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These quick tips are designed to help you get through these hard times. If you have any tips that you want to share, send them to in a new tab)

Although many travellers are itching to pack their bags and get back on the road, after this year’s pandemic their wallets and backpacks may not be on the same page. When the travel industry is allowed to reopen, tourists will likely be spending significantly less on their trips. According to Arival(opens in a new tab), 20-30% of travellers intending to travel in 2021 expect to spend less. This might not sound too alarming, but in reality, the figure will likely be significantly higher and tour operators need to prepare themselves for those travelling on a shoestring budget.

Offer Discounts

Our friends at Rezdy wrote about how early-bird discounts(opens in a new tab) can help to improve struggling cash flows. With many concerned about the uncertainty of reopening dates, people are hesitant to spend money now on future tour and hotel bookings. In the future, however, discounts can be a great tool in attracting tourists who want to travel but don’t have the budget they once did. These don’t need to be drastic discounts, tour operators need to make a living too. With the right product, correct marketing, and a slight discount, you are positioning yourself to reach customers at the perfect moment and with the right offerings. Also, make sure to keep up to date with your government’s approach to reopening the tourism industry, the Sicilian government(opens in a new tab), for example, is offering a 50% discount on the airfares of prospective tourists to encourage travel, a great platform for local tour operators to start from.

Create Irresistible New Products

By now we’ve all heard the theory about local tourists returning first, so if possible, provide a tour that will interest the local audience(opens in a new tab). Think about families with kids who want to burn off months of pent-up energy and those who have never gotten to know their local surroundings. Also, consider your own feelings in lockdown or isolation, people are yearning for open spaces and nature. If you can, consider creating a tour that engages with these feelings. You may not have access to wide-open spaces, but work with what you do have, think about the green areas in your city, natural wonders that are often overlooked. When you are creating these new tours, make sure to keep the cash-strapped traveller at the forefront of your mind. Check out our article(opens in a new tab) on cultivating new tours for inspiration.

While we cannot predict how tourists will behave when international travel returns, we can work towards solutions to possible circumstances. Don’t try to cater to everyone, it’s too ambitious and stress levels are high enough as it is. Choose your niche on the road to tourism recovery, whether it be targeting the travellers on a budget or focussing on private, higher value tours(opens in a new tab). Decide what you feel most comfortable with, and ultimately what suits your business best.

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