While coping with major concerns surrounding finances and health, and a heightened awareness towards sanitation standards, folks are looking for shorter, closer-to-home excursions and road trips, to infuse some much-needed R and R into their “now-normal”.
As social bubbles expand, summer vacation – a time to decompress, recharge, and get away from the 9 – 5 – has taken on a whole new meaning in 2020.
The print industry, still reeling from the impacts of quarantine and essential services responsibilities, is helping attract visitors and tourists – and infusing the local economy in the wake of COVID-19 – by focusing on 3 areas:
1 – Communication
Communicating how socially distant you can be from other people, how often everything is cleaned, and what protective measures are in place for staff, will dominate the narrative for anyone inviting tourists and travelers to their city, shops, restaurants and attractions.
“The travel industry has to convince people that it is truly safe to travel,” said Dr. Greg Poland, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic and director of its vaccine research group. “People will be very cautious in general for some time to come.”
According to Konrad Waliszewski, co-founder and CEO of the travel app TripScout. “Hygiene will be the new buzzword pitched by destinations and travel companies.”
Experts predict that people will be attracted to domestic vacations and that we’ll see “more three- and four-day trips because of finances, work pressures, safety concerns, and changing school schedules,” hypothesized Dr. Poland. Low gas prices add to the appeal. Spas, wellness retreats, and places that can help restore mental and physical well-being will also be a summer favorite – and provide a welcome, much-needed break from the stress of quarantine.
Feroz Ali, president of Canadian Tourism College, expects more people to go camping this summer or take an RV trip. They get to take a vacation, and at the same time keep to themselves.
“When you’re staying in an RV, you are 100 per cent in complete control of your environment,” said Mike McNaught, founder of RVezy.com. “They’re self-contained. They have their own bathrooms, their own fridges, their own cooking facilities.”
2 – Customer Experience
McNaught said an added benefit with renting an RV is that “while a hotel room might have dozens of guests in the summer, an RV is likely to only see a handful.” These “vacations on wheels” are ideal to create immersive, brand and product-placement experiences – from large hotel brands to local shops, restaurants and service providers.
BC19 (Before COVID-19) brands like Netflix, Amazon, Shopify and Nike were using physical stores, merchandise branding and “pop-ups” to provide memorable immersive experiences. These “phygital” approaches enable brands of all sizes to bridge the physical-digital gap and engage customers with memorable experience that transcends platforms, devices and location.
In a CTV interview, Chris Mahony, president of Go RVing Canada, indicated it’s too early to determine how the RV industry is going to shakeout this season, but that interest in their products remains high. The global motor home market, worth $151.2 billion in 2019 is expected to recover and grow at a CAGR of 8% from 2021 and reach $181.1 billion in 2023. Canadians who remain wary of international travel or choose to support the national economy will have a hand driving growth here.
3 – Community
From interactive travel guides featuring local businesses – to fully branded Hotels on Wheels – the summer of 2020 will challenge companies to come up with new ways to attract and engage business. By joining forces, local printers can unite with the community, produce physical communications and help create these experiences.
The summer of 2020 is an opportunity for print, travel and hospitality businesses to come together, re-build together and grow together. Look for ways to partner services and/or have businesses contribute to the cost of production and mailing to create boxed spa packages, branded robes, local packaged goodies, coupons, interactive print experiences that link to videos, cooking demos, and more. Look beyond typical lines of business (and typical print applications) and think about how we, as humans, are going to react and behave in the wake of COVID-19. Combine the power of print with digital communications to bring the community together – and recreate the experience of a much-needed vacation getaway.
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