It’s hard to put into words how we are all feeling right now.
Overwhelmed, anxious, nervous, sad, worried, helpless, grateful, optimistic. These are just some of the turbulent emotions we now encounter on a daily basis. These feelings are not particular to a group of people or geography, they are being felt by people everywhere. The world is united in fighting the same virus and facing similar economic upheaval.
Like many industries, travel and tourism have been deeply impacted by the rapid spread of COVID-19. My heart breaks for the mum and dad tour operators who are forced to close down during this time and for the people who now find themselves out of work.
I live and breathe tourism. I love to travel and I have only ever worked in this industry. I find great fulfilment in playing a small part in delivering someone's honeymoon, gap year or trip of a lifetime. Travel and tourism are central to my community. And they have never faced a crisis like this.
In this article, I’ve listed 5 ways we can continue to support the tourism community during self-isolation, quarantine and even complete lockdown.
1. Buy a Gift Voucher
Commit to visiting a local, interstate or overseas tourism business once the threat has passed. The small gesture of purchasing a gift card will lift the spirits of small business owners and help support cash flow during these tough times.
Not only do gift vouchers help support tourism, but they are also a great gift idea to give loved ones who sadly have to celebrate their birthday or special occasion in isolation. To avoid any unnecessary contact, opt for digital voucher delivery via email, sms or social media. In these uncertain times, we also suggest selecting a gift voucher with flexible redemption terms like those listed here on Gifting Owl.
2. Postpone. Don’t Cancel
Wherever you can, try and postpone your upcoming travel plans rather than cancel. Alongside the many unknowns, one thing is for sure - tourism will bounce back. When it does airlines, hotels, cruise ships and tour operators will be extremely grateful for your existing booking.
3. Plan Your Next Holiday
There’s no better time to be researching and planning your next dream holiday than in isolation. After all, there’s only so much Netflix to watch and Scrabble games you can play.
We aren’t suggesting you book anything just yet - but start to plan where it is you might like to visit and what activities you’d like to do in those destinations. I highly recommend Pinterest as a travel research tool, as it’s easy to navigate travel blogs and get lost scrolling through amazing images.
Once you’ve found where you’d like to visit, make sure you engage with the local tourism businesses on social media and let them know how excited you are to visit them.
4. Explore Locally
Once the restrictions start to ease, let’s continue to support our local businesses. Cafes, restaurants and bars are all essential to the tourism ecosystem. If nothing else, supporting local businesses should be a top priority for everyone now and in the future.
5. Get Outdoors & Active
After all that time indoors you will no doubt have a craving for sunshine and fresh air. Once restrictions ease, support your local outdoor activity providers with low risk (or social-distancing) activities such as:
• Stand Up Paddle Boarding
• Mountain biking
• Rock Climbing
• Water Skiing
That’s all for now. Stay safe, healthy and positive.
We will get through this - one day at a time!