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Domestic tourism set to trend and increase your direct bookings

COVID-19 pandemic is majorly devastating the travel industry. International travel is currently banned until the coronavirus pandemic is under control. If the current situation were to prolong, this could lead to the onset of an economic catastrophe. Indeed, how you respond to this new reality will have a lasting impact on your hotel business. Tourism has always been very resilient. And that in trying times like these, it is worthwhile to look at how other countries are coping, specifically China – now that it is on track to economic recovery.

Domestic tourism on the rise globally

China, the worst-affected nation, is gearing up for a surge in domestic tourism. China’s OTA’s forecast a high demand of domestic travel as infection rates decline in-country and soar outside of China. Hotels are pricing their rooms at cheap rates and touristic attractions in the mainland, including Chinese museums, are reopening to the public and are going straight to maximum capacity. Domestic tourism in China for the leisure market is set to increase from 47% to 60% till the end of the year 2020, with the current international travel bans in place. Chinese OTA’s Group and Qunar have launched presale bookings for domestic travel packages with attraction tickets for April and May. Domestic travel ads in China had fuelled such a growing interest among users, that user searches for ‘holidays in May’ had reportedly increased by almost 80% in a week.

Sam Zammit,
Business Development
Fact: Loves a pint of beer

Countries outside Europe have observed a rise in domestic travel booking tendencies to remote and off-grid single unit properties, since the outbreak. In the UK, Alex Wilson, Director of accomodation site Host Unusual, stated that site visitors now have “the desire to go somewhere safe and switch off from the panic of current affairs has seen a marked rise in off-grid places”, adding that “people are looking at holidays that involve less travel overall, not necessarily just avoiding airports and ports”.

Other countries, including New Zealand are encouraging domestic booking preferences. Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern had advised NZ citizens in a recent live update that as an alternative to travelling abroad, it would be safer to support domestic tourism after the country’s lockdown has been lifted.

Direct booking is your solution to encourage domestic travel

Domestic travel is set to trend in Europe as tourism markets are being directly affected internationally. International travel bans have created the perfect opportunity for domestic tourism to rebound after months of lockdown. Modelling China’s approach to sustaining domestic tourism in-country can widely help your hotel operations withstand shocks and demand fluctuations that may arise amid the current crisis.

Advertising your hotel’s listing for domestic travel to locals creates a level-playing field for other international hotels and offers a greater opportunity to compete with OTA’s. Adjusting your distribution mix to secure more direct bookings is the evident option your hotel management should undertake for your hotel to run operations at a higher capacity while generating substantial revenue, retaining your employees, and escape insolvency…

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