The hotel and the ground handling vendors are dependent on each other. No hotels or tourists are going to continue excursions managed by the ground handler industry, and vice-versa.
When the pandemic hit, the hotel industry was in a total shutdown therefore directly affecting the ground-handling tour sector as well.
Even with the slow restart of the industry, cash flow is still quite limited. It means every decision has to be a carefully calculated one. All sources of friction need to be reduced.
This is to protect the financial integrity of the hotel and extension the ground handling tour industries.
“It’s no longer the big beating the small, but the fast beating the slow.”
Eric Pearson, CIO, International Hotel Group (IHG)
For survival in those difficult times, the industry has to become more connected with each other. Even though the competition has driven innovation within this sector, now is not the time for that. Because you cannot compete with each other if your industry does not exist.
- Be proactive, not reactive.
Hotels, DMCs, and suppliers need to become proactive if they are willing to survive during these challenging times. Being updated with the local and global industry trends is the only way to adapt. Understand which markets are opening back up or which ones are closing down. For example, if your region and a neighbouring region are open, expect more business. To manage the inflow of tourists properly, you need to be well-prepared ahead of time.
Preparation ahead of time involves close contact with resource suppliers and travel agencies. The tour operators cannot make it without the assistance of the travel agencies.
So support them with a pincer approach. This involves the use of commercials and word of mouth. The latter is not as flashy, but it is a far more powerful advertisement tool and saves costs.
- Digitize your business
“At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years… If they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies.”
John Chambers, Executive Chairman, Cisco System
All this requires networking. Understand that networking does not mean contacting through calls or texts but using other digital tools to provide all members of the industry with data. Allowing everyone involved to make decisions that are helpful to each other.
Accommodation and Food and beverage service activities as a proxy for the tourism sector
Use as many digital tools as you can to prepare yourself for any rapid adaptations. They could be something as simple as digitally calling in deliveries of your supplies based on your inventory. What we are trying to do is saving costs. So use any digital tool you can find to reduce your losses.
Everything right now is hazy and difficult to predict. But what you can do is prepare yourself. If you want to be in and ahead of the game when everything opens up, then contact us at LVG learning.
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