Pretty much every sector has been affected by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, in one way or another – but thanks to airline restrictions, quarantine rules and social distancing measures, the travel industry is perhaps amongst the hardest hit.
We will be able to travel again eventually (although the holiday experience will be decidedly different). But how are marketing and advertising agencies adapting to the ever-changing travel landscape, when the future seems so uncertain?
We asked holiday writing specialist and fellow Essex-based copywriter Laura Paterson to update us on how the recent coronavirus outbreak has affected travel marketing worldwide.
How has coronavirus affected travel marketing?
Holiday marketing is all about encouraging you to travel – whether that’s through stunning photography or cleverly crafted content. But since COVID-19 swept across the globe, the message has simply been to stay away and stay at home.
As a freelance copywriter who specialises in travel and holiday content, I’ve seen first-hand the impact Coronavirus has had on marketing within both these sectors. The beauty of unique and exotic destinations remains undiminished and attractive to tourists. But these visitors are now wary of travelling (if they even can), with the desire for adventure that marketing content normally generates being overshadowed by COVID-19 fears.
At the moment, marketing is instead largely focused on getting people excited about future travel and thinking about how they’ll put their travel plans into action when restrictions are eventually lifted. And those in the holiday home business are commonly offering deals on idyllic villas and characterful properties if booked well in advance.
Taking things to another level is the virtual experience that makes people feel like they’re already there. One example of a company making the most of the boom in virtual experiences is Culture Trip. They’re currently offering private online cooking classes with local chefs based in fascinating locations all over the world. As they say, it’s a chance to “mix your wanderlust with some hungerlust”! You can also take classes in languages and mindfulness.
Airlines such as SilkAir and Singapore Airlines have reinstated flights to some destinations this month and next. However, it remains unclear what restrictions there will be regarding travel to/from the UK in particular. It will be interesting to see how travel and holiday marketing evolves over the rest of the year.