The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

March 2021, No. 96


New American and European Tourism Tactics

With the travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic in the world and the acceleration of its spread, the greatest damage has been inflicted on the travel and tourism sector.

The giants of the world tourism market, in order to end the recession and the loss caused by the coronavirus, have turned to the appropriate businesses of this period and at the same time doable in this market. Large and chain hotels in the United States and Europe, in the absence of foreign and even domestic tourists, have begun to accept a new type of guests; so that with a very simple change of application the rooms are rented on an hourly basis for business and friendly meetings. Another group of tourism activists has temporarily joined the online food services and chain stores.

With the travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic in the world and the acceleration of its spread, the greatest damage has been inflicted on the travel and tourism sector. According to scenarios of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), these restrictions and the lack of international tourists have put 121 million jobs in the travel and tourism sector at risk, leading to a 53% decrease in international tourists and a 34% decrease in domestic tourists.

Therefore, tourism activists and providers took temporary measures during the corona crisis to compensate for the damage done to their jobs and to keep their employees and create jobs, in order to accelerate the improvement of the travel and tourism market and increase flexibility in the future.

According to the World Trade Travel, the tourism economy is facing a lot of damage, which will cause significant shortages of revenue and liquidity challenges for small and medium-sized companies, which account for 80% of the sectors jobs. Many small companies will be closed if the process of improvement takes longer and this destructive effect on womens employment, minorities and small businesses is very evident. In the United States, small businesses account for about 83 percent of travel jobs, of which 60 percent are owned by women.

In this challenging situation, some of the closed jobs in the tourism market are looking for opportunities to replace their main products in demand-related markets. Uber Travel Online Service Company is currently providing food delivery services. The Red Roof Inn in the United States is also looking for a way to earn money by reducing the rates of its rooms and offering in-room Wi-Fi and coffee service and the possibility of daily and hourly rental of rooms to have a quiet place to work and study.

The hotel is also contributing to the hotels financial crisis by launching a hotel room pre-rent slip in the form of a new marketing program called Book Now, Use Later so that customers can purchase this slip for $100 from a hotel of their choice and receive a credit of $150 after 60 days.

Given that the goal of businesses is to reassure travelers and provide high quality services and safety, communications, especially marketing, will play a vital role. While paying special attention to the safety, hygiene and cleanliness of travelers, businesses not only implement specific health protocols, but also communicate them clearly and make information easily, accurately and timely available to travelers.

More than 55% of travelers in North America said that the most important factor in persuading them to book a place to stay for a future vacation is how safe and healthy it is. In fact, in todays world of communication, the ability of businesses to communicate quickly and effectively will have a significant impact on gaining the trust and confidence of customers.

According to WTTC, due to declining job incomes or the loss of many jobs in the travel and tourism market during the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, this department has set up an emergency budget fund to provide financial support, as well as recruitment and participation for temporarily laid-off staff. Accor, a group of French hoteliers, donated 70 million, or 25% of its dividends, to its affected employees and partners. The top executives of Hyatt Hotel in the United States have also waived their salaries and funded 80% of their employees salaries.

Uber and Lift also pay compensation to their employees who are affected by Covid-19 and are in quarantine, and Disney provides full financial care for employees on unpaid leave. Scandinavian, EasyJet and Atlantic airlines have also hired specialist healthcare staff to support various sectors. Managers of the Hyatt, Hilton, Wyndham and Intercontinental hotels, in collaboration with large corporations, have also hired short-term staff to promote tourism products for the future, and have launched the Go on a Trip campaign to re-employ their retired staff.

In order to reduce unemployment and return people to work, some occupations have hired laid-off staff from other sectors. Some shopping and leisure centers across the Middle East and Africa have implemented a re-employment program in which more than a thousand employees in the tourism sector of these centers have been temporarily hired by some companies to package food, place online orders and more. In China, 40 restaurants, hotels and cinemas have hired temporary staff at Alibabas supermarket chain.

According to WTTC, in order to deal with the Covid-19 crisis, businesses need to evaluate their operational and business models in the short term, given the changing travel rules and customer demand tastes. By upgrading and improving information technology, such as launching a virtual payment transaction system to avoid cash payments, reviewing future face-to-face meetings and applying new business models or pricing to maintain profitability, as well as promoting health and safety measures, especially at congested airports and public tourist areas conditions for the presence of travelers are provided.

The World Travel and Tourism Council, in collaboration with the private sector in 10 tourism-related industries, has designed the Safe Travels stamp in line with World Health Organization health protocols for presentation to businesses.

Some businesses need to reconsider their pricing models to cope with reduced demand in the short term and possible capacity constraints in the future, and creating physical distance increases its effectiveness. As a result of physical distancing the airline companies have to increase their fares, but at the same time they are faced with decrease in their customers income. However, although business conditions are moving towards increasing their service rates, they have introduced new pricing models with short-term discounts in order to reduce the income level of travelers and to attract tourists to travel.

Travel and tourism businesses have also focused on the physical and mental health of their employees, which is affected by global quarantine conditions and their impact on the economy and coercive teleworking because under these conditions it is important not only to maintain positive staff feedback but also their health conditions physically and mentally. Accor & Royal Caribbean has created a 24-hour medical team for its staff to support passengers and crew.

In addition to private sector initiatives to maintain jobs and support its employees, government action is essential to support the travel and tourism market and its workforce for faster recovery. In fact, given the 80% of tourism employment to small and medium-sized companies, the lack of government support will cause many travel and tourism companies to close completely in this crisis.


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  March 2021
No. 96