According to a survey conducted by The Foundation for Future Studies (FFS), many Germans desire increased holidays in the coming year.
With stable economic circumstances, low unemployment and interest rates and secure household funds, taking an extra vacation wouldn’t be a financial strain. However, worldly happenings are decreasing the possibilities.
Many have trips to traditional holiday destinations like the USA, Turkey and Egypt on their wish lists; however, current events are narrowing the options. America’s new President Donald Trump has created chaotic airport regulations, restricting citizens from seven Muslim countries as of January. In Turkey, terrorist attacks have occurred repeatedly since mid-2015. In Egypt, demonstrations and violent clashes have been happening since 2011. Because of these increased risks, the Federal Foreign Office has issued a partial travel warning.
Travel and/or safety instructions from the Federal Foreign Office are specific recommendations, allowing travelers to be advised of rules of conduct to make foreign travel possibly safer. These differ from travel or trip warnings, which state that there is a considerable risk to life and limb in the country or region concerned.
Destinations for which there are official safety precautions suffer from a sharp drop in tourism. However, this is often the most important source of income for the country, which makes the situation particularly delicate, as tourists are afraid to travel to countries that are potentially unsafe. Exaggerated and even false reports by the media and a partial lack of communication between the tour operators and their customers lead to a unilateral decrease in willing travelers. This has created a need for urgent action, so that tourism in these areas does not create further economic downfall.
The decline in tourism in crisis areas affects the countries, tour operators, tourism agents, airlines and the tourists themselves. With the right communication strategy in cooperation with the respective tourism associations, airlines or incoming agencies, solutions can be achieved. The following points ensure a successful implementation:
1. Up-to-date information on the development of any potential situation
Companies should always be kept up to date. In doing this, information will be readily available about the unfolding of a situation and when a crisis has calmed down, eliminating the public uncertainty that grows with the absence of information.
2. Transparent communication
It is just as important to keep society in the know. By doing this, trust will be built between companies and travel destinations, creating strong customer relationships and, ultimately, more tourists. With false information comes the potential that holidaymakers will blacklist a region.
3. Proper training of employees of travel agencies and tourism agents in order to provide travelers with the most appropriate information
Proper advice is a prerequisite for customer satisfaction and will relieve holidaymakers of fears associated with traveling to crippled countries. When poor advice is given, travelers may tend to opt for countries that seem safer.
4. Enlightenment work in the public
If prejudices exist about certain destinations, they shouldn’t necessarily be broadcast publicly in every situation. By creating a better public image, decreasing the likelihood that travelers will always connect the crisis with the region and decide against visiting on holiday, despite that fact that the situation may have improved.
If these four points are consistently and vigorously adhered to in internal and external communication, tourism can also contribute to a better economic situation in crisis-affected countries.