Tourism Talk – We’re All In This Together: A Message on COVID-19
First and foremost, we want to acknowledge how challenging these times are for our industry and we sincerely hope that you, your family, friends, and colleagues are staying safe and healthy.
During this period of crisis, BHA has played an important role in helping the industry by increasing communication, providing important breaking news, pertinent advice from industry experts and thoughtful commentary. Most importantly, we’ve helped our members stay connected. Even though the current situation continues to be very challenging, we strongly believe that we must continue our efforts and discussions about potential collaborations that will allow us to start all over again when this situation is over
The face of the travel industry, as well as how people choose to travel, will be forever changed once we’ve reached the other side of the COVID-19 health crisis. Some changes will be inconvenient and others will present new opportunities. Social distancing will change how we experience travel. Airports will need to rethink security lines, baggage carousels and so forth. Hotels and Restaurant should evaluate how food and beverages are served and come up with a limited seat. Travelers might choose more private transportation and select more outdoor experiences. Health safety will be a major reason to choose a destination. Following the long period of quarantine, travelers will choose places and experiences that fill them with happiness.
Times are tough right now. That’s the reality of Belize. People are being laid off. On the positive side, it is also a great time to reset, educate ourselves, and think strategically about our businesses. A contributing factor that will ensure you keep business afloat when travel is back is to maintain your marketing efforts. It is not the time to be silent. We recommend that you keep putting up social media posts with a caption that makes sense in the age of coronavirus. Allow your audience to daydream and dream big. Since travel is restricted, the audience needs to see the jaw-dropping photos and videos showing experiences worth waiting for. Use digital media to share insights and experiences with your audience anything from cooking to meditation. Some travel companies and hotels have started to get creative with a virtual tour. Time of crisis fosters creativity and innovation. Travelers like a good story.
It is also very important to stay up to date with your clients and travel trade partners. Check-in with them to make sure you are not forgotten. We are learning a lot from this new reality. Fortunately, technology has given us plenty of tools to help stay connected while we await our next real-world guests and travels. Download Zoom and connect with your partners by scheduling a virtual meeting, video chat, and share photos and videos. Extend your rates for 2021 to ensure your business is receiving the highest exposure as well.
Belize offers pristine beaches and one of the lowest population densities for a calmer life. Belize remains a destination of interest, named by Forbes as one of the best places to move to in the post-coronavirus world. Tourism will be back, the industry needs to remain hopeful and work together. Saying that BHA is already hard at work planning post-COVID-19 recovery strategies for our members. We will be glad to jump on a quick call to hear about your plans and share some insights and ideas for how we can support you on the journey forward. As a valued partner for our members, the success of your business is always the most important focus of BHA actions. Even more in such times like today, which are overshadowed by uncertainty with travel at a standstill.
Article Written by Anoushka De Boucherville-Brandl
Second Vice President of BHA.