Mary Pratt from The Caviar Spoon ReBelle, hosted a round-table of members of the international tourism industry to discuss how collaboration will be the key to success in the post COVID landscape. The participants discussed how embracing new models of marketing collaboration can help the industry bounce back and create experiences that guests, visitors and the industry will relish. Here are the key points raised:
Haitham Mattar – Advisor to the Ministry of Tourism in Saudi Arabia,
Dave Singleton – Partner of the Socius Group
Kathryn Moore – Founder of Spa Connectors
Sarah Hedley Hymers – Daily Telegraph Travel Editor
Aaron McGrath - General Manager at Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman
Suzanne Rosnowski – CEO of Relevance International
In summary, tourism has been stopped in its track and it is what we do today that will define its future. At the moment, the tourism industry is fighting a battle for survival and it needs full guidance from governments and governing bodies. Collaboration comes in all shapes and sizes but it only works when the right partners come together.
Before COVID, the strategy from tourism marketeers was based on driving the mass market but the public’s demand has now changed and travellers want less people and more space. People now expect safety and hygiene but that is not enough to make them travel as they have been saving money and enjoying time with their loved ones at home. They will need more persuasion to part with their hard-earned cash and leave the safety of their homes.
DMOs need to be more creative and build a purpose to entice customers. Collaboration with experts in the fields of sustainability, wellness, etc. is essential in creating the right experience. As there are a lot of experts on our doorsteps collaboration can start now and doesn’t have to wait until international travel resumes:
Wellness is the new Wealth and destinations should work to cater for these new needs going forward. Expenditure in the wellness segment is much higher than any other segments and it will keep growing post pandemic.
Partnerships with influencers are essential as they allow guests to see a product from a guests point of view. Destinations need to talk about inspiring topics via every single media channel available to them to create a 360 degree messaging approach and create a sense of closeness.
Personalisation is key. The marketing message has to be genuine and customised since now is the time to build trusting relationships with customers. If there is trust, people will be willing to pay and this will avoid a price war going forward.
Next week we will report on more talks from industry partners but for now, feel free to leave some comments below