Dr David Beirman, University of Technology Sydney Dr David Beirman, University of Technology Sydney

Trade on ‘life support’

Finding new services to offer and products to sell, focusing on cashflow, and being ready to take opportunities as they arise were highlighted as key tactics to survive the current crisis during an international travel and tourism webinar this week.

Dr David Beirman, senior lecturer tourism, UTS (University of Technology Sydney) was the first guest in the Keeping the Dream Alive – Tourism Expert Recovery series that started this week. His presentation focused on Survival, Revival and Resilience to Covid-19.

‘Travel agents have always had a fall back position when there has been a crisis. If they can’t sell destination A then they can sell destination B. This is different – right now they cant sell any destination at all,’ says Beirman.’Most of them are now working on life support to a certain extent.’

He says agents could look for alternatives to offer in their business set. ‘Consider running a parallel business, that could be a good survival tactic. Diversfying into something not directly travel related can allow you to keep staff and survive until travel comes back.

‘Can you run a multiple business – real estate, a restaurant or café, sell books? Perhaps offer your expertise on a certain destination or a type of travel and toruism. Is this an opportunity to teach or to publish on-line guides? These are options for some people.’

He says a number of strategies have been well documented – like maintaining good relationships with all stakeholders. ‘There has been a huge amount of government support and tourism has been a benificiary of that. Understand what your business is entitled to and access that support.’

The series is being presented by World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH) and is moderated by Ged Brown, CEO of Low Season Travellers.

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