Travel Bubble: 3 Comms Ideas For Brands
The travel industry has been in a state of flux with COVID-19 movement restrictions and business grinding to a halt. With vaccinations underway and the borders re-opening across APAC, many companies are striving to resume some form of normalcy.
In a bid to revive the travel and tourism industry, some governments have been setting up travel bubbles, which would allow quarantine-free air travel in between destinations. However, with the unpredictable COVID-19 situation, travel arrangements remain erratic. After two cancellations, the highly anticipated Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble is set to take off on May 26. New Zealand has resumed its travel bubble with Australia after restrictions to Western Australia were lifted last week.
As the travel situation remains fluid, brands need to be flexible and nimble in reacting to a varying range of situations, such as reassuring stakeholders and reshaping their comms strategy. While contingencies can be put in place, it is prudent to start planning campaigns and keep in touch with your media contacts with tips from PR Newswire’s COVID-19 Travel Industry Recovery Toolkit. To get started, here’re some key messages that brands in APAC have been communicating amid the imminent travel bubbles in the region.
1. Assure consumers that healthcare and safety standards and protocols are in place
In a bid to attract guests, Melco Resorts & Entertainment announced that its hotel properties in Macau and Manila have recently achieved a Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED® rating. The comprehensive facility verification is from Sharecare, a digital health company and the renowned Forbes Travel Guide Certification. The latter is a renowned independent global rating system for luxury hotels. This certification ensures that health and safety procedures are enforced to minimize the risk and impact of COVID-19 on its business.
Keeping travellers up to date with accurate information such as cross-border entry and vaccination requirements is crucial in today’s unpredictable travel situation. Online travel services provider Trip.com Group has tied up with The Commons Project Foundation and the World Economic Forum to facilitate cross-border travel initiatives. One way is through the CommonPass app, which enables travellers to show their health status to comply with country entry requirements while protecting their data privacy.
Trip.com also launched a COVID-19 International Traveler’s Guide, an online portal that promotes safe travel protocols and providers travellers with information on the latest entry requirements for countries around the world.
2. Give insights into travel sentiment and confidence through data
In light of the Trans-Tasman travel bubble, Booking.com released a report on Australian travellers’ sentiment towards travelling in 2021 and how they felt towards safeguard measures. Key findings include 72% of those polled preferred to go on a holiday than to find true love or success at work. Two-thirds of Australian travellers (67%) felt more hopeful about travelling in 2021 with the roll-out of the vaccines.
In the lead-up to the opening of the Trans-Tasman travel bubble, digital travel platform Agoda reported an 850% increase in website searches by Australians looking for accommodation in New Zealand, and a 470% increase for New Zealanders searching for trips to Australia. It also revealed the most searched international destinations on Agoda.com from travellers in both countries.
3. Launch travel-friendly products
With the impending rise of travel bubbles, Hong Kong medical start-up has rolled out an internationally accepted, 99.9% accurate COVID-19 test designed specifically for cross-border travel. Evercare adopted the internationally accepted nasal and throat swab testing method, which can only be administered by nurses. Results are ready within 24 to 48 hours of testing.
Incheon Tourism Industry is tapping on Tencent Cloud’s innovative technology to better connect with inbound travellers, reach its target audience with travel and culture content recommendations and understand its Chinese tourists more deeply. Tencent cloud will provide a one-stop smart tourism solution for travellers through its Weixin and WeChat platforms, which enable travellers to bookmark hotels, discover shopping and tour guides, explore local attractions, download coupons, obtain tax refunds before and after travelling, and more.
Get PR Newswire’s COVID-19 Travel Recovery Toolkit to chart out your comms plan and get travel media pitching tips with this toolkit tailored for PR pros in the travel and tourism industry.
This article is written by Kenneth Goh, Senior Marketing Executive at PR Newswire. A former journalist, he relishes keeping track of breaking news as much as telling stories with trends and data. Connect with him via Linkedin.