Business

The story that the first post-COVID tourist will bring us

10 min read

The opinions of the employees of You are personal.


  • COVID has hit the international tourism sector
  • It is possible to model the feel of those who will be the first tourists and create a suitable story for them
  • There are organizations that are already preparing their post-pandemic message
The story that the first post-COVID tourist will bring us
The story that the first post-COVID tourist will bring us

How does the first foreign holiday tourist come to my country after the pandemic? What were your main fears and what are your incentives? And in practice, what story do you have to tell him today so that he can visit us tomorrow? Though technically difficult to know, some organizations are already working on it.

The terrible current story

COVID has hit tourism. UNWTO data shows that the number of world visitors decreased by 900 million people from January to October 2020.

At least millions of flight bookings were lost between the outward and return flights. Millions of consumer goods have also been lost in restaurants, cafes, hotels, discos, museums and amusement parks. Thousands of companies and jobs evaporate every day. And the UNWTO predicts global losses of $ 2 trillion. The situation is appalling and there is little we can do here other than give encouragement to those affected.

There are those who are already living in another story

Despite everything, certain actors rely on tourism in the long term and use this painful time to prepare for the moment when everything is resolved. This is the case, for example, with ACTUAL, the association for culture and tourism in Latin America. The company, which is represented in 22 countries, will celebrate its third international congress (in virtual form) on February 26th and 27th.

I am very grateful that I was invited by the organization to speak at the event. And I can only congratulate you on finding the best title you can imagine: “Ready and Prepared – Restarting the Dynamics of Tourism”. I would say that ACTUAL already lives between two stories: the terrible present and the hopeful future. And here I will focus.

The next “first” tourist

My respected Ignacio Magos, a Mexican tourism branding specialist and member of ACTUAL, asked me to prepare a talk on digital marketing. I know little about networks, but I know about the stories that are consumed there. So I suggested a challenging title: “What story will convince the first international tourist to visit Mexico? And Nacho accepted. Of course, “that everyone can think of the names of the countries they want,” he said.

The question makes three assumptions. First: We will beat COVID and tourism will recover. Second, the recovery will be gradual. Third, today we can tell the first (brave) tourist who will take the plane to visit us. And that’s the big question: how do you find out what to tell him? What story can we use? What does compelling storytelling say about this challenge?

Methods for anticipating the story

Months ago I talked about the strategic scenarios and the methodology of the User person. I was allowed to say that in addition to these methods together with my partners Mario Álvarez and Francesc Ponsa Herrera We use behavior assessment models that are increasingly being combined with social media. With these tools we try to foresee what we have to say to a person today in order to be our customer tomorrow.

There are different models. The ocean. and the DISC are the most famous. The latter predicts that there are four possible personality styles: Dominant, the Influencer, the Stable and the Conscientious. Each with specific, scientifically validated behaviors that help us understand how they adapt and respond to change. Suppose change is the end of the pandemic and the reopening of world tourism.

Before the pandemic, companies like Booking.com set up segmented (and simultaneous) communication with each of the four styles. Each his message. Certainly many more will want to do this after the pandemic.

Image: Depositphotos.com

The four profiles

Whether men or women, young people or SeniorsWhether they come alone or with someone, or which country they come from, the DISC model examines how everyone perceives reality. People can be extroverted or introverted, but not both at the same time. Likewise, they can be aimed at achieving goals or maintaining relationships with others, but not both at the same time. By combining these variables, the following profiles are obtained:

  • The dominant one: sociable and goal-oriented person. He is known for being energetic, moving fast and making decisions, being optimistic and not being afraid of change. His big fears are that others will lose respect for him or that he will waste time. Statistically, it is the least common group.

  • The influencer: also sociable, but geared towards cultivating relationships with others. He is the typical seducer of the group who knows all the news and shares it with the others first. Optimistic without fear of change. His great fear is irrelevant to others. When you feel socially ignored, you feel sad.

  • The stable: introverted person (not shy). Very often, think and think out loud. She cares a lot about how her trusted people see her and how to keep in touch with them. Always strive to keep yours Status quowhatever it is. It’s the profile that is reluctant to change. To decide which trip to go, you need people you can trust who will recommend (and demonstrate) that travel is safe and beneficial.

  • The conscientious: introverted and goal-oriented person. Perfectionist. Read all instructions in the package insert from top to bottom. Supports one job at a time. He takes time to make up his mind, but he does so for rational rather than emotional reasons. You feel confident, and most of all you fear the feeling of losing control of the situation.

These profiles exist and belong to your customers. Well, what story do you have to tell everyone? And how do you know which one applies to each? I share two keys with you.

First:: Have a virtual coffee with your customers

Regardless of whether you represent a hotel or a travel agency, search your customer history. You are sure to find some that have made you more confident. Contact them, even if they live abroad, and invite them to chat via video conference: many will appreciate it.

Then ask them about various topics. For example about your services: what things caused them concerns the first time they came to you Resort?; What were your favorite things to do? In what ways did you exceed your expectations? When and why were there disappointments? Ask them if they are among those who prefer to achieve goals (visit, activities, tasks …) while on vacation or are more relaxed (who don’t look at their agenda while on vacation). Find out how you deal with people: Do you enjoy meeting new people? Would you rather enjoy the privacy of a good read?

Facebook does all of this by counting the “likes” of its users. But you are not Facebook. So you should be open with them and write down exactly what you are learning. These questions and answers will give you clues as to whether introverts or extroverts are predominant among your historical customers. performance-oriented or relationship-oriented.

Second, generate different reports of the same story

After you’ve profiled your customers, create content on everything you do today to get them on their next vacation no matter when they happen.

Very important: forget to compose a single message for everyone. At a minimum, you want to prepare four versions of each story that you post on your social networks or yours Newsletteror in your press releases.

Example: Are you reviewing the security logs to make your hotel risk free? Good! Prepare four versions and publish them on consecutive days. To the Conscientious You will need to provide them in detail, including the name of the disinfectant you will be using. To the Influential You have to tell them that everyone has already tried the service and that they like it and challenge them not to be the last to try it. To the Dominant You will tell him that if he comes first, he will be most admired by everyone else and eventually Stable You will credibly explain to people that the hotel experience was remarkably safe.

The story is the same for everyone: your tourist offer. However, the stories (or versions) to be explained are different. You should multiply your communication efforts by four, yes. But you will connect with each of them four times better.

It is irrelevant to know whether the first to come to your hotel is dominant, influential, stable, or conscientious. The most important thing is that there is one of each type who will be the first. When you get it, don’t forget to give him arguments to attract others like him.

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