When it comes to volatile industries, there are many that come to mind. The travel industry is definitely one of them. For starters, tourism is far from being immune to economic, political, and social shifts.
Now, it’s agreed upon that most of these factors are outside the control of tourism boards and travel companies. However, staying aware can help the travel industry become more proactive and develop adaptive strategies quickly.
Here are 5 key challenges that the travel industry is currently confronting and needs to address.
Globalisation is leading to the creation of uniform standards and protocols. However, the unique selling point (USP) of travel companies or destination marketing organizations (DMOs) lies in providing a rare and unique experience. The travel industry, therefore, works towards offering products that allow the average tourist or traveller to experience something they have never experienced before. Novelty is a much-needed element in today’s travel aspirations.
However, at the same time, localization is also important. Tourism boards and travel companies must know how to connect with foreign travellers. They must make use of translation services to create multilingual websites, vital travel information, and essential signages that can guide tourists in the proper manner. Tourists must feel welcomed and at ease while they are away from home.
Tourism is one of the most taxed sectors. A simple glance at the taxes paid on airline tickets and hotel rooms gives an idea of how taxation can greatly affect tourism. Therefore, it’s necessary for the travel industry to offer competitively priced offerings in order to balance out the equation.
Governments must also come to the realization that tourists already contribute to the local economy via purchases, travel retail, and other tourism expenditures.
Travel marketing can sometimes be deemed by travellers or tourists as being inadequate, false, or exaggerated. In order to change this perception, marketing entities must work toward developing innovative marketing solutions to lure the new crop of travellers who are becoming more discerning and informed. In addition, technological disruptions and the influence of social media also mean that it’s a time of both opportunities and risks. Travel marketers must look to harness tech and creativity to find their way into tourists’ travel plans. On the other hand, they must also pay attention to localized content.
Tourism infrastructure in many locations is outdated and underdeveloped. Governments, tourism boards, and destination marketing organizations must work towards improving the current infrastructure with foresight. Future challenges must also be addressed in this area. Solutions could include faster immigration at airports, faster checkout processes in hotels, better public transportation, and interpreting solutions at airports, stations or ports.
Industry players must work towards establishing better security infrastructure for tourists and travellers. This can be achieved by working with local law enforcement, city councils, and local governments. Governments must work towards sourcing for more manpower and economic resources to boost security and vigilance without stifling the travel experience within the country.
Now, the big question is, can these challenges be overcome? Well, some of these challenges can become growth opportunities for travel companies, tourism boards, and destination marketing organizations. As for the others with external factors involved, it would be unthinkable for individual travel businesses to make significant changes. The travel industry as a whole must unite and be willing to negotiate and discuss its terms – sometimes with governments and unions. At the same time, it must also be willing to adapt to changing scenarios and trends.