On March 12 the Australian government announced a $17.6 billion dollar industry stimulus package. Australia’s most iconic industry is in freefall.
Last week’s Mumbrella Travel Summit summoned the industry heavyweights and amid an industry crisis not seen since last 2008, they came. Google, Qantas, Ctrip, Klook, Tourism Australia, some of Australia’s largest hotel chains and others, took to the podium with a deep breath of concern. Many couldn’t attend this year, others were at the Destination Australia conference in Adelaide on the same day. Those of us who did attend were punch-drunk with the unfolding catastrophe of the coronavirus, within days of Australia putting out the last of its summer fires.
One keynote speaker asked: “Please raise your hand if you have not been directly and significantly impacted by the coronavirus.” No one. Blanket advice from all speakers was to prepare for an extremely tough 6-months. Encourage staff to take leave, look at 4-day-weeks, reduce overheads, look after loyalty, make cancellations easy, take pay-cuts at the top, publicise your business continuity plan, use downtime to focus on strategy… and if you have a good idea, or an opportunity presents itself, “don’t put it through the mill, go for it!”
With international holiday cancellations rife and Australians being encouraged to take leave or work less days, local tourism is poised to boom as soon as the gun stops spinning. Local areas will be first, then 1- or 2-day getaways, then 1- and 2-week holidays across Australia. Cabin-fever will set in, the freefall will find a ledge and Australians will want to get out there again.
Wotsay is a start-up mobile app that recommends fun things to see and do that match a user’s interests, budget, age-group and location. Wotsay provides a fresh hyperlocal ‘experience’ channel that captures user imagination, which in turn drives bookings not only for the activities, but also transport and accommodation. Our channel puts travel content and vendors in front of their perfect customers at a time and place they are ready to buy.
Wotsay launches this April with over 100k listings, around a month ahead of schedule, to help re-activate Australia’s tourism industry.