Updated: Jan 18
✦ From Mark Ennor, BookItDoit
So here we are, two years since the announcement of a potential pandemic, a fast-spreading virus that will ravage, stop and change our world and it did for ever!
As a society, we contend and deal with many ups and downs in our lives, the downs especially being the likes of floods, drought, fires, storms, and in a country like Australia we get the lot! We always bounce back but the timeframe to do so of course depends on the severity of the disaster.
These natural disasters normally take anywhere from weeks to months to recover from (longer of course for the worst hit!).
The COVID 19 Corona Virus has been a disaster on another scale for the whole world to deal with. This is not the time or place to be getting into its origins, the conspiracies or the vax debates. The bottom line is, we’ve had a disaster thrown at us like never before and something of this scale will have long lasting effects, from the physical, emotional, mental, financial and social.
The Tourism and Travel industries are ones that bear the brunt of all of these factors.
There are many conversations always happening about how and when it will all bounce back. My take on it is that no one can really say exactly when and how it will.
This pandemic has affected everyone individually in different ways. On one side in the business sector we have seen some business and industries fall and fail in a big way while others have prospered. There has been (and still is) a mass exodus from the cities to regional areas. Real estate prices are skyrocketing like never before.
Overseas travel just isn’t a thing, yes it’s slowly creeping back, but any conversations about it are over as quickly as they start. Even interstate travel isn’t on people’s radars apart from visiting family.
So where does that leave Tourism and Travel for Australians? Regional Areas!
3hr-4hr radius trips from home, self-drive road trips, holidaying at home.
We’ve all seen the commentary by some travel writers that people are tired of the whole holiday at home thing and people are busting to get back overseas to get their cultural fixes. Maybe so, but in reality if ScoMo appeared on our TV’s tonight and said “ Ok Australians, from tomorrow the airports will be open, airlines will be fully operational, go for it, go where you like!”. With the uncertainty we’ve all experienced over the past two years, the sudden and strict changes we’re getting used to, how many Aussies do you think would actually pack their suitcases and head to the airports?!
To add to all this, how many travel insurance companies do you think will cover anyone (especially 50+) for COVID related claims? Our foreseeable realities for the Travel and Tourism industries are intrastate travel, regional holidays and seeking out the authentic experiences that are right on your own doorstep.
Some people may think ‘ho hummm’ about that but until you are fully aware of what there is to see and do around you, you really can’t be giving an educated comment about the subject! I have been entrenched in regional tourism for over 22 years, 20 years of that on the frontline hosting thousands of visitors to my adventure tourism business so I have a deep insight into the thinking of travelers, and locals enjoying their own region.
The number one stand out point of locals holidaying like a tourist in their own region is being able to consciously think like a tourist. If you want to find everything there is to do around you, you need to proactively look. You can head to some of the big hotels/motels in your area, they will all have large brochure racks of all the tours and attractions.
Most regions have their own tourist magazines/booklets and then of course you can jump online to see what there is via a Google search or a tourism website like BookitDoit. A directory style website where you can search on what and where you want to find things to do. You will find many things to see, do, eat, play and stay. And find things to book right then and there or simply find free things to do like walks, lookouts, events and markets. Things for all ages and demographics.
Check out these stories on Regional Travel Australia for more travel destinations:
Information for Locals to Stay Local
I have made it a mission of mine to deliver marketing initiatives as an awareness exercise to inform locals that there is more than you think to do around you. In my 14th year doing so in the Greater Port Macquarie region, now I have broadened my scope to deliver the same kind of awareness initiatives all around regional Australia.