Tourism Australia says need of the hour is to educate customers

Festive season may see a slight revival.

NEW DELHI: Since the announcement of various unlock phases, business and economic activities have gradually resumed. However, the future is still uncertain for the tourism industry. In a bid to stay afloat amid Covid2019, the travel industry is seeking new ways to engage customers.

According to Tourism Australia country manager (India & Gulf) Nishant Kashikar, there is a slow but promising rise in queries related to travel.  “People are increasingly seeking out alternative dwellings and short escapes, which is expected to foster a demand for homestays.”

The revival of the sector, as in the case of every other industry, still largely depends upon the recovery curve across geographies and the timeline allocated for the same.

He said, “We are optimistic that the travel industry will continue to remain resilient in the face of this adversity and revive soon.”

Kashikar feels that the need of the hour is to educate consumers. “It is now more essential than ever to reach out to audiences across the world by sharing content that continues to engage them positively while also transparently relaying information on the protocols implemented.”

He affirms that the brand will continue to communicate all necessary health, safety and well-being measures to ensure the safety of customers.

Kashikar adds that in a world where brands have little or no physical contact with their customers, effective utilisation of both traditional and digital mediums of marketing is taking precedence. It is imperative for brands to maintain high top of mind recall and positive engagement with customers through these times.

According to him, brands will effectively use different sets of mediums to communicate as its necessary to do instead of a pause. “This trend will be further supplemented by the large spike in consumption across OTT platforms, social media, and television by global audiences, amid the lockdown. Each of these can be creatively leveraged to reach out to a diverse target audience,” he says.

He also adds, “One must effectively utilise all their available mediums of communication to educate customers about the prevalent scenario and safety protocols implemented for their welfare whilst also building reassurance.”

The summer season was a washout but the festive season is expected to bring some relief for domestic tourism. The brand also believes that the festive season will see people opt for staycations to close boundaries.

Kashikar explains, “The festive season will definitely usher in some positivity directly proportionate with consumption and spending. This may also imply that while customers may not be ready to travel at the advent of the season, they are likely to start planning and booking for holidays and experiences in advance.”

“While one cannot predict which markets will revive earlier, given the uncertain nature of the pandemic, in view of travel, we are anticipating a surge in activity from the ‘revenge traveler’, once borders open up,” he concludes.

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