The Time is Now to Plan for Post-Pandemic Success
Travel industry experts and psychologists agree that once the COVID-19 pandemic is managed, human beings will travel again, with more enthusiasm and abandon than ever before. Travel, mobility, exploration, discovery, encounters—these are all essential and compelling human needs.
While crisis management may be your main focus right now, mid-pandemic, brands who take this time to not only deal with the situation at hand, but also create plans to prepare for the future will find themselves benefitting from the pent-up demand and weakened competition when the world is hungry for travel again.
After 70 years of experience and unwavering stability through several crises, ATA is well-positioned to establish and support your experiential brand extension to generate revenue and deepen consumer relationships as the world rebounds. Whether you are launching a brand-new travel program or re-evaluating offerings for your existing brand, now is the time to take action, and we are here to guide you along the way.
Travel Planning Timeline for Post-Pandemic Success
Evaluate destinations that might appeal to your audience. Narrow down your list and focus on a 60/40 breakdown of domestic vs. international destinations. Domestic destinations are generally perceived to be lower-risk following a large-scale crisis. There is also an expectation that domestic travel will return more quickly than international travel, as travelers test the waters closer to home.
ATA can help guide you through this process and will ultimately develop detailed proposals to present for final consideration, complete with pricing.
Finalize selections for your portfolio of trip offerings and bring marketing on board. Build your ideal marketing plan to be ready for launch when timing is right. For new travel brands, this plan should include a high-level promotion for the launch of your new travel program as well as a deeper dive into the inaugural series of trips. For existing travel brands, your marketing efforts should focus on why certain destinations were chosen and what you are doing to ensure safety for travelers on the ground. Regardless of whether you are launching a new travel brand, or new trips for the coming year, this marketing plan needs to cover all possible marketing channels, from email and web to newsletters, signage, social media, and any other channels already used by your organization.
As you create your marketing strategy, ATA is happy to collaborate and advise.
Once a marketing plan is in place, it is time to start building out creative assets that will ultimately be needed for launch. For new travel brands, now is the time to get creative—establish a logo, custom branding, and a website for your travel initiative. For new or existing brands, other creative assets to consider are digital brochures and other graphics to be used in emails, on social media, and in promotion.
ATA has an in-house design team to support creative efforts if collaboration throughout the process is desired.
Now that you have a solid foundation in place – trips planned, marketing efforts ready, and a website, logo, and other creative assets established– it is time to watch and wait for ideal marketing conditions to announce your travel program, or new trips, into the marketplace. As with anything, timing is essential.
As an active member in several travel organizations and with employees across the globe, ATA is keenly following the market to ascertain the perfect timing.
Now is the time to take action and be prepared for the travel resurgence. There is huge opportunity to be seen as a leader in the recovery of the travel and hospitality industry and travelers will be yearning to explore the world again when it is safe.