We have created this page as a hub for advice, resources and updates regarding the impact of COVID-19 on tour operators.
We know this is a difficult time for the industry and understand that you may have questions and concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19.
We wanted to let you know that we are here to help and it’s not a losing battle – there are many ways you can adapt and fight back.
- How to Design, Launch and Sell Online Tours & Experiences Webinar – Join Kelsey Tonner and Ingo Albrecht from Be a Better Guide & Online Tourism Academy on May 5, at 11am PST, for a practical guide to creating and selling online products and services.
- Skift IDEA Awards – Promote your ideas for the tour sector to move forward, and celebrate those of other industry players in regards to innovation, design, and guest experiences. Winners will be announced in September.
- Workshop + Q&A: How to Take Your Experiences Online – Learn how to set up a virtual tour from scratch, which aspects are likely to make it successful, and more with Junket (a virtual tour software provider).
Not to Be Missed:
- Tour Operator Roundtable I & II – Delve into some of today’s crucial questions: how to access capital, how to adapt tours or activities, how to best communicate with customers, and more. Find the recording of Part I above and of Part II here.
- ‘The CARES Act Explained’ Webinar, Pt. I & II – Make sense of the options on offer through the CARES Act, with Mike Lousteau, General Counsel for ServiceTitan. Find the recording to Part I above and to Part II here. Plus, access all the helpful links mentioned on these presentation slides. [U.S.-based operators only]
- ‘Planning for Recovery: Essential Marketing Advice’ Webinar – Listen as the co-founders of Wildebeest discuss how to market your business in these extreme circumstances, prepare your operations for recovery, and more.
Access to Capital
- Apply for a PPP Loan with Peek & Womply – If you have not yet applied for a PPP loan, we strongly recommend that you immediately apply for a loan via our Womply application page. You should also apply through Womply if you have applied through your bank and they have not yet submitted your application to the SBA — Womply’s lenders move fast and have already been able to help businesses rejected or ignored by their bank get approved. If you do this, you should ensure you’re notified before either lender submits your application, or withdraw your application with your bank, to avoid applying for multiple loans. [US operators only]
- Update on SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans –
- The EIDL program is currently 20x over-subscribed and has received over 3 million requests totaling $400bn.
- If you have applied for an EIDL, you should expect at least 10-14 additional days of processing time as the SBA deals with this demand.
- Allocation per business is being reduced and the EIDL Grant Advance will be based on a formula of $1,000 per employee.
- If you’ve applied for an EIDL, you should wait to hear updates from the SBA via email.
- EU Leaders Approve Half-Trillion Bailout Package – EU leaders agreed on Thursday, April 23, to draw up plans for a recovery fund worth 540 billion euros ($580 billion), set to be available by June 1. Details such as how it will be distributed have yet to be determined.
- Hourly Job Alternative: Become a Driver & Deliver with DoorDash – With furloughs becoming the norm across industries, help staff, friends, or family find flexible, convenient earnings opportunities through Peek’s initiative with DoorDash. DoorDash is currently looking for drivers across hundreds of cities – get started now here.
Not to Be Missed:
- Google’s $800M+ Aid to Support Small Businesses and Crisis Response – Read Google’s announcement to provide aid to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Its commitment includes a $200M investment fund to help provide small businesses with access to capital, $340M in Google Ad credits for SMBs, and more.
- $100M in Cash Grants and Ad Credits from Facebook – Browse the aid Facebook is providing for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. Apply here.
Access more information on the latest loans, financial aid, and similar relief opportunities available in our Guide to Accessing and Protecting Capital here.
- Peek’s Account Tuneup Checklist – To help you make the most of this slow period, we’ve compiled a checklist of key business-optimizing actions you can take to help you prepare for the future.
- The Role Destination Marketing Can Play in the Recovery of Events – Learn strategic ways Destination Marketing Organizations can adapt for recovery in today’s rapidly changing landscape.
- Beginner’s Guide to Successful Facebook Ads – Discover three important considerations for creating an effective Facebook ad campaign in Social Media Examiner’s recent article.
- Financial Strategies for Operators During Economic Uncertainty – Gain insights on the best business tactics to employ during a downturn in Adventure Travel Trade Association’s free brief-style report.
Not to Be Missed:
- How 4 Event Brands Tackled Covid-19 Crisis Communications – Learn four key strategies for responding to a crisis, gleaned from examining event companies with particularly effective communications to attendees and stakeholders.
- 13 Ways Businesses Can Use SEO & Marketing to Combat Coronavirus Impact – Check off the Search Engine Journal’s SEO & Marketing tasks to do now for a faster recovery.
