5 tips on how tourism SMMEs can survive lockdown
“As SA Tourism says in their moving video clip: Yes, there is fear. Yes, there is panic. But, do not be alarmed. We will meet again. We will do the things that matter with the people we love again. We will go back to our favourite spots, and we’ll even discover new ones. We will travel again.”
So, how can you ride out the storm, and come out stronger on the other side? Dr Songelwa shares five tips on how tourism SMMEs can remain relevant during this period of lockdown:
1. Reach out to your tourism family
It is said that one in ten people globally works in travel and tourism. That makes this industry the biggest family in the world.
Reach out to colleagues by joining industry associations like NAA-SA, SATSA, FEDHASA, SAVRALA and those associated with the Tourism Business Council of South Africa.
These organisations provide their members with the resources they need to not only respond to traveller questions, but also to weather the storm as a business. To keep its members informed so that they can employ proactive measures and precautions, Satsa is updating its Coronavirus website page continuously with information from official sources.
2. Connect with your travellers
Although travellers from key source markets will not be able to visit South Africa for now, it remains important to connect with potential travellers, remembering that there will be a time that travel will once again flourish.
“I would encourage small, medium and micro enterprises to make sure they’re being seen by their audience,” says Dr Songelwa. “In this difficult time, it’s imperative to increase your brand visibility, making sure it’s cleverly targeted, in places and on platforms where your target audience will see you.”
Travellers are already on social media, but these days, they are likely checking in much more frequently as they are in lockdown. Try to offer light, positive content to help take people’s minds off the panic and give them something to look forward to. Increase your posting frequency to ensure you are showing up in their news feeds.
3. Think out of the box
Just because you’re not out and about showcasing our beautiful country to travellers, doesn’t mean you should sit back and relax.
As an SMME, you are likely to have an entrepreneurial spirit. Use it to think out of the box and position your company in a new and innovative way.
The pilot of Jurni’s booking tool went live in December 2019. Small businesses mustn’t lose sight of these types of platforms, which will put them directly in front of customers during the buying stage of their travel planning.
Unlike your business’s social media pages, once you’ve listed your business on a booking platform, you can manage your inventory and prices easily, and you won’t need to create fresh content every day to stay top of mind.
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