Travel industry webinar summary: dealing with Covid-19

10 July 2020

Travel industry saved by empathy and awareness

Summer is synonymous with vacation.

But right now, in 2020 we’re witnessing a special summer that feels safer translated as a staycation

Some borders reopened, as well as hotels with various safety regulations introduced, but our radius of travel tightens because of all the uncertainty. Regional travel might be the easiest and also the safest choice, and it could be the only one to nurse most of the impacted parties. 

In the offices of Switzerland Tourism the impact of the pandemics was felt right from the beginning when for us it was just some foreign news from Asia. "2019 was the best year when it comes to overnights",said Urs Eberhard - Executive VP Switzerland Tourism, but it started being clear that the situation will change. They stopped doing forecasts. The best choice from a communication point of view was to empathize with everyone, that’s how the empathy phase translated into the dream now travel later campaign, that tried to keep people calm and hopeful that better times will come. We are now in what they called the awareness phase, when we need a holiday, but we need Switzerland. #ineedswitzerland

Communication proved to be the most important when it comes to the staff as well. 

 

For EF Education First it was also all about empathy, about understanding the concerns of their customers, about bringing home their students and constantly answering every question, every call, turning their business into customer service. Christopher Hein, the Chief of Staff EF Education First underlined how important it was for them to not let anyone go to an answering machine or get an automated reply.

 

While dealing with an undefined pause in their activities, both of the organizations had to face some sort of reinvention of their actions and turn towards their digital channels. A webinar in India with more than 3000 viewers was the highlight for Switzerland Tourism, while EF produced a huge amount of content which attracted lots of students eager to spend their time learning new skills.

All social media channels were used to engage more deeply with their followers and establish a connection that inspires trust. 

TikTok proved itself to be a very good new channel to attract a new, and younger crowd and engage on a funny level. 

 

Our webinar guests agreed that sustainability is a big topic and it cannot become less important on anyone’s agendas. This period made it even clearer that we need to take action.

"The younger generation asks for programs with a social impact", reassures us Chistopher Hein. 

Join this very sincere and friendly discussion about the passion industry that changes peoples lives.

Watch webinar

At the very beginning of witnessing the effects of Covid-19 we had an interview with Fabio Cannevale, the CEO of Lastminute. You can watch it and read the insights that takes you also to various links to articles from that period, to see how these months played out.

Food for thought from a very good article by The Guardian

 

tourism - “the largest voluntary transfer of cash from the rich to the poor, the ‘haves’ to ‘have nots’, in history”

 

Tourism accounts for around 15% of Spain’s GDP and some 13% of Italy’s. But painful though its loss is for the most diversified economies in southern Europe, it is life-threatening for tourism’s dependencies, such as the Maldives, where tourism contributes around a third of GDP.

 

Tourism must be valued not as a quickfire source of foreign exchange, but as an integrated part of a nation’s economy, subject to the same forward planning and cost-benefit analysis as any other sector. In places where tourism is too dominant, it needs to shrink. All this needs to happen in tandem with wider efforts to decarbonise society.

 

Tourism isn’t the right that many holidaymakers, whatever their budgets, seem to think it is. It’s a luxury that needs to pay its way. 

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