group of people doing white water rafting activity on wild river with waterfall

Saving tourism in unprecedented and challenging times

In these testing times we find ourselves and our loved ones in situations we would likely never have considered. Many of us in the rafting industry are under increasing pressure with not just personal situations but tourist operations and employees affected by lockdowns and vast swathes of people cancelling their holidays and travel plans. It’s times like these that we need to come together as the #RaftingFamily and continue to support the rafting and tourism communities.

Many adventure tourism businesses are looking at bleak seasons ahead, if you have or had plans to travel and take part in tourist activities, or own a tourism business here’s a list of some ideas to consider:

  • Instead of cancelling your trips, can you change your dates?
  • Can you get or give a credit note to use at a future date?
  • Use this time to: invest in your future business development, create stronger contingency plans and strengthen crisis communication.
  • Delve deeply into all aspects of your business and be totally up to date on your full financial situation, what your obligations are and what all your options are.
  • Cut costs, save where you can. If absolutely necessary – look into borrowing.
  • Look into out-the-box ideas to generate income, even if some of them will only bring the cash in when business starts up again (like making something that will sell well once business gets going again).
  • Offer specials for the future with no-costs for changing dates.
  • Explore new places to market – you may be able to get some adverts for better prices.
  • Consider getting advice from people qualified in financial/legal/ business who know your industry.
  • If you had planned to travel during this time: use this time to look into some great travel locations and start planning, there are likely to be some good deals going when borders start opening and flights are reinstated.
  • Consider Doing Good in the Time of COVID-19 – this will give you and your employees a sense of purpose, and will have the added benefit of promoting who you are and what you normally do.

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and Flywire have prepared a report called Financial Strategies and Tactics for Adventure Travel Businesses During Economic Uncertainty which lays out ways businesses can respond to the current financial challenge so they can prepare to get back to doing what they love the most when demand returns. This new report is for adventure travel businesses of all shapes and sizes, operating on all continents and regions, and it is their hope that it will provide valuable insights and guidance on concrete business and financial steps to take to overcome hurdles during a downturn.

When asked what message he’d like to share with the Tourism businesses and industry members at this time of need, Shannon Stowell, CEO of the ATTA said “This is a challenging time, and we hope you will persevere through it. Our encouragement, empathy, and support are with you. Let’s use this time to re-emerge and make tourism a better, more sustainable industry than it was before”

#SaveTourism #MakeChanges #DontCancel #StayHome #StaySafe #RaftingFromHome #EcoRafting #RaftersAreAwesome #StrongerTogether #oneloveoneriver #RiverFamily #WeAreIRF