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Here’s a positive news story as you settle into your first, second, or seventh week of quarantine! People in the travel industry are looking at the slow return of local tourism and beginning to make plans on how to market or shift their services accordingly. China reported an increase in domestic air travel by about one fifth throughout March for the first time since this all began. Although numbers are still substantially lower than what they would traditionally be, it is giving us all a ray of hope as to what we might expect to see around the world in the coming months.
At this stage, Air China is predicting a more robust return of domestic travel by June, with international travel recommencing in August at the earliest. Everything, however, is still day-to-day. China Eastern Airlines noted that they are making real-time adjustments every day in determining demand and pricing. Many are still making tentative bets without knowing any future odds.
Leaders from the hotel and tourism industry in Spain have discussed the need to reinvest and focus on domestic travel as well. Spain relies heavily on its tourism industry for national income and has already predicted that this crisis could affect more than 20% of jobs if it continues through May. Even in the event that everything stabilises within the next month, most people throughout the world will be unlikely to have the ability or willingness to take a trip overseas. It is therefore the time to commit to your local travellers.
Undoubtedly, consumers who have been stuck in the house will soon be in search of a quick escape, whether that’s to a nearby town, city, state, or province. So look to your domestic market and begin making changes to your offerings. There is some dispute over whether reducing prices will prolong the market recovery or if it will improve revenue. But for small businesses, as many tour and activity operators are, we would recommend providing a short-term discount for locals to get the ball rolling again.
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