The effects of the pandemic in tourism were devastating. To ensure the sustainability of travel companies, tourism associations have come together in search of industry recovery
Tourism entities have come together since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic to try to mitigate the negative effects on the industry. To this end, they have actively lobbied the government for a series of emergency actions to ensure the sustainability of travel companies.
First, they managed to change the policy of reimbursement and rebooking during the duration of the state of public calamity. Provisional Measure 948, which became Law 14.046/2020, gave travel companies 12 months from the end of the public calamity to refund customers who canceled reservations.
Now, with the end of the state of calamity on December 31, 2020, again tourism entities are joining forces to improve the companies’ reservations. This is because the pandemic is not over and the industry’s recovery has been hampered by the second wave of cases.
Last January 11, 21 institutions in the sector requested the Ministry of Tourism to extend the law that guarantees consumers the rebooking of reservations and exempts tourism companies from immediate reimbursement in case of cancellation.
In the document, they ask for an extension of the law until December 31, 2022. The goal is to alleviate the cash flow of the companies that still live a scenario of financial fragility due to the pandemic.
The entities believe that they will get the extension, since the aviation sector managed to extend the provisional measure on the special rules for reimbursement and cancellation of airline tickets.
How the Entities Acted to Preserve the Tourism Companies
The entities of the sector have been united, since the measures to restrict circulation were imposed, to try to reduce the effects of the pandemic on tourism.
The rescue actions for tourism businesses included the maintenance of jobs, with the flexibilization of salaries and working hours; the new policy for re-bookings and cancellations; and the availability of credit for companies in the sector.
Besides building the emergency measures adopted to mitigate the tourism crisis, they helped the government to construct the Tourism Resumption Plan.
It was organized in four axes: preservation of companies and jobs in the tourism sector; improvement of the structure and qualification of destinations; implementation of biosecurity protocols; and promotion to travel.
In practice, the Plan foresaw reinforcement in the concession of credit lines to capitalize companies in the sector and preserve jobs. In addition to the execution of works to improve the infrastructure of tourist destinations.
Another measure was the offer of qualification for workers and service providers. The courses are focused on the adoption of sanitary protocols that guarantee safety for tourists and workers of the segment and on the improvement of services, considering the market trends.
With the slogan “Travel responsibly and rediscover Brazil”, the plan was launched in November 2020 and tries to encourage tourists to travel within the country again. In other words, to preserve the tourism businesses in the national territory.
Understand the Effects of The Pandemic on tourism
Tourism, without a doubt, was one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In March, when movement restrictions began, the sector registered a cancellation rate of 85%. In the following months, hotels, resorts, and guesthouses had to be closed. In addition, travel agencies and other tourism service companies experienced drastic drops in business.
The year 2020 was one of many losses and difficulties for the sector, even after the resumption of part of the services.
In December, for example, tourism sales were below the 50% recorded in the same month of 2019, according to a survey by the Brazilian Association of Tourism Operators (Braztoa).
Tourism is one of the sectors that moves the Brazilian economy the most. In 2019, it was responsible for 8.1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is the sum of all goods and services produced in the country.
In addition, it employs about 7 million people directly and indirectly.
Prospects for Ending The Tourism Crisis
Companies are struggling with the effects of the pandemic in tourism and are looking for ways to resume activities. But, for this, there is a long way to go and many challenges ahead.
However, the sector already sees signs of recovery. According to Braztoa, 69% of the tour operators’ sales in December were for departures in the first half of 2021. Likewise, there are already reservations from tour companies for the second half of the year.
However, one of the big challenges for tourism businesses is to win back the new traveler. Tourism marketing actions need to be thought out and directed towards the desires and needs of this new tourist, who is more cautious about health and safety issues.
Therefore, it is fundamental for tourism companies to be up to date with new trends in order to offer services according to travelers’ expectations.
For example, the new trend in tourism is the search for memorable experiences, with exclusive itineraries and more intimate service, according to the study “The Future and Present of Post-Pandemic Travel“, conducted by the travel portal Guia Viajar Melhor.
In other words, it will be necessary to create inspiring and exclusive campaigns in this sense to attract the new traveler. This is what we call creative connection, one of the tourism marketing trends for 2021.
Therefore, those who know how to best apply this type of marketing campaign will come out ahead. One tip is to count on the help of a specialized agency, such as Travel Media PR.
The strategic intelligence agency for the travel industry offers content solutions and advice to leverage your business and help you out of the tourism crisis. Travel Media PR operates globally and maintains a series of projects and its own brands aimed at strengthening the strategies of destinations, as well as serving as support in campaigns.