No industry has suffered more devastation because of the coronavirus than the hospitality and tourism industry. Airlines are descending into bankruptcy, resorts are mothballed, and hotel rooms remain empty. As summer begins to open, tourism essentially remains closed. Notices of summer event cancellations and layoffs of hotel staff are a regular occurrence in the daily drumbeat of the news.
In the fight to stay open and remain relevant during the pandemic, the hospitality industry is getting a little creative.
Look no further than Las Vegas, Nevada, for an example of the creative lengths the industry is experimenting with in order to jumpstart the economy of tourism. For example, some resorts and casinos are offering FREE FLIGHTS just to get people there. Others are enticing tourists with incredibly cheap hotel rooms and resort stays.
A recent Forbes article summed up the desperate situation best when the author wrote, “The hope is that travelers will return to the tourism-dependent city, which has been hard-hit by closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Strip’s largest casino properties were each losing nearly $700,000 a day—on gaming alone—during the closure. According to another report, the Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts was losing $14.4 million daily while its 18 casinos were shut down.”
The tourist-magnet island of Sicily is luring people to its shores by paying 50% of the flight fare for each traveler and offering a free night stay for every three nights on the island. The “one free night for every three” is paid for by the island government’s department of tourism.
Additionally, Sicily’s government is waiving all entrance fees for museums and archeological sites.
It’s estimated that the Sicilian government is investing €50 million to help keep tourism going through this marketing scheme.
Clearly, these types of marketing moves are moves of desperation. Yet, desperate times call for desperate measures. Hopefully, more of us can play our part by finding ways to support the hospitality and tourism industry while they struggle to remain afloat.