Covid has had a significant impact on tourism and hospitality throughout the world. Businesses have had to change and adapt how they operate but thanks to online booking engines and the power of well-used social media the industry can recover and thrive.
Most of our members are small businesses that have been operating for years and have always done everything themselves. Just a few years ago, many didn’t have Facebook pages or even websites and keeping up with all the various changes has proved to be a challenge. An essential part of what we do here at KTA is to offer help and support to members, and it became clear that there were a number of areas in which we could help.
One of the first things we did was compile a list of all the questions that members were asking us, and we used this to create some simple “How To” sheets that members could access.
These are regularly updated and include topics such as how to update your KTA website entry, how to create outstanding graphics for social media and how to use email marketing. Whilst members found these very useful; there were often very specific questions or those who wanted to delve deeper into the subject.
We started to work with several local experts to provide short workshops for members. The most popular subjects that we covered were retaining customers, stop your reliance on Online Travel Agents (OTAs) for bookings, and start using social media to market your business. In addition to these, we started offering 1-2-1 digital drop-in sessions so members could come in and get help with particular problems or tasks.
Whilst we haven’t held any face-to-face workshops or digital drop-ins over the past 12 months, from 21st June we will again be offering learning and development opportunities to our members.
It isn’t just a case of coming along once, and you know it all. Things change over time, so it’s essential we do everything we can to keep our members up to date and, wherever possible, ahead of the game.
Providing an ongoing learning and development programme also ensures that I keep myself up to date and have recently completed a CIM Level 4 Digital Marketing qualification with nesma. I am looking forward to using what I learned to better support members with their own development goals”.
Periods of disruption always bring new opportunities. It is clear from Vanessa’s observations that every business has to innovate and embrace new digital technologies to enhance its communications and customer experience.
Today’s world needs professionals with new skills in every industry and this will always be the case.