posting inspirational pictures, videos, and messages. Post fun and educational content to inspire your customers for the next visit.

While these strategies are not exhaustive to help market and promote your tourism business, they are a strong place to start. Let us know how they work for you via this email covid19businessinfohub@gmail.com.