The Changing Face of Tourism post CoVid?
CoVid-19 will pose a lot of questions for the tourism industry, mainly how to survive in the aftermath of the virus. Who will be the tourist? Where will they go? For many countries the domestic Staycation will be the new holiday of choice for at least the next few years. Why? Well for a number of reasons, shorter planning times are required for staycations, people are a lot more familiar with the CoVid situation in their country and if waves of lockdowns return, there is a less chance of being trapped in a foreign country for weeks at a time.
According to many Tourism Agencies throughout Europe, the domestic staycation market is going to see the first bounce with remote coastal and rural areas destinations most likely to see the first surge in visitor numbers because these will be seen as “safe regions”. It will take some time before city destinations become popular again.
Visit Britain’s latest consumer sentiment surveys show that the domestic market is very nervous – so they will be focusing initially on reassurance. Beyond that they will be looking at promoting areas outside the honeypots. Also, what is needed is destination management to rebuild tourism more slowly and keep residents, visitors and businesses, who depend on tourists, happy.
Is this positive news for Regional Tourism?
Well, yes & no. It will be positive only if the regions are prepared. Tourism is more than just having attractions, hotels and restaurants, the other currency in tourism after the €, is experience. Visitors will only return and more importantly, share their experiences and recommend to friends, if theirs has been a positive one. For regions this is about having great attractions with a high level of interactivity. A feature-rich digital solution as part of the mix is very important. In very many cases regions have a basic digital presence, which is typically an information listing, but todays tourists expect a richer level of digital interactivity with the visitor.
For individual attractions, the most difficult question is how to engage with visitors and still give them a full experience. Quite often this is through guided tours, which will always be the best experience with a personal twist of the guide, but are visitors going to want to or be allowed to walk around in large groups? Will visitors be comfortable handling rented audio-guides?
Giving Visitors the full Regional Experience
One way of keeping the visitor in a region and giving them a fuller experience, is to build regional multi-attraction campaigns around loyalty. Rewarding visitors with a sponsored meal/drink at a local establishment based on the amount of attractions visited in a certain time frame. This is a very important strategy to spread visitors around a region, to visit smaller attractions and to spend more time, maybe even overnight, in a region, not just visit the anchor attraction and move on.
Integrated Worlds Smart Tourism Platform partners with regions to help create a strong regional based tourism proposition and campaigns, allowing for an affordable, interactive and sustainable digital footprint, whilst giving the visitors a feature-rich digital solution that they can use on their own devices.