The challenges tourism is facing right now are entirely new and undoubtably scary for all the tourism marketers out there. The closing and opening of boundaries between countries has never before been so unpredictable as in the times of this pandemic. But there are things we can do in order to make our destination stand out and, most important, feel safe for our visitors.
People are travelling much less than before, sometimes due to restrictions, other times due to lack of trust regarding a certain destination. ”What are the infection rates there?” ”Is there anything even open?” ”Will we find anything to visit?” ”Will we find a place to eat?” are common thoughts that will cross their minds now, before booking a flight or a room. Answering these questions, and others, very clearly, is the first step towards a trustful relationship with your tourists. We will look at how some destinations are handling the current situation and what they are doing in order to rebuild trust among their potential visitors.
Sibiu, a town from Transylvania, is constantly updating tourists on the pandemic situation through their app
Sibiu is one of Romanias’ most beautiful cities and up until the spring of 2020 it was flooded with tourists. The city has long had a great way of welcoming and engaging with their tourists, through their dedicated platform: Sibiu City App. The app, which also has an interconnected web version, offers all the info a tourist visiting the city might need. Audio guides, guided tours, the main sights, places to eat and drink, the cities’ main events – the app is a true pocket-sized travel guide for anyone visiting the city.
Like many other destinations, Sibiu also observed a drastic drop in visitors numbers during the past 12-14 months, but things are starting to look better for this sweet medieval city. Knowing that many people who plan to visit the city download the app in advance in order to get informed, the Sibiu City App team added a “All you need to know about the Sibiu pandemic situation” section right on the homepage of their app.
They gather info about the infection rates in the city, the main restrictions that are in place at any given time and info on what is or is not open in the city (restaurants, gyms, museums, bars, cinemas, etc.). The information is updated once a week, and it helps the tourists get a clearer image on whether they should travel to this destination or not.
Covasna County awards “Safe Place” certificates to accommodation providers
Having extraordinary natural resources for tourism at their disposal, the Covasna County team only needed a way to ensure their visitors that their vacation will go smooth and safe once they arrive. They searched and documented which hotels, guesthouses or tourist attractions in their area really made a continuous effort in maintaining the health of the staff, as well as the safe reception of tourists.
For the locations that met their criteria, they awarded the “Safe Place” logo and added them to a special list inside their app. This way, tourists can feel safe about making the next booking, having one more reassurance that the safety and hygiene measures are in good order.
Many destinations now offer Covid-19 Travel Insurances
Because travelling during a pandemic imposes a new set of worries on any visitor, many destinations have found a way of giving even more comfort to their potential tourists. Portugal offers a special travel insurance updated to the new reality of the pandemic caused by Covid-19. The cost starts at 37 Euros and it includes services like sending a doctor to the hotel or tourist resort, urgent shipping of medicines when necessary or sanitary transportation of sick to the nearest hospital. The insurance also covers the other typical situations that a travel medical insurance usually does.
Transparency, communication, guarantees
When travelling, trust can be built in multiple ways, and it is many times similar to a relationship. It can be done through transparency, communication and offering of some type of guarantee that everything will turn out fine. The tourism sector is definitely facing a tough road ahead, but with the right tools and strategies, the journey can be a bit less bumpy. Building a proper tourism platform is just the first step towards a trust relationship with your visitors!
Main photo: Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash