As the number of official COVID-19 cases continues to rise and an end date appears more uncertain, GlobalData travel and tourism analyst Johanna Bonhill-Smith has said holiday marketing is a risky game in the current climate.
According to Bonhill-Smith: “There is inherent risk in travel marketers showcasing destinations at this time as it could be deemed insensitive. As no one knows how long this global pandemic will last, operators should ere on the side of caution in their marketing communications and simply identify and engage with their individual consumer base to help them to understand how their needs will change post-pandemic.”
Data from GlobalData shows that three quarters of global travellers are influenced by how the world around them is changing. With this in mind, Bonhill-Smith said that post-pandemic, travel and tourism marketers must adapt to a shift in traveller behaviour. Bonhill-Smith used Hotels.com as an example, having introduced a campaign urging holidaymakers to stay at home during the current situation. Jet2Holidays similarly has rolled out plans for a ‘Back with a Bang’ campaign once the pandemic subsides.
Bonhill-Smith added: “All travel-related companies are under severe strain right now with scrutiny over all aspects of their operations, including cancellation policies, the treatment of staff and contingency planning. The introduction of some marketing activity that is strategically placed may help to ease the strain in the short term, maintain a strong bond with consumers and offer an incentive for travel in the future.”