Question :
Hi there. We are a (very) small inbound tourism operator servicing German speaking travellers. We are a (very) small inbound tourism operator servicing German speaking travellers. That of course means that our budget is equally small. I work with an agency in Europe (Evaneos) from whom I get most of my clients. Evaneos is specialised in using small local agencies (of which I am one) to have the local knowledge. Of course, everybody everywhere is in hibernation at the moment and nobody knows how the picture will look like when the borders are open again. Personally, I don’t see them (at least ours) open until there is a vaccine. Which of course may take some time! Therefore, all I can do at the moment is plan for that moment, to be able to restart our business – with new tours, new approaches (eg. Eco tours) etc. I can already see that that new approach will be more expensive for travellers and I am not quite sure how to “sell” that to the clients. Up until last year there were still people who thought that they could visit us for 4 weeks for EURO 1500 per person! Not that that was viable anyway, but it still shows that we are still seen as an affordable destination (for almost everyone). Not sure if we ever get to that again… So, any assistance with how to proceed will be very welcome.  Please advise. My question, i suppose, is how can i/we get the restart done when i already have encountered some inflexibility (admittedly before Level 4) when i tried to build a new tour around cooking courses? the few that actually answered (of all of them that i contacted), wouldn’t./couldn’t give me any fixed dates or prices as they “put those on just two weeks before the actual course” or “don’t have fixed dates at all” – which of course is no good to me as my clients usually plan and book at least 6 months before the actual start of their tour.thankscheers, Marion

Question submitted 29/04/20 @ 02:11pm
Industry: Tourism
  • Up

    I know it’s really tough for everyone in tourism at the moment, with the loss of customers & revenue, and also the uncertainty about when things will restart and at what intensity. I think you’re right to plan for an extended period before restart, and that might open up new possibilities for you to generate revenue. Are there new digital products you could develop to sell your existing customers (those who have already visited NZ)? Are there products you could make to help Germans plan future NZ trips, or get some of the NZ experience from their own homes? On the positive side, you are small and agile, and more likely to be able to make a significant change in your business. Good luck to you


    Kia Ora, Marion. It certainly is a challenging time, especially for anyone in international tourism in NZ. As it will be quite some time until our borders open, and then being in an environment where every country will be competing to attract the international tourist. However, NZ is unique and our natural beauty and being very remote will likely appeal for our new world. Now is the time to plan for the future, and solidify your position even further in your markets. Can you use the time now to really understand your agents in your target markets, perhaps with a survey? This will help you develop products that meet their needs. Would you be able to launch a survey to your previous German speaking tourists to understand how they would like to travel going forward? If that is a bit challenging, you can reach out to German tourists that have stayed in NZ and use them to help you re-frame a NZ experience in the eyes of a German speaking tourist. There may be some really interesting insights that can help guide your business. Planning now is a great idea, so well done for reaching out.

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