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How Can Travel Brands Mitigate the Fast-Changing Consumer Behaviour

The health crisis has led to changes in consumer behaviour, as well as the development of digital channels in the customer experience… Changes that look set to stay. 

Hotels, restaurants, tourist sites and cultural venues (museums, cinemas, etc.) are finally reopening. But what kind of post-Covid customer experience lies ahead?

It is important to anticipate, design and create this post-Covid customer experience in accordance with the changes in customer behaviour and expectations, as well as any health measures that are still in place.

Many if not all sectors have been hurt by the coronavirus crisis as badly as travel. The Travel & Tourism sector faces a “best-case scenario” worldwide GDP loss of as much as $2.7 trillion in 2020 according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.

This impact is being felt at every level of the industry—from the largest destination management companies and online agencies to individual tour operators and the local ecosystems supporting them.

It is not all doom and gloom, however. We’re fast approaching the tipping point when recovery can begin, and although the global Covid-19 landscape is still in flux, travellers remain optimistic about travel.

As we get closer to getting out of this darkness, Travel companies must be ready for a sudden spike in demand when lockdown lifts and people look for new travel experiences.

But getting ready means more than just being available. Firms need to ensure that payments systems, websites and booking platforms can cope with increased demand but also go the extra mile. Customers will opt for the providers that can give them the flexibility they need to feel comfortable making bookings in times of uncertainty, returning the favour with loyalty.

  • Flexibility; During times of extreme uncertainty, consumers understandably want stability. Travel providers’ ability to show empathy and provide flexibility is one way to keep consumers on board
  • Engage customers to stay top of mind; While many travel companies are cutting budgets to preserve cash, they might forget that marketing is more important than ever. Travel companies are integral parts of their local communities and should continue to find ways to actively participate in the COVID-19 response
  • Digitize and streamline your contact center; Travel brands should use this slowdown to streamline operations and diversify their business by reevaluating customer service, demonstrating empathy, earning consumer trust, and improving inventory and products for when demand does come back
  • Bring health and wellness to the forefront through contactless technologies; Health and wellness practices will no longer be a nice-to-have in a post-COVID-19 world. All travelers will expect higher standards to ensure their well-being, and digital tools will enable and expand existing “no touch” options.

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