Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer
How can Governments Accelerate the Growth of their Tourism Sectors

As the world’s tourism turns to domestic travel to boost the restart and recovery of the sector in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, this article aims at giving destinations a hint on how they can promote their domestic tourism market. 

With travelers considering shorter trips and destinations closer to home in the early stages of travel normalization and with still important travel restrictions in place for international travel, Countries with higher shares of domestic tourism are likely to recover earlier and faster. 

Domestic tourism can be decisive in times of crisis, as it has proven its resilience on several adverse occasions. The current crisis offers an opportunity for countries to reevaluate their domestic tourism and implement policies that encourage domestic travel. 

Although international tourism often receives more attention due to its capacity to generate valuable export revenues, domestic tourism represents a much larger share of travelers and spending in many countries. According to the report by UNWTO that identifies the world’s major domestic tourism markets (according to data available), analyses its main characteristics and shares the measures that are being implemented around the world to promote domestic tourism and restore confidence, as tourism restarts in the face of COVID-19.

The efforts below might take time, but the payoff is worth it.

Security; Many governments often issue travel advisories warning their citizens on countries they consider a security threat. A government that wants to promote its tourist sites needs to put measures to control any sort of internal or external attacks. This will include measures like sharing confidential security information with other countries, vetting suspicious people entering their country, and border control to reduce the risk of insurgents coming into a country. If you plan on traveling to Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya or Tanzania read here for more information

Infrastructure; A country that does not invest in infrastructure will see its tourist numbers decline. A country needs to engage in public-private partnerships to increase bed occupancy across the country. Tourists need world-class hotels to sleep in, and this need can only be met if a country opens its borders to foreign investment. Infrastructure extends to road networks connecting several tourist attraction sites and investment in social amenities like museums and art rooms.

Conservation; Poaching and human encroachment have led to a decline in wildlife numbers globally and countries need to engage in various conservation efforts. If countries do not invest in conservation efforts, they will see a loss in tourism as there will be no wildlife left to see. Countries owning game reserves can engage in partnerships with the local community in an effort to reduce human-wildlife conflict. The other option is to partner with various conservation groups to protect the few game reserves in the world.

Marketing and Advertising; There are many tourist attraction sites that do not receive any media coverage and this means many tourists are not aware of their existence. A country needs to invest considerable amounts of money in marketing efforts. We have seen campaigns like the partnership between Rwanda and Arsenal as a good example of a well-targeted marketing strategy. Marketing also involves countries engaging in global tourism exhibitions 

Expanding Airline outreach; Globalization has eased how we travel, and airlines have made many countries across the world accessible. More airlines operating in a country mean more people visit a particular country. Partnerships between airlines help them share passengers. Tourism is not limited to airlines only but extends to cruise liners. 

Foreign Languages; Languages like Spanish, English, or French are universal, and many tourists speak one or both. For a country to grow its tourist numbers, they need to invest in foreign language classes for their locals. As more people speak the languages, they can act as guides and translators. It is often challenging traveling to a foreign country only to find that nobody understands you – from the hotel rooms to the cabs. Education on foreign languages can be included in the country’s curriculum. Websites used to market tourism in a country should be multilingual – this will make your country tourist-friendly.

Education on the benefits of Tourism; If the population does not understand the benefit of tourism in their country, they are likely to be less supportive of any government efforts to boost tourism numbers. The government can begin by first promoting domestic tourism in a country. This can be done during off-seasons when hotels and tourist attraction sites are less congested. Once the citizens sample what their country has to offer, they will be willing to extend this hospitality to visitors. One way to promote domestic tourism is to offer cheaper rates in national game reserves than those offered to foreigners.

Clean Cities; To attract tourists make sure that your country is clean. This is not relegated to hotel rooms only but extends to various social amenities spread across the country. The government can engage the citizens in cleaning exercises – this also fosters a sense of responsibility amongst the citizens. Ban the use of plastic bags and provide bins in parks for garbage disposal. Make it costly to throw garbage around. Some countries have seen a decline in tourist numbers on beaches due to uncleanliness.

Digital Influencers; Almost every country in the world has men and women who have a global presence. This could be movie stars, sportsmen, peacemakers among others. A country can ride on the influence of these men to promote its brand across the globe. Having a sportsman win a marathon while carrying the national flag helps to put the message across that the country is welcoming to tourists. Promoting the country’s brand extends to various social media campaigns. Some individuals have thousands of followers online, and a nation can ride on this influence. Digital influencers, however, can be a double-edged sword because if they misbehave or do something offensive, it reflects poorly on the country.

Show CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment

Translate »