Restart of the tourism sector
Unique webinar by Bratislava Tourist Board for B2B partners and stakeholders in tourism held on March 30, 2021, delivered insights from experts who presented the latest research findings and views on the restart of the tourism sector. Although the webinar primarily focused on leisure tourism, attendees were also provided with informative and useful information for the MICE segment. The webinar was attended by more than 200 participants coming from more than 40 countries. The main message was that tourism will return as soon as it will be allowed to travel again. The first step – exploring nearby countries.
The research also showed that individuals will plan their travels more precisely and search for up-to-date information on various websites. Thus, it is crucial that websites of tourism service providers ensure trustworthy and credible information. In this year, travellers will predominantly decide on weekend getaways, travelling to surrounding countries, road trips and outdoor trips.
Bratislava has retained its position as one of the hottest destinations. In comparison with 2019, Bratislava has solidified its average mark of 4,20 on Tripadvisor. As expected, there is less interest from overseas markets (USA) and the UK, while there have been more online website visits from neighbouring countries.
The webinar was led by four speakers – experts in online marketing, social networks, and media, in an effort to provide effective solutions to renew their business and activities in these difficult times.
Alexandra Vallée Blanchard, a Principal Client Partner at Tripadvisor presented the comparison between consumer behaviour before the pandemic and after March 2020. During the current situation, when the options of travelling are limited, learning and acquiring information about destinations and tourism service providers via Trip Advisor is still at 50% in comparison to the period before the crisis. Their research, conducted at the beginning of 2021, also proved that 46% of respondents felt more comfortable travelling in 2021 than a year before.
Rob Cameron, BBC Czech Republic and Slovakia correspondent shared his view on the changes to private and business life in 2020. As Rob Cameron is based in Prague, his longest travels were to Bratislava, giving him the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the city. In his opinion, the main factors for travelling will be safety and security related to Covid-19, financial attractiveness and uniqueness of destinations. Less crowded destinations and destinations that will know how to present their specialities through storytelling will have a major advantage. It is vital that people quickly find all information regarding travel on websites that are available in numerous languages.
Martin Volek, MBA, PhD., the Vice-Chairman of Bratislava Tourist Board, who was in charge of moderating the event, is an expert in digital marketing. As a Google Certified Trainer, he shared many practical tips on how destinations and other providers can deal with new challenges. In his opinion, the main factors for the restart of tourism will be prices and flexible cancellation policies. Martin emphasized the importance of having credible websites. People spend increasingly more time googling, and there have been new target groups emerging such as »silver surfers«, a generation of travellers, who in 2020, adapted to online exploring. One of the keywords of Google Search is »outdoor activities«. Martin’s advice for providers to restart:
1. make sure that you can be found on Google,
2. work with data,
3. use video content,
4. rethink your offer and the way you message it, as people are now looking for »local«, »near me« and »safe«.
Rastislav Talárovič, Marketing Consultant and Google Certified Trainer explained how to use LinkedIn for B2B online communication. Rastislav is an expert in his field, who manages LinkedIn campaigns for Bratislava Tourist Board. He confirmed that Linkedin is still the most trusted social network. It differs from other social media by its professional mindset and educational impact. The main reasons to use the platform are searching for new opportunities and learning from experts. Presenting the case study of the “Bratislava 72 hours” campaign, Rastislav explained how to achieve a higher engagement rate. Above all, it is important to choose the right objective, the right audience and always think about how the content is educating the audience.