Of the many sectors that COVID-19 has severely impacted, tourism is one of the most affected. Forbes reports that global tourism lost a whopping $935 billion from January to October 2020 alone. The United States has also suffered the largest revenue loss among all countries in the world, priced at $147,245 million.
With these large losses, many local communities that relied heavily on tourism for livelihoods have also been struggling. Fortunately, wider vaccinations have been slowly making the revival of tourism a possibility for these communities.
It will require a good amount of effort and teamwork from everyone, but the road to recovery is accessible.
The Rise of Domestic Vacations
The popularity of staycations has risen significantly since the dawn of the pandemic. Due to the numerous travel restrictions in many tourist destinations, areas of possible travel were greatly limited. With these limitations, however, also came unique opportunities to explore domestic areas.
Many local destinations do not require a trip to the airport and a plane ride to reach. These places are often easily accessible via car, which alleviates the fear of getting infected by the virus while in transit. It also removes the risk of being stuck in another country due to border closures and sudden lockdowns.
This poses many possibilities for local communities, too. The rise of staycations means that smaller areas do not have to look very far to revive tourism.
Preparing for Tourism in Your Area
Because you will be catering to people from nearby areas, you are not introducing a completely foreign culture to them. Take these steps to help local tourists still get an in-depth experience as they explore local sights.
Make the necessary investments
Give visitors an authentic experience by renting out homes in your area that are located near landmarks and tourist attractions.
Take the property management franchise costs into account and make this an investment to provide a high-quality experience for tourists. Outsourcing rental property management resources gives you a leg up in promoting your property to potential visitors. These also offer support that will make sure your property is marketed well to the right people.
Rental homes offer unique amenities from hotels, as homes often have more room for a variety of experiences aside from being a place to rest. Homes are also usually located in the heart of towns and cities, giving tourists a more intimate look at the local community.
Set strict safety protocols
Even as vaccinations continue to roll out, it is unlikely that sanitary and public safety protocols will return to pre-COVID-19 times. Set clear and strict guidelines in your area to prevent the spread of the virus.
It will be helpful to put up signs with pictures to easily instruct and inform both locals and visitors of proper physical distancing and other safety practices such as the wearing of face masks and proper hand washing when in public. Make sure that you have disinfection stations and working utilities so that people have easy access to these while sightseeing.
Promote local products
With tourists coming to visit you, this is a great time to introduce your local culture through your products. These usually take the form of delicacies and popular food. However, it does not have to be limited to edible items.
Your tourism efforts should include the many local businesses whose livelihoods were also heavily affected by the restrictions. Your community must have a number of small local businesses who will receive great help from referrals and word-of-mouth promotions.
Market the experience online
With a wealth of local experiences, destinations, and products, it will be a waste not to promote all these in online platforms. With 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide, you are able to reach plenty of new audiences digitally by simply marketing smartly.
Facebook is the most widely used social media platform, so it is an ideal starting point for your marketing efforts. It also allows for a variety of content types, which you can take advantage of.
Invite domestic visitors to visit you through a variety of posts: from images, to text posts detailing facts about the city or even to introduce the small businesses that make up your community.
By building a presence online, more people become aware of you. By creating engaging content, more people become interested in visiting your area.
Restarting or revitalizing local tourism takes a good amount of planning and creativity from both citizens and local heads. Take advantage of the uniqueness of your local community in order to promote your area as an ideal tourist destination.