Our Prognosis for the Next Months
Now I don’t want to talk about the negative stuff that hit us during this crisis – we also lost some clients. Luckily, we are still around, knockonwood… But now is the right time to look ahead and plan for when people start travelling again. And they will! All the built-up energy, all the dreams of beaches, mountains, countrysides will come out at once.
Our prognosis: autumn will be the new summer holiday this year
Nobody knows how the virus situation will be in 5 to 6 months, but we are quite sure there will be no travel bans any more in autumn, making it finally possible to travel again. That means as soon as there are school holidays in autumn, masses of people will want to use what is left of the year to travel with their children, making this autumn season to cash bringer number one this year.
Ok, the water will not be as warm in summer, temperatures in general will drop, but that is not important, as long as there is a vacation, ideally with a swimming pool with warm water.
Prepare for a run!
Bookings will be short term, no long planning periods anymore, things will change this year. And if we are really lucky, people will even travel earlier. Most of the summer holidays in Germany are July to August, it might well be that we are over the worst by then. But if not, then prepare for a run on your hotel, your tours or your restaurant, be sure to have enough workers around.
For which time you should prepare
In Germany the autumn holidays start between 5 to 31 of October and last 1 to 2 weeks. One week is not much, but with the two weekends, it sums up to 9 days, the lucky ones, like Berlin, even have two and a half weeks of holidays.
And the people without children?
They might also travel to the beaches, although, if they are a little older, they might change for city trips, longer weekends of hiking or other cultural activities. Many of them travel in September anyway, after the main season is over and the weather is still nice. This year, there might be more of those older or childless couples travelling September and October. As they are more flexible with their preferences, in a warm autumn, they might go for a beach holiday, in a cold one, more for a cultural or spa trip.
Did the crisis change booking habits?
After the Thomas Cook crisis, we also expected a shift to more online booking, but we don’t have data on that. But for now, we except a real shift: everybody is forced to use the internet extensively, discovering the possibilities. And there its were you come: do you have a (good) internet site? Do you get exposure in Google and Facebook, even Instagram? If not, people can’t find you and you’ll be forced to rely on the big platforms or organizations like TUI who get their (big) share of the booking.
As you already lost money this tragic year, you don’t want to pay even more for commissions. So now is the right time to be present in the internet and get your customers directly – they are waiting for you, as soon as they start booking again!
How to reach your customers without big effort
There are many ways to reach your customers, some of the most important ones are:
- Activate your existing, loyal customers: send your true fans emails, even postcards, with what you are doing, what you are planning to do, sell your dream to them, but don’t whine about the situation right now. If you plant that seed in them right now, that you are the light at the end of the tunnel, you can be the dream that helps them get through the crisis, by looking at beautiful pictures, recipes of your tasty food, everything that triggers their memories and lets them remember the great times they had with you.
- Acquire new customers with an interest for you: there are lots of customers out there who actively search for topics like “travelling with children”, “travelling with dogs”, “beach holidays”, “luxury travel”, “caravan travel”, “weekend trip museums” you name it. You have to just ask yourself: what is your specialty, what is it your customers would type into Google before they book you. If you know that, then try a simple Google Ads campaign. Google has a simplified interface, that lets you make ads in 10 steps. Or, really simple, write about what your specialties are and put it on the website. If you love dogs in your hotel, then let the people know that – they can’t mind read! So if you don’t write that down and talk about your facilities – like that there is a local animal doctor who speaks English – how should they know and more importantly: why should they book you?
- Acquire new customers who don’t know they are interested in you: let’s stay in the dog example. When travel starts again, people with dogs will also want to travel. But how do you know they have a dog? Do Facebook Ads, Facebook knows who has a dog and wants to travel. Make a Facebook Ads campaign and target those people. So work out your best offer, what are you giving to your customers? What is your specialty? And go for that. With Facebook Ads, you don’t need to sell something immediately, by the way, you can just catch them for your Facebook Page. And from there, you can reach them later.
Invest in times of crisis
Those are just 3 ideas that could work for you. Google Ads and Facebook Ads require a certain budget – we don’t talk about thousands of Euros, you can start with a few dozens to hundreds of Euros. And at the moment, prices for the ads even dropped by about 30%!
Your Newsletter campaign or the content creation for your website is even free and just needs a little time – and that you should have now.
You don’t have a website? Services like Jimdo or Wix are easy to use, you get a website for under 100 Euro a year!
So, our vision of the world of travel in a few months is: things will boom from mid to end of the year, people will travel like crazy. That means for you:
Be ready, be prepared and grab your share of the pie!
You need help with your online efforts? Give us a shout and we see how we can help you – contact us, it’s free!
Until then, stay healthy and good luck for your business.
PS: How to become instagrammable? Download our free eBook!