How Does Your Next Normal Look? 9 ways to Shape Your Future NOW! | TravelResearchOnline


How Does Your Next Normal Look? 9 ways to Shape Your Future NOW!


Fast forward 10 years… It’s now 2030. 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 blue-print to consider as we move into the ‘next normal’.


Game changing 9/11

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

After surviving COVID-19 here’s 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 on-line security.
    1. 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.
    1. Use a tool to help you remember. Here’s 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.
    1. Study your analytics to understand which posts earn the most reactions.
    2. 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.
    3. 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:
    1. Consider switching the style of touring or cruising you offer
    2. Contemplate a new niche market
      1. Now’s a great time to polish off industry certifications to help you in the future
      2. Adjust your social ad audiences to reflect your new niche


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 about their travel aspirations.
  2. Go live on your favorite social site. Prep like a pro with these tips.
    1. 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.


Conquering COVID-19

Since we’re imaging this is 2030, and we’re looking back with experienced eyes, how will you complete your story of actions and reactions? As we all know, there is life after COVID-19 and you have the chance to write history. Right Now!

Here’s some things you may want to see on your list of accomplishments in 2030 as you look back on 2020.

  1. Get creative with content NOW! In the era of quarantine, don’t disappear! Stay active with these tips
    1. Get creative with your messaging and graphics. Grab some free graphics here and feel free to use them.
    2. Create short slideshows and videos to inspire fans to dream.
    3. Do a live broadcast and showcase bucket-list travel experiences. This will give people the ‘mental vacation’ they need now. Expand your reach with these killer ideas and tips on the gear you’ll want…. even if you’re on a shoestring budget.
  2. During the ‘Great Pause,’ it’s a great time to expand your content library so that in the future, as business ramps up, you’ll be able to drip out content to spark new bookings.
    1. Create a series of blog posts. Is it really worth your time? Find out here.
    2. Write a series of articles for local news outlets.
    3. Appear on local TV stations as the travel expert.
    4. Shoot a video series and ramp up your visibility when you:
      1. Reveal insider travel secrets
      2. Host a Q&A
      3. Chat with each of your top suppliers


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 Heeg, International speaker & trainer, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Connect with her at and socially.

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