Now everyone is talking about it: the day or rather the time after Corona. Wuhan is the experimental field observed worldwide and in many regions and countries the interpretations of this experiment are in full swing. Those responsible are under pressure to make decisions. Many people expect the first results from their politicians this week.
The survey of the “Kompetenzzentrum Tourismus” in Germany published before Easter suggests, at least for Germany, that the possible scenarios are very different in terms of time and their effects. These scenarios are based on the opinions of experts in Germany tourism. An expert is not a being without personal feelings and will always project his personal fears and desires into his assessment. Germany tourism has never seen this kind of cut in tourism. Accordingly, many experts are faced with an exceptional situation for the first time, which has a strong impact on their private environment.
Regions in other parts of the world are already familiar with such extreme events. In order to step out of the spiral of excitement, it makes sense to look at past crises, because these reflect the real travel behavior of travelers. And maybe this look into the past helps to focus on the essentials.
A look back in 3 graphics.
When it rains, it pours
Even now we will see that the health crisis and an economic crisis will overlap. Tourist experts will encounter two fears. The fear of illness and death and financial worries. Both have to be addressed in the communication.
How the overlapping of two crises works can be seen from incoming tourism to Great Britain during the Great Depression and swine flu in 2008/2009. It is not only the different characteristics for the source markets Germany, Spain and South Korea that are remarkable, but also the very different influence of the two crises. At that time the Germans had their travel behavior mainly influenced by the economic situation, in Spain it was the health risk.
Conclusion: Coordinate the communication in terms of time and content individually for each source market.
Do the right thing
Source markets are different. This was already evident during the Sars crisis. It was found that markets have national characteristics.
The entry figures to Taiwan showed that tourists from the USA and Hong Kong reacted to the crisis earlier than Japan, but the pre-crisis level was reached again after only six months. Japan, on the other hand, took over 12 months. Travelers from different source markets have different security needs and take different lengths of time to regain trust. An increased communication pressure can quickly come to nothing here!
Conclusion: Use your recovery budget wisely! The focus of communication should initially be on the markets that can be quickly regained.
The first cut is the deepest
Yes it’s right. The current crisis will be more devastating for tourism than the previous crises. The UNWTO currently assumes a decline of 20% to 30% of worldwide arrivals. But such forecasts are always politically motivated to draw attention to oneself in the multiplicity of cries for help.
There is nothing wrong with that unless it makes us headless. Let us remain realistic and sharpen our eyes based on past assessments. For example, the UNWTO predicted a 10% drop in arrivals for Europe in the crisis year 2009, but later it was less than 5% in real terms.Conclusion: Even if you prepare for the worst, you shouldn’t lose your ability to act.
We have learned the following from our more than 20 years of experience in tourism marketing for sometimes “difficult” regions and countries: Individual fears and trust largely determine travel behavior. However, these can be influenced, because people trust people and we all in the tourism industry can contribute directly and immediately to reducing fears and regaining trust.
What do you think will come after the crisis?
Discuss with us live:
Thursday 30.4. between 11:00 and 12:30 pm.
Join the discussion
You need two things for our digital meeting:
- The link to our digital meeting room in “Microsoft Teams”. We meet there at the beginning and discuss the next steps. You do not need a registration for this. Click here for the digital meeting room
- Access to the digital work board “Miro”. You have to register for free, which is very quick. There the participants can create and record their work results. Here you can register for the digital work board.