More people say they miss travel than hanging out with friends. Last month, Tiqets conducted a survey with over 200 customers about how they’re spending their time in quarantine and what they’re looking forward to most when venues like yours reopen. 85% of respondents said they miss traveling most and 23% said they would be ready to get back to it as soon as their country’s lockdown period has ended.
The survey also revealed customers’ willingness to engage in virtual activities while still in quarantine. 28% of people said they had already tried virtual museum tours at home and 47% said that museum tours are a virtual activity they’re interested in trying out. Interested in creating a virtual offering for your customers? We have some pretty good ideas about how to keep your customers engaged during the lockdown.
Get creative with your virtual offerings
If there were ever a time to get creative with your offering, this is it! The survey also revealed what other virtual activities people favored during lockdown – which could spark some new ideas for your own virtual offering if you’re game for thinking out of the box.
People expressed a keen interest in online gym classes, 47% of people have tried online gym classes at home and 41% are interested in doing one. With fewer physical outlet activities available to them, people are really hunkering after active things to do. So why not think of ways to provide people with activities that will get them off the couch? Historical attractions might choose to promote ancient exercise routines to try at home, theatres might choose to teach famous dance sequences from classic shows or productions they’ve had to put on hold.
33% of people answered that they’d tried live sessions on social media. So if you’ve haven’t already done so, now is the time to put your Instagram account to work. Live sessions can be low-effort and don’t require much technical know-how. Give customers a virtual walk through a never-before-seen exhibition, set up a Q&A with an interesting staff member – the best part about exploring either of these options is that viewers will be more forgiving of mediocre-quality filming for a live video as opposed to something pre-recorded.
Get ready for the future of tourism
And what about after lockdown? A slew of countries recently announced their plans to lift or lighten their lockdown rules. For many cities, this means museums and attractions will be able to reopen their doors to limited numbers, and outdoor public spaces will reopen. People will also no longer be restricted to essential travel and indoor activities. But are people ready to travel?
According to our survey, a vast majority of people miss traveling and many are already planning where – and when – they’ll explore next.
32% of respondents said they preferred international travel, so their next trip would depend on when other countries will open their borders. 23% said they would be ready to travel as soon as the lockdown period in their own country has ended. These are promising results for the future of tourism; a lack of fear and enthusiasm for travel and tourism will be paramount to getting the industry back on its feet.
Your venue’s safety measures will be important to customers
Tiqets conducted a second survey on social media to better understand how customers feel about visiting museums and attractions and what they are expecting from museums and attractions in a post-pandemic era.
While customers clearly miss traveling, the majority of respondents to this second survey were hesitant about visiting museums and attractions. 65% of respondents said they would wait a bit before exploring museums and attractions again. To the questions of “How long would you wait before visiting a museum?” 35% said they would wait 3-6 months.
As so many people are wary of visiting museums and attractions, it’s essential that venues encourage people to visit their venue and to reassure them about the hygiene and safety measures they have in place. 80% of survey respondents felt it was important for venues to clearly communicate their safety measures on their website. 54% of respondents also believed that venues should be responsible for crowd control and maintaining a safe distance in their respective venues.
Here are some ways to help your customers more comfortable about visiting your venue:
Let them know about the safety measures you’ve put in place before they get to you. If you want to encourage customers to visit you, make sure they know it’s safe to do so. You can do this by including a section on your website, sending an email, or adding something to your tickets that explains how your venue has been prepared to offer visitors a safe experience.
Be flexible with your ticket offering. Give customers the ability to change or cancel their tickets if they wish to. Having this extra layer of freedom to change their minds will give customers more confidence when making a booking.
Brief your staff on the best ways to gently keep customers in line. While you don’t want an environment that feels inhibiting, you also don’t want an environment where some customers are following the rules, and others aren’t. Decide beforehand how to gently remind customers to keep their distance, whether you’ll keep a supply of face masks for people who may have forgotten theirs, and how you’ll maintain a clean environment without making it an uncomfortable experience for your visitors.
There is no doubt that people miss traveling and they are excited to be able to do so again – and soon. But there will be many obstacles for both travelers and tourism industry members to navigate while we’re adjusting to the new rules. As members of the tourism industry, it will be especially important to create safe and welcoming environments for people to return to. And while our customers are still in lockdown, we may as well find some novel ways to keep them engaged and entertained.