- The intrepid traveler –
No-one quite knows what the regulations of travel will look like post Covid-19, but based on multiple sources it seems to be steering towards what looks like serious restrictions on group travel and of course group interaction. This means less engagement with groups of course and potentially far less PAX than the adventure sector has seen in years gone by. BUT, if we look for the “silver lining” which we try to always do, this also means that the adventure tourism operator, who is (more often than not) geared towards catering to the intrepid traveler, is more likely to attract and more importantly be able to attract the ever growing intrepid adventure traveler, who is used to experiences that don’t include a tour bus and travel guide. To explore is in our DNA. From the first adventurers to cross the Pacific to the first man on the moon. Humankind wants to explore and no-one will ever change that. People will crave experiences more than ever and the first to crave it will be the intrepid traveler. Good reason to stay positive and get ready for recovery.
- The innovators -
Who developed safety protocol guidelines for zipline operations or river rafting companies or tandem paragliding operations? The list goes on and the answer is… You did! Who empowered local communities through training in all aspects of tourism from front of house and online marketing to professional guides who are trained and required to save lives on a day to day basis? You did! Who had to create and jump through hoops to get the authorities to recognize and approve adventure activities on a commercial level? You did! We know this because we work for you and cannot count how many times at Floodin PRO we have drawn inspiration from our adventure tourism clients in overcoming challenges and innovating to find ways to do things smarter and better. The adventure tourism sector might not have any specific guidelines from the multiple associations and organizations around the world on when and exactly how they will be able to proceed. But what is certain, is that the majority of the ideas and strategies that will work, will come from you! The adventure innovator. So get innovating like you have done multiple times before and succeeded. Another great reason to stay positive and dive back into adventure.
Could Covid-19 have come at a worse time? I know this is debatable, but for the purpose of this post lets say. Hell Yes! Imagine the only option of communicating with your past and more importantly your future customers was by running a TV ad on the travel channel which would undoubtedly cost you more than it cost you to set up your entire operation. In today's climate we have social media with unlimited options to connect you and your experience with potential customers. There’s digitized data bases from past customers helping you engage with and remind. who you are and how great their experiences were with you. And of course there’s a service product like Floodin PRO, that still enables operators to sell video and photos to pre covid-19 customers which has and will continue to help generate added revenue in a time of little to no revenues coming in. Not to mention digital check-ins, Step by step digital guides, Online payments and so much more that have and will continue to enable you to cater to adventure tourists even with the worst restrictions dampening your operations possibly being expected in the coming future. It’s a good time to get yourselves ready. What’s going to streamline your customer’s experience, limit interactions amongst tourists and potentially staff? How should you be adjusting your marketing techniques and the list goes on. The majority of these questions can be or will be answered by technology and that's something to be grateful for and give you some hope that the Adventure sector WILL still support you.
- Post Covid-19 Travel budgets -
It’s been mentioned multiple times (mainly when discussing post Covid-19 tourism) amongst what we like to call “the negatives'' that adventure tourism is and I quote ”a luxury” and that no-one will be able to afford to partake in activities and go on a holiday. That might be relevant for the traveler who’s idea of a once in a lifetime experience is dining at the Guys Saboy in Paris at close to $500 a plate (no offense Guys Saboy, i'm sure it’s worth it) but for the intrepid traveler wanting to skydive for the first time or the father who wants to bond with his son in nature while sea kayaking, it's way more than a luxury. It’s a lifestyle and as mentioned it’s in our DNA to travel, explore and more than ever experience life. Because the adventure sector offers activities that cater to all types of tourists and in this case to all budgets it’s a silver lining that if used smartly can help persuade the traveler who’s dream it is to eat at that expensive restaurant in London, to rather spend their money on something that will enrich their lives. Long live adventure!
- Adventure passion-
There is no doubt you have put your blood, sweat, tears, and very much your savings into creating, defining, and improving your adventure tourism operation over the years. It’s a business that has no full-proof template. It’s a business that can change from day to day with the weather. You might have known that getting involved in Adventure tourism from the start or you might have only found it out later, but if you are still reading this article after exactly 900 words it’s likely that you are still fighting , still believing, and still planning for post-Covid-19 and that my friends takes a serious amount of passion. Passion is what got you here and combined with hard work and let’s face it just a little luck. Passion is what’s going to get you through this and succeeding in the future post-Covid-19.
I hope this article inspires operators and provides some hope in uncertain times.