8 things Travel Companies can do during the Covid-19 pandemic
We are all in a once-a-lifetime experience. Countries locked down. International (and also domestic) travels dropped to almost zero. Cancellations, lay-off, office closure are spreading the headlines or at least, our internal news channels. While it looks like we are totally freezing for the next couple of months, at Scivi Travel we still try to figure out what we can do at this moment of Covid-19 pandemic, singularly within our team and collectively, as travel professionals.
In this humble article, we try not to cover solutions/actions that belong to health and/or public safety – We do believe that all healthcare professionals (and by many extends, governments) have been doing their great jobs. Instead, we would like to note down points that will help ourselves overcome short-term ambiguity and think about our long-term plan. Feel free to share with us your ideas below.
1. Study the global situation from travel industry perspective:
We have been overloaded with all sources of information about Covid-19 every day. Until now (21st Mar 20) we think most of us already imagine the whole picture of the situation. It’s time to dig into further details about how the world we live and work will be changed after all of these things passed. We suggest a lengthy but worth-reading of Yuval Noah Harari on Financial Times here. Think about how all these changes affect our business and our jobs in the future.
2. Maintain our professional network:
For many of us, it’s always a busy time for a meaningful professional connection and now it’s a perfect time to do that. Write an email to your business partners and suppliers. Update the situation at your side/your destination and check the data from their sides. Discuss future collaborations as well as short-term assistance that both of you can offer to the other. At the end of the day, we believe that all strong business relationships should be humane and regardless of what we can do, showing our care in this period of time is a gesture of solidarity and appreciation.
3. Build frequent communication with customers:
Similar to your colleagues, customers play a vital role in your recovery plan. Don’t just let them suffer the isolation alone. There is a good article about what travelers can do at home during this social distancing time here but as travel experts, keep updating your customers about the destination. Tell them more about behind-the-scene stories of your tours and how you overcome this challenging time.
4. Start working on a recovery plan:
The situation can be worse or can be better in the coming days or months. The latter will become worse in case you do not have any plan on hand. So stop worrying, and start thinking of what and how you will do after the pandemic period. Leave the “when” to the Universe.
5. Enjoy your home town/city:
We know that many tourism professionals were too busy to explore their own hometown or places they served for years. In case of all risks managed, it’s a perfect time to reward yourself a trip(s)to places in your company’s product portfolio.
6. Invest your time in new opportunities:
The Covid-19 pandemic is destructive. So it’s time to review your model, your products and start innovating. Turn your teams into R&D teams. Treasure everyone’s ideas in creating something new and unique. That’s also the way to keep the productivity
7. Create our own sales solution:
Many companies joining the campaign to urge travelers to reconsider their cancellations, instead of postponing it to a later time. It’s a good start. How about selling your tour voucher with open (let’s say, in a 2-years time) departure date? We mean, the state of mindfulness might enable us to create a lot of innovative approaches.
Internally, we can also support each other. In Vietnamese, we have a proverb that says “the good leaves cover the tattered ones” which can be applied in this case. Discuss the situation with your business partners. Pay them upfront or at least, give them some advance booking. This might create collective trust within our business network for everybody to overcome the worry.
8. Stay healthy and mindful:
Last but not least, save your self from the Covid-19. Wash your hands, enjoy the LastWeekTonight with John Oliver here for a relaxing time. Practice social distancing and keep your immune system strong. If you are reading until this point, I believe that your passion for travel industry is still there. Be courage! This too shall pass and we will all figure out what will work best for us individually and the industry as a whole.
About Scivi Travel: We are an educational travel company and a DMC in Vietnam. Similar to millions of SMEs and travel agencies around the world, we are severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic since its very early day (then 2019-nCov). We quickly enable our hibernate status to conserve our precious resources. Although we tried to finish all the 8 points above, some are still on the process and we also love to hear sharing/feedbacks from our colleagues around the globe on how you cope with all of these things.
To learn more about us, please visit https://scivitravel.com/about-us/