The years 2020/21 and possibly beyond have left an indelible mark on travel and tourism globally with many companies reeling from the negative effects of this global pandemic. Destinations continue to grapple with the reality of the coronavirus with no one being exempt from the damage left in its wake. Notwithstanding, valuable lessons have been learnt and this trend will continue for some time to come.
No one was prepared for the lengthy duration of this pandemic but it does not mean you should build resilience just to survive this crisis or to create a buffer for the next big situation. Resilience is crucial to surviving crises as it is for prospering. If you ever wondered what your mother meant when she said you should save for “rainy day”, you will know now.
There has been much talk about pivoting or even bailing out to embark on a new journey and this is very real. Many persons have left hospitality and tourism, never to return as they were affected so badly. We hear of Teachers who do not want to remain in the profession and the list could be quite long.
For some, there is just too much at stake to run away or make drastic changes but something must be done for survival sake. You have gone too far to turn back now and this is more so for business owners. Destination Management Companies have not been exempt and must analyze their situation carefully.
In my region, many DMCs have ventured into ownership of vehicles in order to guarantee quality transportation but there has to be another way to do so. It is time to focus on the core business, of creativity, planning, execution, logistics and excellent service delivery. There is always going to be the need for this level of expertise more than ever. Access to good transportation companies has improved over the years so work with it. This leads you to the process of rebranding and nothing is wrong with that. Product analysis, review of revenue streams will all form a part of decision to rebrand.
The digital age has made things so much easier for us and made communication quite seamless and speedy. Social Media, SEO allow us to up online marketing while being innovative and creative. As a hotelier, many years ago, we were engaging companies to facilitate presentations of our property and now buzz words like Zoom, Skype, YouTube, Google Meet etc. are all part of our everyday activities. Eblasts are quite important with the words empathy and personalization. People like to be remembered and most of all encouraged.
Survival is not just for richest, fittest and smartest but for the one who insists on persevering with a positive attitude. We have learnt and are learning, so let us try to remember.