As destinations restart their domestic tourism engines, it is critical that governments agree on health and safety protocols, and that travel brands deliver on their promise around the new procedures, so as not to confuse the customer and lose their trust in the early, fragile stages of recovery.
Consumer confidence needs to be boosted, not broken, during fragile, early stage of recovery.
That was one of the key messages that came out of the WiT Virtual Middle East: Destinations In The Spotlight panel which featured four tourism boards (Saudi Arabia, Britain, Singapore, Abu Dhabi) and how they were restarting their domestic tourism industries.
Haitham Mattar said it was important governments ensured strict implementation of health and safety protocols.
In its “Life after the pandemic” survey, Insight Out Consultancy ME noted that 51% of respondents said they were confident to travel but with caution and Haitham Mattar, senior advisor to the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, said that it was really important that governments ensured strict implementation of the protocols around physical distancing and sanitisation across all travel touchpoints.
Commenting on potential stumbling blocks to recovery, Mona Faraj, managing director of Insight Out, said it was important the industry wins back consumer confidence. Referring to an article that went viral in the UAE about a guest experience in a hotel, “he clearly reflected the misalignment between the brand promise and what was actually being implemented”.
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