How to Plan for the Unknown

We are all facing extraordinary uncertainty about our marketplace. How can we plan around it?
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As the coronavirus outbreak continues to expand across the globe, it can be frustrating and confusing to try to assess when travel restrictions will be eased, and travelers will start booking. Anyone looking to the news to understand when this will end can find an equal mix of positive and not-so-positive articles.

All of us in tours, activities and attractions face extraordinary unknowns: when will the outbreak be contained? And when will travel restrictions be lifted? When will the global economy resume at full strength?

We can’t predict what the future will be, but we can plan for different possible futures. One of the most insightful Arival Online sessions, Lukas Hempel’s workshop on Pricing and Marketing in a Downturn, walks through two scenarios for European tourism based on key global trends: pessimistic and optimistic. In this short set of slides, he walks us through both. 

In a nutshell, there are three phases:
  1. Lockdown (which we are all in now). This period of near-zero travel demand could last from 7 weeks to 4 months.
  2. Fade-in. Things come back slowly as governments ease back restrictions, with limitations. Expect demand at approximately 30% of pre-crisis levels for 3 to 9 months.
  3. Rebound. This could take 1 to 3 years with demand at 85% of pre-crisis levels. How long this takes will depend upon the impact of the lockdown on the global economy and the government’s willingness to provide economic stimulus. 

All of us in tours, activities, and attractions have had our lives and livelihoods turned upside down by the current coronavirus crises. We can’t see into the future, but we can certainly plan for possible futures. Download Lukas’ slides here to get started. 

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