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Tourism will come back. With everyone cooped up indoors for such a long period of time, and tour and activity operators eagerly awaiting the return of tourists, it’s only a matter of time. By this point we’ve all realized that following such a widespread impact, the industry will be different as tourism resumes. But looking towards the future, another point to pivot towards is increasing promotion for private tours. What may have at one point been seen as a luxury experience, the private tour is now gaining traction and appeal. It is not only an option for a more personalized experience, but also as one which allows for more control.
Shift in Values
While we can all agree that the first steps in tourism’s return will be on a smaller or more local scale, it’s important to not remain shortsighted and solely focus on that. The return of travel moving forward is largely a case of a multi-phase rebuilding of confidence for travelers. Moreover, the pandemic has resulted in a shift in values where it’s no longer just about cost, but rather customers searching for, and wanting an increase in experiential value, even if at times that means a higher price tag. And this is exactly the entry point for private tours. Being surrounded by only family and friends provides an undeniable layer of perceived security and trust because these are the people who they know best, and it also provides the opportunity to build specially-tailored memories during their chosen tours.
Opportunity For the Return
As confidence increases, this does not mean that people will stop being cautious. Private tours represent a major stepping stone in rebuilding trust, while also not overreaching as we transition out of social distancing. The main selling point of private tours has largely been a more personalized experience. However, there are additional benefits that now add to their appeal. Private tours allow for an increase in control by tourists over their immediate surroundings: what people they’re around, and which locations they choose to visit or avoid. Another benefit of private tours includes gaining access to settings like specialty vendors or an intimate one-of-a-kind or off the beaten track experience which are simply not possible with a larger or public group.
Promoting Your Tours
Even for those who are still not convinced or can’t afford a private tour, smaller groups or semi-private tours, in particular, those which feature distancing measures will still be sought out as an intermediary option. In order to diminish the lingering fear post-pandemic, be sure to emphasize your hygiene standards and practices. Work on creating additional funnels on your website towards private tours. Consider using a banner indicating that all your tours are available in a private version, mention it on your tour pages, and communicate it through various channels like your newsletter, blog, or social media. It’s hard to predict all the factors of how and when tourism will resume, but private tours represent a great opportunity in building trust in your business both circumstantially, and for the experience that you offer.
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