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There is no doubt that the British tourism industry has suffered enormously under the COVID-19 pandemic. But as restrictions are beginning to lift and people wish for a return to normality, British tourist SMEs need to prepare themselves to recoup some of their losses incurred over lockdown.
Here we take a look at five ways that British SMEs in the tourism and travel industry can attract more customers after COVID-19.
Small businesses in the British tourism industry need through the huge number of negatives and challenges in COVID-19 to find the positives. It is now the case that British holidaymakers are less interested in travelling abroad - and being encouraged to consider the option of ‘staycation’; holidaying in the UK.
Of course, there will still be a taste for foreign style holidays. So British travel SMEs must find ways to replicate what they can find on foreign holidays.
Allan Crump is the West Sussex-based owner of Riad el Zohar, luxury accommodation in Marrakech, and he is fully aware that in the wake of COVID-19 there is going to be a desire from customers to know that they are staying in somewhere that has been properly cleaned and sanitised, as well as providing them with suitable materials.
“Our room and bathroom floors have always been washed daily, all switches and handles were disinfected using anti-bacterial anti-viral wipes,” he said, “but with the advent of the pandemic, we have supplemented these very thorough cleaning regimes with bleaches as opposed to the previously used proprietary cleaning solutions on all floors and flat surfaces”.
Customers and clients want to know that they are safe whenever they visit any property for any kind of travel or tourism - from hotels to attractions. So, it is essential that you should increase and improve your cleaning regimes.
Many of the COVID-19 challenges relate to the need for physical interaction not just between individuals, but also on using items that are touched by multiple other people. This includes things like countertops as individuals wait to check-in and out of a hotel, or paying entrance fees to employees.
This can be remedied by utilising technological solutions. Many hotels are already working with app-based keys as well as electronic check-in.
Millennials are a generation that puts a real emphasis on the importance of travelling and exploring the world. Crucially, millennials are spending more on travelling than any other age group. It is important, then, for SMEs to be able to capitalise on the popularity of travelling in this generation.
And 78% of millennials want their travelling experience to be educational and allow them to learn something new. This could be a fantastic part of the market to appeal to then - if tourism SMEs can offer the experience of learning and understand as a part of a UK holiday.
If your SME is currently experiencing some downtime due to restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, now could actually be the ideal time to make improvements. You have the time and space, so use it to upgrade your business. When customers return, they will find a new and improved version of your company.
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