How surveys can help the tourism industry bounce back from Covid-19

Three empty deck chairs on a beach with blue sky and the sea in the background

The global Covid-19 pandemic has caused a significant downturn in the tourism industry.

Tourism employs 330 million people globally (3.1 million in the UK) and is worth $9 trillion globally (£175 billion in the UK).

Clearly, there needs to be a balance between keeping people safe and allowing the economy to get back on track.

There are high hopes for salvaging the remainder of the 2020 season as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

So how can tourism businesses plan their return to trading? What will their customers expect?

This is where surveys can help you.

Why feedback is important before the tourist sector reopens

There has been a confirmed 8 million Covid-19 cases around the world as of June 2020, with total deaths nearing 500,000.

Even though this number is falling in many countries, the coronavirus is still a threat. There’s a danger that easing of lockdown and complacency may lead to ‘second wave’ of infections that causes another severe shutdown of the economy.

Understandably, there are reports of many people feeling anxiety about life after lockdown.

This means they need to be convinced that – if your business reopens soon – the general public will be safe.

Surveys will help you understand people’s trepidations and what will help them gain confidence in returning to social activities.

What insights do you need to be able to draw from your survey?

To get your business in prime position to succeed when the tourism sector begins to reopen, you need to understand:

• Are people willing to travel both internationally and domestically
• What timeframe and what duration are people looking to travel
• How far people will be willing to travel
• What mode of transportation they prefer (car, airplane, train, bus)
• What they will be most keen to do i.e. beach, camping, hotels, theme parks
• Whether the threat of Covid-19 will make them hesitant to resume “normal” life
• How they can be encouraged to do non-essential things again
• The average budget for non-essential activities in a post-lockdown world

What questions to ask on your survey?

  1. Have you been to any businesses classed as non essential?
  2. How concerned are you about Covid-19
  3. Will your travel decision be based on the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine?
  4. Would you visit a tourist attraction if the government permitted i.e. theme park, hotel, museum
  5. What precautions should tourism organisations put into place for your safety?
  6. Has your financial situation changed since before lockdown?
  7. How much money would you reasonably be willing to spend on tourist activities over the next 6 months?
  8. Is this amount less, more or the same as since the Covid-19 pandemic?
  9. What timeframe and what duration are you looking to travel?
  10. Are you willing to travel regionally, domestically, internationally, or all?
  11. What type of accommodations are you likely to book?
  12. What are the 5 things you have missed doing the most since lockdown?
  13. Overall, how optimistic are you about the future of the travel and tourism industry?

NEXT: Importance of feedback when your organisation is going through change 

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