I. Things Will Work Out
While the world has not seen a global lockdown of the kind caused by the #WuhanChineseFlu, its not unusual to face a pandemic or war or economy melt downs. Only difference this time around is the rapidity with which WuhanChineseFLu contagion spreads and kills people. And which has created a fear psychosis that might take years to recover from.
And we all know that travel industry is always considered as a non essential services and is the first to get affected and the last to recover. Moreover it has been proven that many industry can work from home or over the internet without disruption.
I am sharing some of the ways that may give ideas to the readers on how can they incorporate these ideas, amend a few, add a few and hasten business recovery by crunching the recovery curve.
I will focus on 2 sectors specifically; Hospitality, Leisure Tourism and Activities and will not elaborate on business travel and aviation.
Business Travel traditionally is the first to bounce back after any recession or natural disasters like Tsunami, cyclones, pandemic etc. While Aviation typically is always bailed out by the government of that respective country.
II. Never Sink
There are three solutions that I propose
- Create Original Experiential Content – First create original, thematic, relevant and engaging experiential content that attracts multi generational leisure travellers, business travelers & institutional traveler. It isn’t as difficult as it sounds, all you have to do create content is collaborate with or hire the services of specialist outfits & experts, and training your internal team to deliver.
- Plug This Experiential Content in Your Lodges & Tours – Than incorporate this original, season and terrain specific, and guest enriching content seamlessly in your lodges and outfits.
- Adopt World Class Hygiene Practices – Reassure the travellers about the extreme measures that your hospitality asset has taken to ensure safety & hygiene for the guest and their family
1. Create Original Experiential Content
First things First – Why is experiential eco travel the next big opportunity in hospitality and travel; how to transform into an experiential eco travel company and add eco to it, who are these experiential travellers and finally to who are these luxury Indian experiential travellers? To know more, read six of my past articles that sequentially addresses the above questions in a step by step manner.
1. WHY IS EXPERIENTIAL ECO TRAVEL THE NEXT BIG OPPORTUNITY IN HOSPITALITY & TRAVEL?
2. THE SHIFT FROM RESPONSIBLE HOLIDAYS TO EXPERIENTIAL ECO JOURNEYS
3. HOW TO TRANSFORM INTO AN EXPERIENTIAL ECO TRAVEL COMPANY?
4. HOW TO ADD ECO TO EXPERIENTIAL ECO TRAVEL
5. WHO IS AN EXPERIENTIAL ECO TRAVELLER, THE 7 TYPES OF EXPERIENTIAL ECO TRAVELLERS & WHY DO THEY TRAVEL EXPERIENTIAL?
6. MORE ABOUT THE LUXURY INDIAN EXPERIENTIAL ECO TRAVELER & HOW TO REACH THEM?
2. Plug This Experiential Content in Your Lodges & Tours
Now that we know what is content driven experiential travel, and why and how to do it, lets explore how a leisure resort or a business hotel can easily go experiential and increase the reasons for travellers to choose the property over others beside creating an additional revenue channel.
So how do you create your own original experiential eco content, and how do you transform your hospitality asset into an experiential eco resort and then successfully market to reach the right audience has been answered in 3 articles that sequentially addresses the above issues in a step by step manner.
7. A PRIMER ON HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN ORIGINAL EXPERIENTIAL ECO TOURS CONTENT
8. A PRIMER ON HOW TO TRANSFORM YOUR HOSPITALITY ASSETS INTO EXPERIENTIAL ECO RESORTS?
9. HOW TO MARKET YOUR HOSPITALITY ASSETS AND EXPERIENTIAL OUTFITS IN 3 SIMPLE WAYS?
III. Adopt World Class Hygiene Practices
Now that we have gone experiential to create reasons for travellers to visit your property, lets focus on what do we have to do to reassure the travellers that we are a safe & hygienic hotel & resort. Some of the ways you can this are mentioned below. Please feel free to suggest additional ways in the comment section, which I will then add to the article with the byline of ‘This idea was contributed by’
- Talk to hospitality and travel industry experts and attend all their webinars that shed light on what these industry thought leaders are doing to combat the recession caused by #WuhanChinese Flu. Absorb whatever you can pragmatically adopt in your property.
