Post Covid-19, we believe that the number of cautious travellers will grow: they’ll be cautious about what happens if they need to cancel, cautious about personal health to an extent we’ve not seen before and cautious about making sure they get a deal that is good for their wallet.
Yonder has worked with cautious travellers for a long time now - they tend to use website chat, email or phone to contact a business, and they like to get their questions answered before booking. But, Covid-19 has introduced another sort of cautious traveller and that’s what we are talking about here. Understanding and supporting the needs of these travellers will be important, so we’ve outlined a few practical suggestions to help you hit the ground running.
Your communication needs to be dynamic to show that you are on top of the latest Covid-19 announcements. As a minimum, change your website message to reflect the latest Covid update. Be reachable. Show you are still available to talk with travellers even if you aren’t open yet. Speed is essential here - answer people as fast as you can. Why? Domestic travellers tend to make last minute bookings, and you have a very small window - the amount of time they are on your website is less than two minutes in most cases - to convince them you are operating.
Update your website with a Covid-related health message. Publish Covid-19 specific blog articles, social media posts, website pop up messages, chat messages telling them exactly what you are doing to keep them safe including social distancing, product cleaning regime and anything else they need to know. Consider using video to convey what you are doing.
People need to be assured that their money is safe with you. They need to be secure in the knowledge that they can get their money back if they have to cancel. Online Travel Agents are extremely good at this, and often have their refund/cancellation information front and centre on their website.
Pre-Covid-19, Yonder chat data showed that cancellation concerns were often linked to weather concerns. Now we expect this to extend to Covid alert level concerns.
Use pop-up messages and website messages on product pages to show what your cancelation/refund policy is. Pin this at the top of your Facebook page.
Questions about price are among the top-10 most common traveller enquiries to NZ tourism businesses. Be extremely clear on your website about the cost for individuals, families and groups. Identify clearly if you have any local-only prices. Remember if someone has to ask you about price, the information might not be as clear as you think. Take this opportunity to revisit how pricing information is displayed on your website to make sure it is both clear and prominent.
Have clear pricing info in a prominent place, making sure your group and any locals pricing is clearly communicated.
You can consider every traveller “cautious” for the foreseeable future - young, old, male, female, single, married, executives or white collar workers. Tolerance for risk is at an all-time low, and accordingly travellers will be reluctant to make bookings without certainty around cancellation and refund policy and without clarity around hygiene processes (in particular).
Get ahead of the game by making sure your offering is attractive to, and caters for the needs of, the cautious traveller.