As our industry endures perhaps the greatest challenge of our lifetimes, we all have concerns. How long will this go on? How long will it take for travel and tourism to recover? And how can we prepare for what’s ahead?
We know the hospitality business has always been resilient—it’s human nature to want to explore. However, surveys have shown that almost a third of American travelers are going to change how and where they travel after this, and a more than a quarter say they might. A few things to consider:
- Safety and sanitation, of course, will be key concerns. Promote all of the measures your property is taking, even small ones. They matter.
- Many people likely will choose to stay local when they begin traveling again—visiting places they can reach by car instead of taking a flight. It’s time to think about focusing marketing efforts on your drive market.
- People will give more thought to space when choosing destinations, from the acreage of properties to the number and location of rooms, even the capacity of restaurants and facilities. If you have a lot of room to roam, highlight that fact.
In 2003, the SARS situation resulted in a contraction in travel for eight months, but as things cleared, Canada and the U.S. were among the quickest to recover. That’s why some experts are predicting a soft market for the next several months, and then a big rebound in Q4. We could actually see a surge in travel this fall and winter once people gain confidence.
Properties that want to be a part of that rebound, though, need to be thinking about that future now. Better yet, they need to start taking action as soon as possible, even weeks or months before opening again.
“Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today,” according to an old African proverb. We’re here help you prepare to emerge from this global shutdown—so you can hit the ground running when it’s go time.