The recent terrorist attacks in Tunisia are unarguably awful, words cannot describe the impact it has, and will have on the communities and families involved.
Even though we’re over 1,000 miles away in another country it is affecting us all in some way. Almost half the tourists in Tunisia at the time have left , and thousands more are desperately trying to change their summer plans following the aftermath.
The Foreign Office have issued a terror threat map with many popular tourist destinations being put on high alert, including France, Spain, Australia, India, Thailand, Egypt and Turkey.
Recent polls  have shown that around 54% of people do not feel that the risk has increased, yet 46% say that they’re scared to leave their own country. It’s this 46% that could have a serious impact on the UK tourism industry.
Obviously this is a topic on everyone’s minds, so if you run a travel or tour operator company it is important to get in touch with your current (and potential) clients and keep them informed. Do this in as many different ways as you can, and we’d suggest putting a prominent message on your website.
Obviously certain areas of each destination country have a higher level of threat than others, so speak to the Foreign Office and visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and ensure that your holidays are in the lower risk areas. Again it’s very important that you relay this information to your clients using your website, email newsletters, and social media marketing.
Reassure your audience that you have looked in to this in detail and they are likely to be safe; do as much research and provide as much detail as you possibly can to put their minds at rest. If possible qualify your statements with references, maps and official documentation (or a link to the FCO website). Put all of it on a web page(s) on your travel website, and ensure it is referenced to in all of your online marketing.
Ironically the UK itself is on high alert, and so it’s possible that a foreign holiday destination could be less of a threat than somewhere local.
Even with this there will still be people who are weary, or unwilling to go on holiday at all. This is unfortunately likely to result in fewer enquiries. So now would be a time to really push your marketing campaign.
If you have tours to safer parts of the world, then promote these as safer alternatives for the more cautious traveller. You could even try and utilise the inevitable search traffic for people looking for 'alternative holidays to Tunisia' with a few blog posts on suggestions - with links to your tours of course!
Rather than ignoring the terror attacks and using your usual marketing techniques, perhaps now is the time to carefully bring them to everyone’s attention and demonstrate the level of planning that goes in to your holidays. Show how your destinations have been carefully selected to be as low risk as possible, and this reassurance alone could be enough to separate you from your competitors.
Rather than sitting back and hoping for the best, now is the time to be communicating as much as you can on social media, sending out regular email newsletters, writing blog articles, updating your website and starting pay per click campaigns.
Be open, honest and communicate as much as you can and you shouldn’t feel much of an impact.
We recognise that every tour operator or travel agent is different and have a range of destinations so will be affected in different ways . Therefore if you’d like some advice on travel website design and online marketing that’s specifically tailored to your business, then please do not hesitate in getting in touch with us; it’s what we do best.
We are Webbed Feet UK, we are experts in website design for the travel industry.