If I wrote this yesterday, my suggestions might have been different. If I were to send this out tomorrow, we might be dealing with another set of challenges. But based on our world today, we are not helpless.
The tourism industry will bounce back as the largest industry in the world when we are on the other side of the Coronavirus crisis. So what can we do to keep moving forward today?
Because meetings and events are being cancelled, and the term "social distancing" is being used hourly, we need to find other ways to meet. Here are two tools I use:
Zoom is an easy to use meeting software (click here for more information and pricing). I use this software when I host my client's webinars. People can join the meeting or webinar from their computer, smartphone or desk phone. As the meeting organizer, you can share slides, have everyone visible for a face-to-face meeting, or a combination. You can record the meetings so others can watch the replay later. There is a free version available. If you are going to be working remotely, this is a great way to have a daily meeting with your staff.
Loom is another tool that offers a lot of flexibility. You can record your computer screen as you navigate through a website, document a process or if you want to show step by step instructions when you can't be there in person. Another thought: Send a quick Loom video with your website in the background to your favorite tour operator. Tell them you are thinking of them and are looking forward to working together in the future. I encouraged one of my Office Hour clients that is a hotel DOS to reach out to potential long-term clients with a short Loom video to introduce herself. It will make her stand out from the crowd. Try it and send me a Loom video!
Many of us had travel scheduled on our calendar which has been canceled. So now, you have a bit of free time you hadn't planned on. Instead of wringing your hands and complaining with co-workers (although I know my readers—you all are optimists looking for a silver lining), why not take some time to sharpen your skills and expand your horizons?
TOURISM PRO ACADEMY
This is the professional development platform I started last year. Check out the free resources. There are lots of tools and reading available. I have some online courses there as well. How about my course: Fill Your Parking Lot: Secrets to Getting more Group Tours? You can take the course now and be an expert in understanding this market. It will bounce back and you will be ready!
Linkedin is a platform everyone should be familiar with. Linkedin Learning is relatively new and has all kinds of business development courses and webinars. Click here for more information. You can get a free one-month trial! And one of the elements I like is that after you finish a course, you can post it to your Linkedin profile. Potential employers can see you are a lifelong learner.
Most tourism businesses are small businesses and every dollar counts. Because we are being encouraged to stay home, here are some thoughts on how you can still make a contribution to the economy:
I have written about gift certificates before and why tourism businesses should offer them. Can you buy a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant, brewery or retail shop? They can use the money now, and you can go to the facility later.
I love this site because I can find unique gifts. Your top clients are challenged just like you are right now. How about going on Etsy, finding something unique and fun and sending it off to them? You will make their day, and the small business owner on Etsy will have some money in their account.
I love to read and always have a few books going at the same time. If you have a bit of free time and need to get away from the TV and social media, check out one of these books.
One more idea ...
Can you forward this blog post to two other tourism professionals? I think that the more we work together, the quicker we will recover! Thank you!
Written by Sally Davis Berry.
This article was republished with permission and originally appeared at Sally Davis Berry.