Digital disruption has impacted the tourism industry with accommodation booking websites, the rise of businesses like Airbnb, and airlines providing their own holiday packages.
It’s a space in the tourism industry – whether it be operators or travel agents – had to engage.
To not interact with that space would limit the potential revenue, even though it would a reduced amount.
Back in February, this approach would have been accepted and have little impact on the businesses thanks to high occupancy rates and the like.
Coronavirus has changed our behaviours in a way we’ve never before experienced.
Handshakes are gone, dancing is banned, and doctors’ waiting rooms are no longer full of people with colds and cases of flu – those people are now found at designated respiratory clinics.
Another significant change was the end of interstate and international visitors to Tasmania. Tasmanians have also stopped leaving.
This means our hospitality industries are reliant on a local market. Therefore every dollar matters.
The state government will launch on September 6 the website that will allow travel vouchers for Tasmanians to support these businesses.
Because every dollar will go a long way, Tasmanians are urged to book direct with these local businesses. Our behaviours must change so that every dollar possible is staying in our state.
During this uncertain time, we should bypass the mass booking sites and instead call or email the hotels, or chat to a local travel agent to have them help book.
Down the track when we have discovered a new normal, which involves borders open, interstate and international tourists returning and the threat of severe health impacts from the coronavirus diminished, we can go back, if we choose, to booking online. But hopefully a positive from this pandemic will be a change behaviours and an appreciation, and in turn support, for local jobs.