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Tourism strategy for economic slowdown

Why tourism destinations should prepare for an economic slowdown?

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1. Tourism is highly sensitive to economic conditions
Tourism is highly sensitive to economic conditions as it relies on consumer spending, job security, economic stability, and consumers' confidence.

2. Preparing can mitigate the effects
By preparing for an economic slowdown, tourism destinations can take steps to mitigate the effects, such as by adapting  their products and services.

3. Protecting the destination's economy
Tourism is a significant contributor to many local economies, and preparing for an economic slowdown can help to support local businesses and communities.

4. Protecting the tourism industry
Preparing for an economic slowdown can help to keep the tourism industry stable, protect tourism jobs and ensure its fast recovery.

What are the key effects of an economic slowdown on tourism?

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1. Decline in demand
During an economic slowdown, consumers tend to cut back on their spending, including tourism. This results in a decline in demand for tourism services and products.

2. Reduced travel budgets
Consumers also tend to reduce their travel budgets during an economic slowdown, which can lead to a decrease in the number of tourists visiting a particular destination.

3. Decrease in revenue
With a decline in demand and reduced travel budgets, tourism businesses will see a decrease in revenue. This can lead to financial difficulties for businesses and job losses in the industry.

4. Reduced investment
Economic slowdown can also lead to a decrease in investment in the tourism industry, as investors become more cautious and hesitant to invest in an uncertain market.

How tourism destinations can battle the effects of economic slowdown?

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1. Focusing on domestic tourism
Destinations can focus on promoting domestic tourism, as domestic tourism is less likely to be affected by economic downturns.

2. Creating special offers and deals
Creating special offers and promotions can help to attract tourists during an economic slowdown, as travel consumers lay enhanced importance on price and value for money.

3. Offering flexible payment options
Offering flexible payment options, such as installment plans or "travel now pay later", can help to make tourism products more accessible.

4. Building a strong brand
Building a strong reputation as an attractive and highly-desired tourism destination can help to attract high-profile visitors and mitigate the effects of economic slowdown.

How tourism businesses can opt for a period of economic slowdown?

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1. Cost reduction
Tourism businesses can look for ways to reduce their overall costs, such as by  reducing staff hours, or cutting back on non-essential expenses as part of a lean management approach.

2. Offering discounts and bargains
Offering special deals, discounts, bargains and limited-time promotions can help to attract customers during an economic distress.

3. Diversifying products and services
Diversifying tourism products and services can help to attract a wider range of customers and extend the business' earning channels.

4. Being creative and Adaptive
An economic change is the time to be creative and adaptive. In which new ways you can attract customers and stay competitive?

Which tourism opportunities might rise during an economic recession?

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1. Off-peak travel
Traveling in the off-peak season is less costly and also more sustainable, and can help to spread out tourism demand throughout the year.

2. Domestic tourism
During an economic slowdown, consumers may opt to stay closer to home and travel domestically, rather than internationally. This can provide opportunities for domestic tourism destinations to attract more visitors.

3. Road trips travel
Economic downturns may lead to more interest in road trips, as consumers look for more affordable and flexible travel options in their near-by environment.

4. Budget-friendly tourism
With reduced travel budgets, consumers may be more likely to opt for budget-friendly tourism options, such as camping, picnic baskets, and short-term rentals (such as AirBnB).

What are the key takeaways for tourism destinations at times of an economic recession?

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1. Understand the economic situation
Tourism destinations should have a clear understanding of the economic conditions, such as the cause of the slowdown and the potential impact on the industry - both in a micro and a macro level.

2. Assess the impact on the destination
What's the impact of the current economic slowdown on your destination? How it affects your source markets, volume of demand and key tourism products?

3. Create a plan
Tourism destinations should develop a mitigation plan to navigate the economic slowdown, using the key guidelines listed above.

4. Emphasize the value of the experience
Tourism destinations should emphasize the value of the experience, rather than just the cost, to attract customers who are looking for unique and memorable experiences.

How destinations can make their marketing more cost-effective for times of an economic turbulence?

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1. Word-of-moth marketing
Encourage satisfied visitors to share their content on social media, leave positive reviews on key platforms and invite their friends to come over.

2. Public relations
Utilize public relations tactics such as press releases, media pitches, and media events to generate media coverage for the destination, at a minimal cost.

3. Direct marketing
Use direct marketing channels (email, IM, text messages) to reach out to past visitors and invite them to stay over for an additional visit.

4. Content marketing
Create and share high-quality content such as social media posts, videos, and blog articles to attract and engage potential visitors to the destination.

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Key takeaways for NTBs & DMOs to design a tourism strategy for economic slowdown


 Develop a strategic plan


 Adapt products and offering


Adapt your marketing strategy


Focus on value and satisfaction


Keep your stakeholders engaged

Learn how to navigate the economic challenges with Eran Ketter's (PhD)
tourism keynote presentation on
strategies for economic uncertainty

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Eran Ketter (PhD) is a professional and engaging travel & tourism keynote speaker, speaking in leading tourism events in over 30 countries, sharing critical knowledge and practical insights as a highly-experienced tourism advisor, trainer and researcher, and from his professional experience working with the European Travel Commission (with Mindhaus), UN’s World Tourism Organization, Atout France, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Korea Tourism Organization, and other world-class tourism organizations.

Looking for the perfect tourism keynote? Just fill out your email at the "find the perfect keynote" box below, or email us at:

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