As countries start to ease their lockdowns and allow some form of international travel, a new kind of problem is emerging. Each country, and sometimes each region within it, has in place different systems to regulate what can or cannot be done. These systems have become very familiar to locals and most of us don’t even think about them before leaving our homes.
For travelers navigating unfamiliar and constantly changing restrictions, this can be an issue, especially since policies could change while they are in the country and without them being aware of it. For the struggling travel industry, this is a challenge that is unlikely to disappear soon and needs to be addressed in a sustainable manner.
An awareness issue
Part of the problem is that although companies can inform travelers of the restrictions before departure, some countries have so many detailed, localized, restrictions that it is unlikely the information will be retained. This will inevitably lead to confusion on the travelers’ side and a rejection of tourism by the local community that sees visitors not respecting restrictions.
This combination can be disastrous for an industry that is already on the brink of collapse and finding a way to keep travelers well-informed is key to the sector’s recovery. Since countries are unlikely to agree to a uniform set of restrictions, the key to solving the problem is making information as easy as possible to access.
Some companies may already think they are doing this by sending recaps of local regulations with their tickets, but recent news stories clearly prove that this is insufficient.
Creating a better solution
To find a solution the best place to start is a device that people use constantly during their travels: mobile phones. Making information easy to access via this device will go a long way to ensure it is seen and understood by travelers.
The next step is to consider what people use the most on their mobile phones. Here the data is clear, mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp or WeChat are the winners. They have message open rates in the 90% range and are checked constantly by most users.
Mobile messaging apps are also the perfect home for a new kind of technological solution: chatbots. Well-designed chatbots can not only send notifications and updates but also hold conversations and answer questions. These features are extremely useful because conversations are the easiest and most natural way for people to obtain information, and they make access easier.
To learn more about how chatbots can help the travel industry recover, get in touch with our team using the contact link below.