Stemming Cancellations If Your Area has Been Affected by Catastrophe

Stemming Cancellations If Your Area has Been Affected by Catastrophe

The bush fire that is blazing across the continent in Australia has made headlines around the globe and shattered the hearts of millions of people worldwide. However, despite this catastrophe, Australian tourism companies and destination management organizations are finding that travelers are still both willing and able to come to the country for their previously booked vacation.

The Australian bush fire and its impact on tourism

A recent Skift article noted that despite the fact that media outlets around the world are showcasing images of a continent on fire, travelers have not been deterred. Tourism officials in Australia held their breath as the fires peaked in intensity, and travelers began to realize that the bush fire would continue to burn for months to come. The news couldn’t have come at a worse time for the travel industry, as an influx of Asian tourists were planning vacations to Australia to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

However, a combination of effective communication and teamwork on the part of the destination management organization helped Australian tourism businesses avoid excessive cancellations. It’s true that some luxury resorts and accommodations have had to close due to their proximity to the bush fire, but the vast majority of places are able to operate as usual and welcome travelers.

How can your tour company focus on stemming cancellations in the aftermath of catastrophe?

This is all excellent news for Australia during a time when good news is much-needed. Tour and activity companies — regardless of their location or destination — can learn a valuable lesson. No one is immune to natural disasters or catastrophes, so these tips can help you focus on stemming cancellations in the event of an unexpected calamity:

  • Have a crisis communication strategy in place, and implement it immediately. Your crisis communication strategy needs to include a variety of elements, including an immediate response that can be shared via social media as well as a plan to provide the most updated and accurate information to your target market segment. Many tour and activity companies find that social media is the best way to stay in contact with their travelers, but automatic e-mails are also a valuable component of the crisis communication strategy.
  • Partner with destination management organizations to heavily promote your destination. During a catastrophe, the local tourism industry has to work together to provide valuable messaging to the most motivated market segments around the globe.

When faced with a catastrophe — be it a natural disaster or a man-made incident — you are going to want to have the best possible technology in place at your business. The right technology will allow you to be prepared and ultimately make decisions that can be efficiently and effectively implemented.

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