GlobalData: Advisors Who Connect With Consumers Through COVID Will Emerge Stronger
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
Travel advisors who maintain an emotional connection with consumers through the coronavirus pandemic will emerge stronger post-COVID-19, says GlobalData, a data and analytics company.
That's because travel brands hold an emotional attachment with their consumers, and those that can introduce simple initiatives that help them stay in touch will have a higher chance in retaining customer loyalty, according to GlobalData.
"Post COVID-19, the competitive landscape will be even more challenging. Smaller, independent agencies are naturally at greater risk of collapse and yet it all depends on the company response to this exogenous event of COVID-19," says Johanna Bonhill-Smith, a Travel & Tourism analyst with GlobalData.
"Travel agencies that operate through a multi-branded strategy are already at a strategic advantage as they are likely to encounter quicker financial recovery due to servicing a wide market base."
To illustrate, Bonhill-Smith provides the example a travel inspiration video by Flight Centre Travel Group. The short clip, called "Open up the World", aims to inspire travellers generating wanderlust and to reassure consumers that agents were still working from home to aid queries.
Another example is Intrepid Travel's initiative named "#BeTogether" where travellers, agents and hosts alike were encouraged to write a letter reminiscing on a previous travel experience, which was in turn published across the company's social media channels.
"Simple initiatives such as those explored by both Flight Centre Travel Group and Intrepid Travel will help organizations form a deeper relationship with their existing consumers whilst captivating the interest of many others," says Bonhill-Smith.
Bonhill-Smith concludes: “In light of the current situation, the prospect of identifying a new market opportunity will seem ludicrous to many as all companies simply strive for survival over the next few months. Yet this is now the time for strategic evaluation, where any opportunity for increasing brand recognition should ultimately, be a key priority.”
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.