Corona virus: The opportunities for the travel & tourism industry
Other media houses have given you all the information you need to increase your anxiety or information on preventive measures from Corona Virus. However, I am here to tell you what opportunities lie here and how we can leverage it as tourism stakeholders (as a tourist and as a tourism practitioner).
It is no news that a lot of companies and industries are loosing market share during this pandemic, most especially the tourism industry among-st many. However, still in this same period there are some companies winning. Some of these companies “knowingly or unknowingly” put in strategies for growth for times like this. Or their companies are basically built for this e.g any healthcare company.
So we call these people the winners, as the stock exchange market would classify some. I was asked by my uncle “Fisayo how can your company – TravCP leverage or provide solutions for such a time as this?”
This question got me thinking and analyzing other companies benefiting or growing in-spite of the corona virus. Now the reason why these companies are growing is because they are solving problems posed by the virus.
Every business is solving a problem, and people will always pay money for a solution to their problem. Apart from the obvious health challenges caused, other problems are posed as a result of the self quantine, this is boredom. Do I need to explain how?
First let’s start with some interesting facts;
Recent report by Nasdaq says: Netflix is by far the biggest player in the streaming space, with more than 167 million subscribers worldwide, and generated more than $20 billion in revenue in 2019. Those numbers are only expected to grow, as Netflix expects to add another 7 million subscribers in the first quarter alone.
Now this is the interesting turn; Data provided by one analyst shows that the company may exceed expectations in the second quarter, due to the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
The only explanation for this is that Netflix is solving the problem of boredom which was caused by self-isolation thereby leading to the increase of demand on entertainment. For more information, click here.
- Other digital companies benefiting from this are Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and more, and you know what this means for content creators on these platforms. If you do not, keep reading.
The virus is changing the way people eat. The New York Times reported in February that New York City’s three main Chinatowns have experienced a 50 to 70 percent drop in business, according to local workers and owners.
However, the restaurant industry, is predicting that demand for food and grocery delivery will grow if the outbreak takes a turn for the worse. For more, click here. People want to eat healthier, and self isolation is leading them to order food thereby leading to an increase in demand of groceries and delivery services.
An article by Neil Patel gave an interesting paradigm as to what industry is loosing and what industry is winning based on the impact of the virus “marketing wise”, this picture summaries it.
Source: Neil Patel
With the understanding that your company stands a chance of winning during this period, these are ways I believe the tourism industry can grow in spite of the virus;
- Leverage technology:
For travel companies that provide virtual realities to tourists, now is the best time to grow. This is a great way to entertain tourists looking for their next travel inspiration when coronavirus is over (hopefully). Bringing a destination closer to the tourists through virtual reality could not be better for an adventurer. Click here to see a company that is currently doing that.
- Travel Content creators:
Just the way the virtual reality is providing peace, joy or entertainment to budding travelers or travel junkies, any content on travel either video or written would do the same for budding tourists. So now is the best time to be a travel content creator. I am starting a masterclass next month to teach newbies how to start a travel blog, click here to see more.
- Travel Masterclasses:
Need I say more? Picture this- you are self quarantined, you have no place to go, you have a number of choices; eat, sleep, watch television, do some work on your laptop, learn a new skill, or do all! Which would you choose? I know learning junkies will choose to learn a new skill, so now is the best time to start an online class to serve the audience looking to learn a new skill during this period. Click here to see more.
- Be Netflix, Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok, Game company or Twitter:
Entertainment is part of tourism.
- Sell more groceries, this is food tourism. Mind you, do not start something you do not see yourself doing on the long run. I guess, the best way to put it is, make sure you are passionate about the problem you are solving.
- I do not need to state the obvious – health care. Yes, health tourism is a branch of tourism, and if you are positioned in this branch right now, this is the time to win. However, do not over price or over charge based on demand, this would mean you are short sighted. Simple analogy – you over price, only the rich would be able to afford, this means we have more poor people with the virus with no ability to purchase or get health care because of this cost, this means they get to spread to more people,the cycle continues, and you might just be infected as well. I know, that is too much, but these are the consequences of being short sighted.
- Local Tourism:
For countries that are free from coronavirus, now is the time to grow your local tourism. Picture this – your citizens are forced to stay within, you have beautiful destinations they have not seen, you promote them on social media, they wonder why they have not seen this before, next thing you get bookings from travel junkies and leisure tourists looking to rest from the whole drama. Click here to make a travel booking, or surf my site for inspiration.
- Truthfully, the possibilities are endless if you think deep. I am still thinking. Recently Cold play and John Legend hosted a mini concert on their social media accounts, if you can think of ways to leverage social media to grow your revenue then do it. Remember, people will always pay for value. Think of what your audience would find valuable, it could just be an Instagram live concert, or a masterclass.
Right now, I want to appeal to the Nigerian government to close our borders to all non-Nigerians as Kenya has done so we do not keep getting new cases of the virus. I’m also appealing that we do free testing at some check points or toll gates, because I fear we have more people infected in Nigeria than recorded. Lastly, give free hand sanitizers as it was done in New York.
World Travel & Tourism Council released an open letter to the government about COVID 19, click here to download it.
My question to you today is what problem is your business or travel business solving?