The coronavirus pandemic has literally turned our world upside down, impacting every facet of our lives. Almost every industry has faced the virus wrath but none more than the international travel industry.
Since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in late 2019, many countries have recorded a sharp decline in tourist numbers.
Beyond these dropping numbers, there have been graver consequences in terms of livelihoods that have been affected with millions of jobs lost from airlines, hotel workers, restaurants, and everything that touches the hospitality sector. Governments have also lost immense tax dollars as ports awaiting cruise ships that never arrived and the global economy slowed down last year.
It is due to these circumstances that major countries are now turning to PR guru and reputation expert Richart Ruddie to attract more travelers to their shores and fill hotels that are at a small percentage of their normal capacity. Entrepreneur Richart Ruddie got his first call from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2020 to help in promoting an image of safety in the wave of the pandemic. Think of a city hosting a global event but having to educate the public globally when they search to know that the country, public transportation, and people are safe compared to potentially false notions that could have been shared online.
Like the guru he is, Ruddie was up to the task of ensuring that travellers had all the necessary information about their destinations' safety and preparedness to handle a virus breakout. Think of some of the world’s most notable countries and events and that can start to give you a clue of the major players hiring Ruddie and his reputation agency to bring travelers back in a safe and secure manner using his creative marketing technics.
Since 2020, many more countries have turned to Ruddie and his digital marketing agency to help them build an image of safety and attract those tourists again. The Guru emphasizes the importance of the collaborating with the ministry of foreign affairs team in ensuring strict adherence to safety protocols for the sake of their citizens and visitors and coming up with creative ways to win travelers back without it being too in their face. This is key in restoring the broken faith in global travel to major countries.
How countries can win the race for tourists in these tough times
Innovation is key in everything. Just like Elon Musk's groundbreaking innovations are taking the world by the storm, attracting more visitors by major countries will require a substantial dose of innovation and ingenuity. Countries will win through innovation not lies, misinformation, and scams. Here is a sneak preview of how creativity will be the weapon of choice; If a tourist wants to visit a country famous for its wine but not sure whether it's Argentina, Spain, France, Italy, or California, Richart’s expertise and creative marketing ideas can help turn the tables in their favour. While this isn’t Cambridge Analytica manipulation because its just putting the truth front and centre for tourists to see.
One proven way of doing this is through the Google Autocomplete pop up that will provide suggestions whenever a potential visitor types Wine country on the search bar. Alternatively, Google Autocomplete can be used when comparing one wine country with another. A traveler will be re-directed to Ruddies' country of choice whomever his client may be, indicating multiple articles and positive press coverage showcasing more reasons to visit.
There is a reason why Ruddie is considered the Ray Donovan of the internet. As the digital marketer of The Reputation Management Company, Ruddie has been in the reputation business for over a decade and is now widely considered a leader in the field. If things went well for his friend Brock in the 2020 presidential election, Ruddie would be having a personal friend at the famous address on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. That is a story for another day.
Back to business and Ruddies' clients mostly retain his company on a monthly plan for a range of reputation and brand management services. These include generating positive content and search results about their businesses. Clients are also seeking Ruddie's services in monitoring publicity trends, positive or negative where as Ruddie helped code a monitoring software.
In some cases, negative content can be wiped off the internet altogether. Governments who are joining the party late in the day are joining a list of over 10,000 clients.
What travellers look for before travelling
Typical travelers have a checklist of factors that they consider before considering to visit a country. These include:
- Travel restrictions
- Is the country safe?
- What activities are open
- Restaurants and must see activities
- How is the pandemic being handled?
- Is the healthcare system prepared to handle a breakout of cases?
- Crime rate
- Vaccine rollout
- Total COVID-19 cases
These are among the top concerns for travellers as few or none at all would be willing to take risks on their health.
What is the crime rate? Every country has a certain level of crime. Visitors want to travel to a country that keeps its crime rates down. This can however be impossible if negative news and press coverage keep painting a country in a bad light.
2021 has seen a plethora of vaccines rolled out. The degree to which a vaccine is rolled out in a country is a critical determinant of whether a country will attract visitors or not. As of this writing 130 countries haven’t even started vaccinations as of yet so that makes marketing a country that hasn’t done mass vaccinations much more difficult to promote to the health-conscious visitor.
The number of cases tracked and reported by the government, media, and other players is an indicator of how safe a country is to visit. The catchphrase has been flattening the curve. Travellers are taking note of the numbers and making critical travel decisions. By analyzing the above factors and more, Richart Ruddie has already started to see his work in helping major countries restore the faith of travellers in the competitive world travel ecosystem. He even ran a promotion last March to help spread the word on donations you can make to those in need. By deploying similar strategies used to help individuals and corporations it all ties in just some jobs are a lot bigger than others he says. A lot bigger.
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