As Europe moves towards the end of a series of lockdowns, countries are slowly easing measures and getting ready to restart the Travel & Tourism sector. Although many operators are still in winter sleep, the business is preparing to return to full speed, stronger than before.
We created this checklist to help tour and activity companies begin their path to recovery on time.
And there is one clear core message we have for you based on the experience of operators on other continents: you have to prepare now, as recovery will come faster and bigger than you might expect.
Let’s dive in.
1. Make a plan for reopening
With social distancing and COVID-19 measures likely to be in place for many months to come, you need to continue staying in line with the regulations. That is why you should make a plan for action before you reopen.
Firstly, check what are the latest coronavirus rules and restrictions in your area. Then stock up with the necessary sanitizing and PPE supplies for your staff and customers. Last but not least, think of ways to implement social distancing measures while making most of your space.
Don’t forget to follow WHO’s latest advice on prevention and control. Also, check the up-to-date regulations issued by the local authorities to make sure you are ticking all boxes.
2. Anticipate and alleviate customer concerns
Your customers will likely be following precautionary measures while traveling and enjoying different activities. Be empathetic to their requests and try to accommodate any particular needs.
By adding sanitizing stations at various locations and providing free masks/gloves, you will demonstrate dedication to the rules in place. Perhaps put safety signboards with guidelines for preventing the spread of coronavirus.
3. Getting your workspace ready for your team
The priority for every business should be managing a safe return to the workplace for both customers and staff. That is why you need to implement infection prevention and control measures in your office or other workspace.
Ensure your workplace is deep cleaned before you reopen since contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads. Don’t forget to organize the space so people can easily keep the required physical distance.
It is crucial to promote good respiratory hygiene in the workspace once everyone is back. Instruct everyone to clean the tools/equipment they used and wear face coverings when entering your premises.
To make your workspace even safer for employees, you can:
- designate areas with disinfectant, spare gloves, and masks
- rearrange desks to allow more space in between
- provide chemical disinfectants for cleaning surfaces (desks) and objects (keyboards)
4. Update your product portfolio
As a tour and activity provider, you need to update your product offerings so they comply with the rules. Be inventive and make the most of what’s allowed.
For example, adjust your tours and activities for smaller groups. Perhaps, design experiences that can take place outdoors or online.
Don‘t forget to adjust prices accordingly – a new product structure will change your costs and potentially the overall experience so make sure your prices are up-to-date.
5. Run a website audit
Keeping the content up to date on your website helps establish authenticity and build trust between you and your clients. You need to revise all information concerning your reopening schedule and hours. Also, be transparent on the hygiene and distancing measures you follow to give customers peace of mind.
Tip: You can also use your website to tease the market for attention on the new service launches and spread the word about your reopening.
6. Review your sales channels/OTAs
If you change your product structure, you will need to reflect this not just on your website but external sales channels too. Make sure all your third-party channels and OTAs are updated with your latest prices and availability. Don’t forget to adjust your PPC campaigns accordingly too.
7. Hire people
In case you have reduced your staff, it is time to rebuild your recruitment strategy. Now that you are about to reopen, you need to consider hiring employees to meet the new demand.
Although your expectations might be high, remember to scale up the hiring process gradually. Take on board just the right number of team members and expand as demand grows.
8. Manage bookings in real-time
If you’re using multiple channels to sell your offers, things can get out of hand quickly.
Use the Regiondo booking software to manage all of your bookings in one place and track sales using a central platform.
Our software can help you strictly manage capacity and bookings so you’re in full control of the post-COVID situation in your business. In addition, you can integrate with 100+ sales channels, including Viator and GetYourGuide so you don’t have to manage each listing manually.
Other ways we can help you manage the crisis:
- Resources to handle the COVID-19 crisis
We regularly publish updates on best practices to handle COVID-19 based on our work with thousands of tour and activity operators. Learn more at https://pro.regiondo.com/blog/
- Free online seminars
Keep an eye on our events page to see upcoming online seminars to learn about managing the crisis and other industry advice.
- Dedicated POS solution
Reduce queues and introduce a faster checkout with our new POS solution built for tablet and smartphone screens.
9. Check your inventory/equipment
If you rely on equipment and/or sell physical products as part of your offering, make sure you have enough to meet the initial high demand. Even if this is only part of your business, you need to use it as a chance to compensate for the previous losses.
This is also a good time to run a maintenance check on your equipment to make sure everything works well.
10. See if you can increase capacity
The upcoming summer will be busy, especially for outdoor operators. Travelers want to enjoy places away from their normal environment more than ever.
To ensure you can accommodate more bookings, you can extend your opening hours and look for temporary workers during the summer.
Our checklist aims to help you do better than your competitors once you reopen. And so we hope that if you follow it, you will be in a better position to meet the demand and customer expectations.