How Travel and Leisure brands are staying connected during COVID
Shop, Stay, Love Local
25 February 2021 Chris Crammond
So, despite the vaccine being rolled out, it looks like International Travel won’t return to normal until 2022. This means we’re all holidaying locally (which is probably a welcome story for local hoteliers and operators, given the difficult year they had in 2020). So, with increased competition for the domestic tourism dollar, how can digital products and platforms adapt to compete in this evolving landscape?
So let’s explore how local Australian Travel & Tourism is being promoted in new ways Down Under. Following are just a few suggestions:
Catering to the advent of the “Working Holiday”, driving off peak visitation
With working from home becoming more than acceptable in the current climate, many savvy operators and locations are setting themselves up to cater for an increasing number of travellers embracing “Working Holidays.” From an operational point of view, this means ensuring your facilities are set up adequately – In Room desks, adequate internet connectivity etc. Some businesses have even seen this as an opportunity to establish this as a point of difference for new prospective employees. Technology Group Mantel have now set up 2 remote office environments ; One on Magnetic Island in Northern Queensland and the other in Queenstown in New Zealand. Providing an increasingly mobile workforce with some exotic alternatives for a “Working Holiday” will surely be another great reason to join.https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/townsville/matel-group-to-open-hub-on-magnetic-island-to-help-staff-live-a-flexible-lifestyle/news-story/a5965449b65ac7f97cc029d35c1253cf
Flexible / Creative payment options
With increased uncertainty around whether and when State and International borders will be open, asking customers to commit to sizable payments upfront is increasingly difficult. Leveraging the Chrisco Hamper, monthly payment model, allows people to slowly pay for an upcoming holiday over time, whilst providing the Operator with an excuse to communicate with their customers on a monthly basis. The Cruising industry has been using this model to great success for a number of years.https://www.princess.com/plan/ezpay-cruise-payment-plan/
Online / Physical Brand partnerships providing additional reasons to travel
Australians have always been a parochial bunch, and catering to this psyche is a great way to drive increased interest and uptake in domestic tourism. There have been a number of brand partnerships playing on this in recent times. A great example is the Resch’s Appreciation Society Beer Passport – An initiative set up by a group of beer lovers to encourage domestic tourism in search of this much loved brand of “golden nectar”.https://www.brewsnews.com.au/2020/11/09/reschs-appreciation-society-launches-2021-passport-to-beer/
Use of Contactless Tech to support and enforce health and safety standards
Covid19 has turned many of us into germaphobes and the thought of entering any communal space is the cause of nightmares. This certainly poses a challenge for hotels, not only in terms of their cleaning and sanitary practices, but also how they communicate these back to their potential customers. Integrating contactless tech, like Voice, provides a great means for hoteliers to manage certain services in a more contactless and hygienic manner. Marriot has been doing this for several years now, not only resulting in a more contactless service provision, but also driving an increase in operational efficiency, with requests being handled much faster and seamlessly.https://www.pragmatic-voice.com/alexa-marriott/
Leveraging uncertainty of travel into heightened excitement
Who remembers the concept of “Mystery Flights'' – a brainchild of the early 90’s, dreamt up to fill distressed inventory, the concept was simple - A Mystery Flight was a short stay travel package to an unknown destination. With State borders opening and closing with a days notice, why not bring back the concept of Mystery flights, simply to drive excitement and intrigue about Air Travel once again. Its been so long between flights, that the novelty of plastic cutlery and small condiment packets is likely to resonate with people again. Some kind of Travel roulette might be just the spark that domestic tourism needs to get people interested and travelling to lesser known destinations once again.https://mysteryflights.com.au/
Deepend have a long history of work in the Travel and Tourism space, delivering complex digital ecosystems for some of Australia’s most respected Travel brands. From integrated E-Commerce platforms for the likes of P&O Cruises, Voyages Hotels and Hamilton Island, to experience-lead projects for Royal Flying Doctors Society and National Parks and Wildlife. At the heart of all these projects is a keen understanding of the balance between Design, Technology and Customer Experience.