Do you want to scream each time a business guru tells you to ‘pivot’? We feel your pain.

Have the challenges of 2020 worn you down too much to re-imagine your business? It’s not a fun fact but we all know that survival of the fittest is about adaptation, and that forces us to face down the dreaded pivot. Taking a realistic look at what it would take to rebuild your business, we’ve learned that adapting products and attracting new markets are the starting point.

What the pivot!

We get it: you feel strongly about the products you sell and the markets you service (traditionally). But waiting until all reverts ‘back to normal’ may not be sustainable for the foreseeable future. Nobody can blame you for feeling awkward about exploring new prospects and developing new partnerships. Luckily, fortune favours the tech-prepared! In Wetu you have a friendly space to facilitate new relationships, to help you turn that corner, and get you comfortably poised to pirouette the heck out of travel’s new normal with new products to offer to new markets.

Help, I need new markets!

Managers and marketers of hospitality venues, activities, accommodation, destinations and day tours… future guests are waiting for you to court them. They’ll most likely be local community members, nationals or regional neighbours. Define who they are so you can market directly to them. Engage with them on social media: direct message them, find out what they need and what they want to do on their next holiday. Then draw them in with content and info that speak to their needs. You may need to tweak the way you tell the story of your experiences. You may need to refresh parts of your offering, and incorporate more local favourites and cultural preferences.

Your next step is identifying who sells to them: research, connect and engage with DMCs, tour operators and travel agents that sell tours in your destination. There will be a few new players on your scene looking for opportunities to explore.

Help, I need new products to sell!

Travel agents, tour operators, friends… take a fresh look at what’s fabulous in your area – locally and regionally. While international travel remains restricted, your travel-starved future clients are going to look at what’s easiest for them to access. Indications are that the first destinations to regain momentum will be those close to source tourism markets, especially those close enough to reach by car. Pent-up demand will be characterised by free, independent travel, luxury trips, health and wellness tourism. Travellers will want to reconnect with their provincial neighbours, urbanites will seek out revitalisation in extended, slow tourism in rural sites, families will desire safe, convenient bonding experiences. Adventure tourism in their own backyard will appeal because it supports self-isolation and physical distancing. Plenty of strong experiences to build into new packages.

Scour the land for accommodation, activity, restaurant and day tour products based in your destination. Identify which ones match well with your brand and curate a new list of products to build into local and regional tours. You already have a global data bank of supplier products to check for potential new partners. Introduce any other new products you discover to Wetu, so they can upload and make their best content available for your new packages. There are no barriers for them to join the community, just loads of benefits for everyone.

What to do with your Wetu

Time to re-explore the Wetu product catalogue for something new (or existing) that will help extend your networking capacity and develop new relationships. Research potential partners that build itineraries or manage product content in Wetu, then use the platform to your advantage. Your tool kit has features that facilitate collaboration. Accommodation iBrochures can promote new products in itineraries, which in turn explore local or regional activities, venues and day tours that appeal to local tastes and preferences.

If you’re an operator, DMC or agent

Build an inventory of new products for future tour itineraries – your Consultant Portal was designed for that purpose. The Specials Portal can help you quickly find special offers uploaded by product suppliers in the areas you want to operate in. Help those local brands outside the Wetu community see the light of an Enhanced listing; so you can both benefit from WetuShare’s swift, private and direct distribution of essential product information. Whip up some fantastic itineraries and add your unique brand styling. If your local travellers speak French, Dutch or anything other than English, your itinerary could be machine translated into a language they’re more comfortable with. Just another great way to win over new agents who sell to particular language markets.

For your accommodation or hospitality product

Put your best foot forward with the strongest possible product content promoting your property, activity, venue, restaurant, day tour or destination. Any new trade partner wanting to do business with you will depend on you to showcase clearly and accurately what your offering entails, who would benefit from it and why. Pimp out your digital brochure, enable prospective partners with branding options, and use your gift of the embed widget to make it easier for them to repurpose your content for their marketing.

Create digital catalogues featuring itineraries and iBrochures, like inspiration boards. Double up on destination marketing and address your shared market with consistent messaging, with beautiful, engaging and up-to-date content doing the talking.

Your next great mailer campaign

Once you’ve put some fab new products together and identified a promising new market, be diligent and strategic with mailer marketing. Nobody’s sitting at home, waiting for gloss-printed coffee table catalogues to arrive in the post. It’s up to you to show future customers online what you can supply and how you’ll make post-lockdown travel memorable and safe.

Compile concise, emotive mailshots that speak to the dreamers mulling over their next staycation or exploratory local trip.

  • Convey a single, clear message
  • Be personal and relevant
  • Have a clear call-to-action
  • Be mobile-friendly

Make your digital itinerary or brochure the star of the email – it’s powerful enough to pique the curiosity of long-suppressed wanderlust. Your approach and content must be client- and service-oriented, so make it easy to view your content and to contact you.

Go ahead, roll your eyes at the dirty word that pivot is, but then shift your business focus. It will take an orchestrated manoeuvre, but you’re not alone! Luckily, you’re part of a global collective of travel and hospitality companies. So, lean on your Wetu community. We’ll get through this together.

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