Staying productive for small tourism businesses during the Coronavirus. Guest Blog by Scott Ricketts

Staying productive for small tourism businesses during the Coronavirus. Guest Blog by Scott Ricketts

Small tourism business owner stuck at home and needing inspiration?? I am in the same boat having had all future bookings canceled for my private tour business in Sydney. I have been thinking about some positive activity that I can get stuck into during this crazy time and thought I would share some here with you. Hope they are helpful and please feel free to add any inspiration you have had for how you will stay productive over the coming weeks.

1. Conduct some keyword research

for your destination and your product and market segment, focussing on long tail keywords (ask me if you don’t know what this means) as these change regularly and need to be re-assessed. Your adwords account has a keyword planner if you were not aware of that and there are a number of other ways to research keywords.

2. BLOG!!

That word we all love and hate simultaneously as business owners. Use the keyword research you did above to guide what articles you write and always be thinking ‘What information do my potential customers need and how can I provide it to them’? Write a list of new blog articles and work on one new one per week.

3. Do an audit of your website

On both desktop and mobile. Check for any issues or easy improvements and either get them done yourself or get your web person to action them. Look for typos, grammatical errors, title improvements, image attributes etc.

4. Get some new and improved imagery

while your destination is not being mobbed with tourists. Photos mostly look better without too many people in them. Great time to get out there and get some new digital collateral for your marketing. While you are collecting new imagery, make sure you save the images with an awesome and SEO friendly name so that they are ready to upload.

5. Stay social!! 

Gaze a critical eye over your social media platforms and activity. Compare your approach to those with similar businesses. What can you do better? How can your content be improved? Can you learn more about a specific tool like Instagram Stories or IGTV to see how you could be leveraging it. Join in online conversation as well, there is a lot of tourism/travel discussion right now due to the restrictions. get amongst it!

6. Get a promo video together. 

Another big job that many of us avoid. This can be done really low cost with a free app like Over or Quik. See this video for my first budget effort. Or if you had any guests shooting with drones and with some good skills then have them edit you a better quality production like my current home page video . Video is super powerful in tourism but does not need to cost a lot.

7. Get out there and research some new products. 

We all have ideas for new tours/products/collaborations that we could be making the most of. Now is a great time to be brainstorming and looking for new openings in your arena. Go for a drive, visit that pocket of the city you have not been in a while, photograph that new architectural building, or as I have done this week, take the kids out hiking 3 times in a local national park area where I really want to take more guests. Getting more familiar and getting some nice imagery.

8. Reach out to some local industry contacts. 

Everyone is doing it tough at the moment but we are all in it together. Make a few calls to some other operators in your area, see how they are going, offer your help, share some ideas and stay inspired. This also applies to your guides or staff. Stay in touch with them and reassure them that you will be ready to give them work again when this all settles down.

9. Check on your outgoing costs. 

Okay, this probably should be higher up but it’s not as fun. Do a check-up on any of your outgoings that could be cut back on during this quiet period. Personally I have cut back on my adwords spend but am keeping my SEO spend in place but will look at how this money is spent and what strategy will be in place. You may have subscriptions etc that can be paused while everything is a bit tight.

10. Write an article for LinkedIn. 

Be a quasi business expert like me 🙂 and share some inspiration for your industry colleagues to enjoy. We all have wisdom and insights that we can share so find a theme or idea you are passionate about and spread the love around. This article has just taken me around an hour to write while the TV babysits my kids behind me.

11. Set up an email broadcast to your customers. 

Okay, a couple of bonus ideas to add. Set up a free account with software like Mailchimp and import your email contacts. (This can be done out of your email server and/or your booking system as a CSV file) Send out an email simply to connect and reassure and say thank you for their support of your business. You can also add in a call to action to support you further, which brings me to the second bonus idea…

12. Follow up on TripAdvisor reviews.

Add a review link to your above email or simply reach out individually or using the integrated TripAdvisor review express tool. Like many of us, our customers/guests are likely at home and online and if they had a great experience with you then will be wanting to help you and put some wind in your sails. While you are at it, make sure you reply to all those awesome people who have already written them for you.

As a farewell and encouragement I feel very confident that these current restrictions are going to help nurture a renewed joy and appreciation for free travel around the globe and that there will be a very large and passionate return to the skies and the seas. If the above ideas have left you with any questions please feel free to reach out here through LinkedIn, through my website or via social channels at InstagramFacebook or direct email

Written By – Scott Ricketts– Founder & Owner, Your Sydney Guide

Scott has been delivering personalised Sydney private tours for over 5 years. In his spare time he hikes, stays fit, entertains his two young kids and dreams of his next snowboarding trip.

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