- Facebook’s COVID-19 Guide for Businesses – Read Facebook’s tips on communicating with your customers when it comes to important announcements, measures you’re taking, and maintaining engagement.
- ‘Why Companies Turn to Digital Marketing to Survive COVID-19’ – Read why Forbes says an effective digital marketing strategy is the “deciding factor” in whether companies will make it through the tough times ahead and get a free digital audit of your website from 9068 Creative here.
Advice from Industry Veterans
- Industry Experts Offering One-on-One, Free Consulting Help – Leading tour industry players have come together through Tourmaggeddon to volunteer free consulting sessions for others in our industry. Set up a session with the link above.
Not to Be Missed:
- Wildebeest’s Essential Marketing Advice for Tour & Activity Operators – Read about the actionable steps operators can take to mitigate the damage caused by today’s COVID crisis and prepare for the industry’s eventual recovery.
- Navigating a Crisis: Arival’s 5-Step Action Plan for Tour Operators – Read the industry giant’s advice on minimizing unnecessary expenses, creating a cash flow forecast, diversifying current and future revenue-generating activities, and more.
- ‘5 Things Tour Operators Should Be Doing Right Now’ Webinar – Watch Josh Oakes, co-founder of The Sunshine Tribe, delve into the critical strategies every tour operator should be embracing to push forward.
- ‘Attracting Tourists After Troubled Times’ Blog – Regroup and prepare your business for when the dust settles and bookings ramp up with the tips and insights from Stephanie Fiero of Tourism Tiger in this guest blog.
Examples of Operators Adapting
Not to Be Missed:
- Virtual Food and Drink Experiences – Our recent favorites: The Table Less Traveled’s live cooking classes with featured chefs and home cooks via Zoom; Boutique events company EETTAFEL’s online cooking and wine classes, featuring conversations with a life coach; Avital’s Remote Culinary Teambuilding, Virtual Chefinars, and Virtual Mixologist classes.
- Virtual Yoga Classes – Sup Yo, which usually offers paddleboard yoga classes, hiking excursions, and retreats, is engaging customers with online yoga classes. Namaste in Nature has adapted similarly, switching up its former mediation and yoga hikes with online meditation and yoga classes on YouTube.
- Online Escape Room Experience – trap’t Escape Room Adventures has created an at-home puzzle hunt to bring the escape room experience right to customers’ living rooms.
- Other Adapted Activities – Browse a wide range of adapted activities across the industry, including everything from virtual tours to “Shelter-in Style” kits to “Food Tours in a Box.
- Collaborations with Community Foundations – Check out how our partner ‘Your Biker Gang’ has teamed up with the Austin Community Foundation to help raise the funds needed to protect local businesses feeling the effects of the virus.
- Adapted Refund Policies – Keep track of how the industry is adapting their refund policies in response to COVID-19 with this travel company refund tracker.
Stay Updated and Connected
- What Would a Timeline for Travel’s Reopening Look Like? – Read why the return to tourism (starting with domestic travel) will likely begin toward the end of June/beginning of July for some destinations around the world.
- Reopening America: A State-By-State Breakdown of Coronavirus Restrictions – US governors have taken vastly different tactics in developing plans to reopen businesses in their states and remove social-distancing restrictions. Stay updated on changing policies here.
- What Do Post-Coronavirus Events Look Like? – Explore what events will look like after lockdowns have been lifted. In this article, Event discusses the key questions: “Which conditions are needed for events to happen?”, “What type of events will happen?”, and “What will those events look like?”
Not to Be Missed:
- #Tourismstrong – Check out the new site tour operators have created to join with others in the industry, share free resources, and provide inspiration for one another.
- Tourmageddon: A COVID-19 Resource and Advice Hub – Find more resources, top tips, recovery plans, and more, edited by industry experts, Alex Bainbridge (Autoura / DestinationCTO), Peter Syme and Chris Torres. Sign up to receive email updates or follow them on Twitter @TourmageddonH.
Appeal to Your Local Community
Not to Be Missed:
- ‘Driving Community Support’ Blog – Learn tips on how to help your community best support your business. We’ve also included email templates and social media posts in this blog to help you get these campaigns up and running, without having to start from scratch.
- 11 Ways Your Community Can Help Travel Companies – See examples of how your community can help businesses like yours in this article by Linsey Stevens from Travel Awaits.
Once again, we are here to help. If you have any questions just reply to this email or give us a call on +1 (415) 361-5564, our Partner Support team is here to help 24/7.
The Team at Peek