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Starting a travel business during COVID-19

With the COVID-19 ravaging through the globe, tourism has (almost) come to a complete standstill. Planes are now grounded, agencies are offering refunds and tourist attractions are being shut down. Remember when we said that the travel & tourism industry was one of the top picks to get into at the start of this year? If you missed it, you can find it here

Yes, we didn’t expect a virus to cause the performance of the tourism industry to dwindle. That said, it does not mean that all hope is lost. Having travel bans in place and borders shut buys you time to lay the foundations of your business - the industry has never been slower, with established players and cutting their losses, freezing pays and introducing more refund policies. Take this opportunity to build up your business when your competitor’s are busy keeping themselves afloat.

Whether you’re working on a new travel product, service, or opening a travel based franchise, the first few months would undoubtedly be when you get the basic infrastructure up, hire people and get the business off the ground. The internet today is full of noise and distractions. Spend time thinking about how to cut through all of those with some new marketing tactics. Create content and start scheduling them so people will hear about you now and have something to be excited about. Build your brand awareness and have people include you in their grand travel plans when they can finally continue their jetsetting, globetrotting habits.

If you’re already running a travel business and are feeling the heat from the virus charging its way into town, perhaps this down time may be the perfect period to rework some of your old campaigns and revamp your content to generate more leads. Check out some of our tips from our brilliant (and handsome) head of content here

Either way, if you’re still keen on travel and tourism, it would be a good idea to ride this wave of the COVID-19 - when the virus takes a hike and travel bans are lifted, people all over the world with pent up frustrations of being stuck at home and having their vacations cancelled would be more than ready to toss their money at you for some long-awaited travel experiences. Many who have deferred or cancelled their trips are still actively looking for tickets and deals they can snatch up in advance due to the perceived low rates and generous cancellation policies that are ongoing now, with the mindset that by the time the end of 2020 is round the corner, they would be able to travel with a peace of mind.

While the economy has slowed down, it will not stop running forever. So we might as well stay positive (and healthy) during this pandemic and take things in our stride. While things are moving slowly, get your engine going so that you’ll be ready for the next wave of tourists when they come out of their caves. Travel demand rebounded after SARS, so will the industry and its activities when the COVID-19 dies down.

Inspired to dive into a new business in this industry? Here are some additional suggestions to get you started. Check out some of these franchises you can open within the travel industry - American Express Cruise Planners are one of the most popular travel businesses to check out right now, as well as Travelodge, a renown hospitality franchise with over 500 locations in North America. If these don’t appeal to you, take our franchise matching quiz here to find the perfect one for you. 

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