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9 Ways to Shape Your Future

December 3, 2020

Fast forward 10 years—it’s now 2030, and the students on your current group tours are adults. Let’s just imagine what we’ll be saying as we look back on 2020.

How would you complete this sentence: “Back in 2020 I accomplished ____________ .” Right now, you have the power to position yourself for the future and to influence how you finish this sentence.

While we all remember other game-changers in our industry and the legacies they’ve left on our industry, let’s think about what legacy you’ll be creating for your business. Here’s a blueprint to consider as we move into the “next normal.”

Game Changing 9/11

After surviving 9/11, as an industry we put in place tighter security measures and better ways to understand travelers.

After surviving COVID-19, here are some tighter security measures you can put in place when it comes to your social presence.

1. Take advantage of all the tools to strengthen your online security.

a. Check out the Facebook option to add “Trusted Contacts”. This will help you if you get locked out of your account.

2. Change your passwords frequently.

a. Use a tool to help you remember. Here are some options.

Understanding travelers was a key component in the new measures after 9/11. Now it’s a valuable time to understand more about your own social fans and clients. Think how much this will help as you position yourself in a recovery mode.

You’ll be able to:

1. Understand your fan sentiment and know when to switch from aspirational posts to actionable posts that drive new business

a. Study your analytics to understand which posts earn the most reactions.
b. Do some homework and browse the social posts of your suppliers to understand what’s working (and not working) for them. Adapt your messaging by ‘going to school’ on them.
c. Go behind the scenes to get a glimpse of your fan interests and sentiment.

2. Adjust your offerings to showcase destinations and styles of travel that meet the ‘next normal’ needs of your fans. Shake things up with these shifts:

a. Consider switching the style of touring you offer.
b. Contemplate new destinations or student-worthy attractions.
i. Network with your suppliers and colleagues.
ii. Now’s a great time to polish off industry certifications to help you in the future.
iii. Adjust your social ad audiences to reflect your new niche. Understand your current ad audiences.

Hoof & Mouth Legacy

Remember when we had to walk across that antiseptic mat as we deplaned in 2001? That unfortunate time in travel taught us to ask more questions. A legacy from 2001 still exists as we have to answer the immigration question about visiting a farm.

Asking the right questions is what we need to do now to better understand our social fans.

1. Survey your clients & group leaders about their travel aspirations

2. Go live on your favorite social site. Prep like a pro with these tips.

a. For example, you may want to ask viewers to reveal their opinions on where they’d like to travel next, what style of travel appeals to them, what they’re most excited to experience when the time is right.
b. Physical distance and go live with a guest. Yes, you can.

As we’re catapulted into this new ‘next normal’ era, we need to focus on what we can do right now to influence our future and the future of our industry.

Embrace the inconvenient luxury of time by writing your future success story now!

Catherine HeegWritten by Catherine Heeg, an international speaker and trainer who focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Join the conversation and connect with her at and socially.