COVID-19 To Do List for Entrepreneurs in Tourism

Many tourism companies in Suriname and worldwide are now facing their ultimate challenge: how to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic, while there is a stop for foreign tourists on flying and entering countries?

A second challenge for tourism organizations in Suriname is how to adopt to the new normal after COVID-19? Will businesses have to resume operation with only 50% of the capacity?

This page looks into these two questions.

To Do List

Believe it or not, there are still many things you can do to get clients. Even to get new clients today, during the pandemic.

And it is much more than only making sure people can do social distancing and wearing face masks all the time!

The central theme is: continuous improvement of services.

Below you find a list of things to do, that really do not ask more of you than your time:

  1. Call up your past 100 clients and ask them for feedback: what will make them revisit your company?
  2. Contact friends and family and ask them to be a test visitor and have them give feedback to you on your service and facilities
  3. Write or update your business plan, marketing plan, sales plan and service delivery plan.
  4. Build or update your english company website (not a Facebook page) and make sure it is a professional website. Put photos on it.
  5. Learn about SEO and improve the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of your website. Rule of thumb: less than 1000 unique per day means you have some work to do.
  6. Think of new services you can offer. For instance you can offer: buy a reduced offer now and come later! Learn on the internet what trends are in tourism. For example: Walking Trails. Read the vision on tourism for Suriname.
  7. Improve your client response: how do you welcome clients or spend to them, when they call you or send an email?
  8. Integrate health and safe measures like social distancing, desinfecting, face maks and wearing protective equipment in a smart way in your business.
  9. Train your staff. Now is the time do it.
  10. Become compliant to regulations.
  11. If you have facilities or equipment: repair them and paint them. Now is the time to do it.

Your Tourist Experience Concept and Service Design

Tourism is about having people enjoy their time at one or more locations. It is providing experience services to people.

It can be education related, pleasure related, medical related and business related.

To make sure your visitors look back satisfied at visiting your companies and receiving your services, you should design an experience concept for your tourists and implement it. You must think of how you keep them busy and enjoying themselves.

But that is not a one-time activity. It is a continuous activity. Every week you must be busy with it. One of the reaons is that needs and requirements of people change rapidly and people can be grouped into generations that really have different and sometimes opposing needs and requirements.

Yes, Tourist Experience Design, Service Design and a Customer Journey Map require knowledge. But then again a lot of that you can gain yourself by searching for that on the internet, there are many free resources, or you can ask one of the consultants mentioned below.

And if Tourist Experience Concept Design is what makes your company profitable, then it should not be a problem that you have put effort in it.

Elements of a Tourist Experience Concept are how well you integrate surrounding touristic attractions into your attractions.

Or maybe together with other small touristic organization develop a shared attractions.

Also when visualizing a tourism experience concept, you often directly see functions, like education, information, shop, restaurant, waiting, you can improve.

It is very sensible to develop a 4 hours, 1 day, 2 day and 3 day activity program and to link an estimated spending of tourists to that in relation to a provided level of service.

Many tourism companies started to make more money after drawing a Customer Journey Map of the current situation, improving it and implementing it.

If you want to know more about Tourism Experience Concept Design, Service Design or the Customer Journey Map, please contact the people below on the page.

Make use of Students to Innovate

An often overlooked option is making use of students to innovate your company.

Many students are full of new ideas, are motivated and want to work hard and many hour.

For their studies they need to do projects and get working experiences. So why not have them at your company?

If you want to make use of students for your company, please contact the ADEK university directly or contact any of the consultants below.

New Ideas for Tourism

Here are a few ideas for tourism innovation and initiatives:

Include Hospitality and Catering in your Tourism Concept

If you are a hotel, restaurant, taxi or shop, you should see yourself as only a function (a part) of a tourism organization.

If you are a tourism organization you should always consider to provide a hospitality, transport, shopping and catering function to your guests. This means to also have a hotel, taxi, restaurant, cafe or bar as part of your organization.

For many tourism, hospitality, transport, shopping and catering organizations there is an enormous opportunity of extending their business with these functions.

Amazon Bootmap

Why not consider to offer an Amazon Bootcamp to Americans? Two weeks of walking through the jungle without TV, McDonalds and a shower.

Amazon Meeting Lounge

Many people from the Middle East like a lot of luxury. Why not offer them a meeting lounge in Marrakesh hotel style?

Amazon Meeting Center

Board members of big companies always have an annual meeting. Why not invite them to have an annual meeting at your place?

Amazon Eco and Health Resort

Have you ever been to the Van Hattem weg in Suriname?

Every property there could be turned into an Eco Health resort. A European tourist, like form Finland, would not have to leave the property for 2 weeks. So much fruits, vegetables, meat and fish there is. After two weeks they will be a reborn human being.

Amazon Cruise

Get into contact with organizations that can bring cruise ships with lots of tourists to Suriname and organize an unforgettable Amazon Cruise for them.

Paramaribo Airport

There is a huge unused opportunity for every tourism organization to present itself in and around the airport to incoming and leaving tourists.

And also on your website you can indicate that tourist can visits your business in or around the airport.

For Suriname as a country, developing the airport as a transit hub with many shopping and leisure activities, should be a priority project.

The Local Tourist

Not only foreigners from far away, but everyone in Surinamese, French Guyana, Guyana and Brazil can be your guest.

So a entrepreneur you have to think of what it takes to have these people come to visit your company.

Sustainable Sports Tourism

Suriname has hundreds of sustainable sporting tourism opportunities that are not yet realized.

Think of any sport, like swimming, canoeing, hiking, car racing, motorcycle racing, carting, flying, soccer, volley bal, boxing.

For all these sport, facilities, tournaments can be organized, and foreign professional teams can be invited to have a training camp in Suriname.

Collaborate. Share Knowledge and Information

In this time of the pandemic it all comes down to helping out each other.

For entrepreneurs this means to identify the risk that could affect the existance or continuity of your company.

Once you have identified these risks, try to find other entrepreneurs that can help you out with that. Maybe you have something they need or could use.

If you do not have the knowledge how to identify risks for your company, you can always contact consultants or business associations in Suriname.

Some of these organizations and people are:

Organizations

  • KKF - www.surinamechamber.com
  • SVB
  • SBF
  • Asfa
  • VEAPS
  • Shata - www.shata.sr

Consultants

  • Smart Consultancy, Ruud Souverein
  • Martin Panday
  • Swami Girdhari
  • Monique Lew
  • Pierre van Zichem

Links and More Business Info

Here is more business information for Surinamese Entrepreneurs

Here is a link on Tourist Experience Design

Here is a scientific article on Service Design

Here is a link on a Customer Journey of a Medical Tourist

Feedback

Do you have additional ideas for this page? Or do you want to be mentioned on it as organization or consultant to help Tourism entrepreneurs?

Please contact Monique Lew in Paramaribo.