- Whats can also be done is for the Ministry of Tourism to follow the Singapore model and compile hospitality’s hygiene practises (which they anyway have been doing forever) and brand them as Ministry of Tourism / National Tourism Board of that country / ATTA and similar trustworthy certifying institutions that certifies the resort or hotel as “NTB Certified Hygiene Hotel’ that reassures potential guests and tip the scale in ‘Lets go visit this hotel / resort’ vs. ‘Discretion is better part of valour and lets avoid travel for the next 18 months’.
- The hotel will have to show by their actions that they disinfect the hotel once or twice every day to the residential guests while they do housekeeping.
- It goes with out saying that toiletries, house keeping and kitchen cleaning solutions must be replaced by proven, branded and certified extremely safe disinfectant based toilteries & cleaning platforms.
- When it comes to textiles what must be done is to replace all sheet sets, towels, curtains, sofa, carpets, bath robes, slippers and all textiles that comes in intimate contact with the guests must be either replace or treated with anti microbial systems; quite like what the hospitals do any way – We can just adopt existing suppliers to hospitals as our first go to supply chain and gradually move to specialist hotel systems, for instance Johnson Diversey etc. Its quite possible that existing hotel supply chain will revamp their products in triple quick time to maintain their market cap.
- I will be shameless here and pitch our Natural Textile Bio-Snitizers that we developed for hotel and consumer textiles and uniforms. Yes, it increases the cost per sheet by about 5 cents per wash and is proven antibacterial, antiviral, anti odour and soil resistant using AATCC test methods. To know more, email us at NTBS@ecomantra.com
- On arrival you can provide quality masks & white flannel gloves to guests – they may/may not use them but you are doing your part to ensure that they feel reassured while being in the elevator or touching the hand rail or opening doors etc. Or even while stepping out of the hotel.
- The hotels can provide disposable toilet seat cover in the toilet to further reassure the guests that strict guest hygiene is followed.
- Replace all single use & throw, or press to dispense toiletries by battery based contact less dispensers that are easily available now. This also saves money by avoiding wastage.
- Activity providers can treat their bicycles, rafts, boats, ropes etc. with spray based anti microbial solutions that anyway exist since decades. Some of them are by brands like Scotchguard etc. Use simple measures like gloves and skull camps beneath the helmet to maintain hygiene. Expect a host of companies to come up with more effective & much cheaper surface treatment based solutions.
- Hire PR & Digital Marketing firms for Reputation Management, and specialist in travel Digital Marketing firms to reach out to existing and potential travelers and assure your guests with ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy, Come, Learn & Have some Fun.
- Try to go “All Inclusive” – Collaborate with airlines, tours and activities providers, car rentals companies etc. and offer your guests a hassle free travel where they don’t have to dip into their pockets every 1 hour. Collaboration is the way forward – It creates revenue for everybody in the travel supply chain while the guests enjoys hassle free travel.
- Readers – Please contribute…
There are so many ways of reassuring the guests that I look forward to crowd sourcing, where hoteliers and housekeeping experts can contribute their own ideas.
All these genuine functional actions will reassure people that they are not risking themselves when they stay in your hotel or visit your activity outfit.
Remember – A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skilled Sailor
- Established in 2000 CE, Ecomantra‘s biggest value proposition for over decades has been that we build & operate ‘all inclusive experiential travel eco lodges, electric tours & outdoor adventures, and eco journeys‘ for a multi-generational family.
- Ecomantra hived off its experience in sourcing & creating sustainable luxury textiles & toiletries into a sustainable retail company called Ecomantra Retail LLP. Ecomantra Retail & it’s design studios designs, manufactures & supplies pure, natural, sustainable & luxury textiles & toiletries for luxury hotels & homes.
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