The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly thrown a wrench in travel plans, but in Pure Michigan style, our tourists and hosts have risen to the challenge. People in the hospitality industry are some of the most flexible and innovative people around—we have the ability to adjust our sails and respond to the changes in the wind…even when those changes are unprecedented.
Tourism is changing, and while many of those changes are related to the pandemic, change has been in the air for a while. From ‘gig economy’ platforms like Airbnb and Uber to online travel booking sites, the internet and mobile access have dramatically altered the way we do business.
And today, as more people are planning trips from their computers, choosing destinations closer to home, and being cautious about their travel, it’s important for us to make sure they’re getting a true sense of how a visit will feel. That means we need to pay close attention to our web presence. Even a trip to a shop on the other side of town means doing research, since hours, protocol, and offerings fluctuate due to the pandemic.
One of the tools many have found helpful is the use of 360 videos when promoting their attractions. In a time when it’s hard to scout out destinations, these videos give potential visitors the chance to put themselves at the center of your space, getting a true sense of the ambiance and amenities your business offers. These videos tell a story about your brand that can’t be told in a brochure photo.
Making your story relevant is especially important while business is still being impacted by changes related to COVID-19. Some travelers have continued to limit their trips, but it’s important to help them feel a sense of belonging to your community. Creating and sharing 360 videos can keep your fans engaged with what’s happening behind the scenes and let them know they’re still part of your world even though they can’t visit.
Right now, as visitors are facing an unknown future, we in the hospitality industry have an opportunity to do what we do best: to make guests feel comfortable, safe and cared for. By making sure our online presence gives guests an honest sense of who we are, we can build trust before they even set foot in our space.
If you’re interested in learning more about 360 videos or creating a more welcoming web experience for visitors, Superior Hospitality Partners would be happy to share ideas with you.