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While domestic and regional tourism is the first focus as restrictions begin to ease, after so much time without travel, and with a new perspective following such a dramatic global event, the time has come for persuasion. While financial aid is appreciated, money alone is not the solution to restarting tourism. Accordingly, tour and activity operators have been using this time off to work on their websites(opens in a new tab), repackage their content(opens in a new tab), update their offerings(opens in a new tab), and make adjustments(opens in a new tab), all to remind stuck at home travellers that they’re still there and there is a future.
Governments too are helping throw ideas and solutions into the mix. With the gradual upturn in tourism, planning and working together is an essential part of creating an effective reopening strategy. While travel companies may be more accustomed to changing strategies to attract local customers, it’s a considerable shift to see countries and regions now promoting themselves to their own residents.
Check out what strategies and ideas the following four governments have come up with:
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently touted the idea of the four-day workweek(opens in a new tab) as a means of encouraging domestic travel. Accordingly, she reiterated the benefits that many companies have seen with employees working from home, such as increased productivity, as a way to sway open-mindedness when it comes to flexible work schedules. Although the choice to make changes and adjust a work schedule is up to the employer and employee, the change would mean longer weekends and consequently more opportunities for local or regional travel.
Similarly, with the added stress brought on during the pandemic, we could all use a break and a few more days off. Both the UK(opens in a new tab) and New Zealand(opens in a new tab) (again!) are considering amending their national calendars by adding additional holidays. Like the previous idea, the thought is that additional time off will positively contribute to domestic travel as residents head out during long weekends. Again, this ultimately contributing more revenue to the domestic tourism industry.
The Czech Republic, notorious for over-tourism, has had to reconsider its options. The Czech government is looking to implement tax-deductible travel vouchers(opens in a new tab) for local companies that make contributions to their employees’ vacations. The goal is to encourage visits to the newly-emptied tourist attractions, normally overtaken by international visitors, as well as promote travel to the various regions of the country.
Countries such as Canada have begun to reallocate national funding specifically intended for marketing towards provincial and territorial marketing(opens in a new tab). These are funds that would normally go towards enticing international visitors. As the first phases of travel resume, the goal is to directly market to (and entice) Canadians to discover their own backyard. Furthermore, the Canadian Tourism Roundtable(opens in a new tab) has formed, bringing together representatives from various parts of the nation’s travel industry and levels of government. These include representatives from airlines, airports, hotels, chambers of commerce, and city tourism boards from across the country to work together to, “restart the sector smoothly and safely”.
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