The spread of COVID-19 has put a halt to almost all our regular activities. After months of non-stop news coverage and government restrictions, the spread of the coronavirus was only heightened during the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The pandemic presented a whole new set of marketing problems for businesses, and one area that was severely affected was the travel industry. Airports and train stations across the globe saw a massive drop in passengers as people feared being infected by the coronavirus on their travels.
Tour operators, travel agents, and accommodation providers are all industries that are particularly vulnerable when it comes to the pandemic. Bookings took a massive hit, especially when it came to international travel due to government restrictions and borders closing down. Operators had to cancel their clients’ travel plans and rely on loyalty programs and digital tools to keep customers and generate bookings.
To help businesses in this situation, the UK government introduced pre-screening for COVID-19 before travel restrictions were lifted. This means that individuals were required to complete a government-approved questionnaire before being allowed to travel to a country where the virus was prevalent. In some cases, this questionnaire consisted of over 100 questions and took over an hour to complete. The process focused mainly on collecting personal data rather than assessing the travel risk, which was a massive inconvenience for everyone.
Why Are Airlines and The Travel Industry Vulnerable?
Bordered by four different countries, the UK is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe, with over 820 million visits each year. The government introduced the travel restrictions because of the high volume of international travel that the UK is known for, and the fear was that people would carry the virus from abroad to Britain. However, the limitations were soon put into place and only certain demographics were affected. Those over 65 years old and people with underlying health issues were most at risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19. Therefore, the restriction was generally aimed at reducing the number of trips abroad by as many people as possible.
Focused on safety and practicality, the government lifted the restrictions on international travel on April 20th, but only after an extensive three-month timetable had been put in place to gradually bring the economy back to normal.
For airlines and the travel industry, this meant that they were able to continue operating with a handful of restrictions. While the government did not prohibit them from offering certain flights or destinations, they did ask that they implement more enhanced safety measures. As the aviation and travel industries are completely interlinked, what happens in one will affect the other. Bookings are now up, but airlines are taking precautions and only carrying a small number of flights per day.
Tour operators, hotels, and cruise lines will benefit from this change and be able to fully restore their pre-pandemic routines. However, travel agencies and tour operators will still have to contend with the aftermath of the pandemic when it comes to customers, as fewer people are likely to want to travel abroad regardless of whether or not the restrictions have been lifted.
How Do Airlines Make Money?
Most airlines are constantly looking for ways to generate revenue and increase their profits. One of the biggest sources of revenue for airlines is from baggage fees and additional charges for extra items in your bag. Currently, the average person checks a bag every other flight, so this adds up quickly and can be quite the revenue stream for the airlines.
In times of crisis, like the one that we are currently in, this becomes even more important. With fewer people travelling and more attention being paid to the spread of the coronavirus, the opportunity to further increase the airlines’ revenue is practically endless.
PPE: What Is It And Why Is It So Important?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn by healthcare workers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As the name suggests, it is personally protective gear that is meant to be worn by one person at a time and is also designed to protect the healthcare practitioners from getting infected by the virus. PPE can vary from simple surgical masks to powered air purifying respirators.
Due to its crucial nature during this pandemic, it was decided that PPE would be categorized into three levels of importance; critical, high, and moderate. Those working in areas where there is a high risk of contracting the virus must wear critical PPE, whilst those where the risk is less may choose to wear less protective gear. What is considered to be moderate PPE will be used in areas where there is an average risk of getting COVID-19. This way, healthcare workers can be better equipped based on the level of risk that they face.
As the world is currently battling the spread of the deadly virus, healthcare workers are required to put their lives at risk more than ever before. Working in an area with a high risk of exposure to COVID-19 brings with it an increased need for personal protective equipment. Without a doubt, PPE is one of the most important areas of business right now. Companies that produce protective equipment for healthcare workers have seen a surge in demand and are struggling to keep up with the orders. Fortunately, they have efficient supply chains that have enabled them to keep up with the demand and meet the needs of healthcare workers in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even when the pandemic is over, the healthcare industry will have a lot to deal with in terms of treatment and rehabilitation. Many healthcare workers will be forced to wear masks and gloves for the rest of their lives, as it is now known that they were at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 compared to the general public.
What Do Airlines & The Travel Industry Need To Do To Keep Flights Available?
As airlines and the travel industry struggle to put their operations back on track, they have a vital role to play in ensuring that people can continue to fly. After three months of travel restrictions and fear surrounding COVID-19, airlines need to start rebuilding their business and making money again. One of the key ways that they can do this is by promoting and re-engaging with their loyal customers. In particular, they must continue developing their online marketing strategy, as this will be the key to generating new bookings and retaining current customers.
During this pandemic, the travel industry has experienced unprecedented changes, as most people have been unable to travel abroad for pleasure due to the restrictions that have been put in place. This has had a significant effect on the demand for flights, as it’s well-established that the majority of the travel industry’s revenue comes from international travel. This means that airlines and the travel industry will continue to be affected by the ongoing pandemic, as the majority of their customers have been unable to travel abroad due to travel restrictions.
To keep their flights available and profitable, the aviation and the travel industries must find a way to bring back their customers, and in particular, the travel industry must find a way to reconnect with their customers and ensure that they continue to use the services that the travel agencies provide.
To do this, they can create content that is geared towards their customers, develop loyalty programs to retain their customers, and implement more interactive tools to encourage people to continue using their services. With fewer people wanting to travel and more focus on the safety of those that are travelling, the potential for growth is immense.