Quarantine: What Do the Italian Travel Industry Members Do to Keep Up?
Some countermeasures adopted by the Italian travel industry to overcome the quarantine in the best way to improve knowledge and strength cooperation
By Massimo Terracina
Entering the third quarantine week, with the measures to prevent it enhanced since a couple of days, which states the total closure of all the activities non essentials (food, newspaper, pharmacy, hospital), Italy faces the strongest lock out in the country history, since World war II.
It is not a secret the loss of jobs, in tourism industry, a fact that will show up in all its roughness when this will be over and that, now, we just start to glimpse.
So how does the market reacts? We spoke with some parts to get an accurate detailed picture of the countermeasures adopted.
From the travel agents side, many petitions have been addressed to a government from many parts. The ministry is considered unfit to lead the path through the crisis and not able to take effective measures, considered insufficient from all the organizations involved.
"We have gone through a total cancellation of all the trips - said the majority of travel agents - and we do not see any recovering sign on sight. We are not confident on the reprise as soon as this nightmare will end, and we are between the mallet and the anvil: airlines are not reimbursing the ticket price already paid, customers want money back, tour operator are giving us vouchers to reimburse the advance payments received and we do not know what to do."
Tough situation. Of course we should consider also all the incoming tourism business, frozen by law, with no one arriving, at last until April 2, but we have the awful feeling that it won’t be over by then.
So how is the market reacting? Fantasy and creativity are the answers.
And under this angle, not all of it is so dark.
The National Museums started to spread out the virtual tours, to engage people, and keep them busy and studying the next moves; tour operators followed enhancing the “online” training programs in a considerable way.
"We are creating a lot of online seminar, webinar, training courses – said Bruno Normanno Tour 2000 CCO, an Italian tour operator whose strength is South America - to get the agent busy, our personnel utilized and to rise the level of knowledge of the various products we propose, waiting for the full reprise. I think (but many tour operators do) an excellent way to improve the professionalism of our travel agents partner and the relationship between us».
And it is the same thing we notice on the cleverest destination reps.
"If you cannot visit the destination we represent and promote on the market, then let us show you what is it all about - said Massimo Loquenzi, Master Consulting - Every day we present a summary on a destination based on film location, typical food, TV serie a book. It is like this that our partner can keep up and learn more and more about Philadelphia, San Francisco, West Hollywood but also Mammoth Lakes, Chicago, Oakland, Dallas, Pittsburgh. So when we’ll be once again on the right track they’ll know better what to propose to their customer».
And, anyway, the bottom line is #stayhome!