This year has been a wild ride and let’s face it, we are still on the rollercoaster.
In a year that has caused such grief and uncertainty for the travel industry, it’s easy to get caught up in the devastation of travel restrictions, domestic and international border closings, and the general disarray caused by COVID-19. In the last 6 months we’ve witnessed, and many of us have been impacted by, the loss of businesses and, more importantly, the heartbreaking loss of talent who’ve helped shaped those businesses, and the industry in general, for decades.
But just like a rollercoaster – for every dip, there is a lift to take you to new elevation.
When our director, Kylee Kay, sought to relaunch our company last year as Linkd Tourism, she aspired to one central vision for the business: To connect international Tourism Boards, Hotels, Attractions, and Travel Suppliers with the Australian and New Zealand market. And despite border closures and restrictions making travel connections almost impossible in 2020, the team at Linkd Tourism have held steadfast to that goal during a time when connections may feel all but broken.
So on behalf of the team at Linkd Tourism, we wanted to take a mindful moment to express our gratitude to those companies who have remained connected to the Australian and New Zealand travel market through these tough times. A moment to address that even though the world of travel may currently feel like it’s a rollercoaster stuck mid-way through its journey, there are a team of engineers hard at work to ensure that the journey will continue – bigger and better than ever before – once COVID is no longer a term we hear daily.
For our partner Port of Seattle we’re delighted to introduce a newly released training course and agent incentive in conjunction with CLIA, we’ve recorded a new webinar on cruise and stay options in Seattle and Washington State and we’ve been keeping up relationships with trade partners and media to ensure that when travel resumes, cruising to Alaska remains high on travellers’ bucket lists.
Colorado Tourism Office saw great success at the start of the year through their participation at the Visit USA Australia and New Zealand events – including feature presentations in Sydney, the Gold Coast and Christchurch. Since then, we have been keeping the trade and media up-to-date with regular email communications covering the glorious Scenic Byways, extensive Colo-Road Trip itineraries, inspirational videos and even a Colorado Calm playlist on Spotify. We are continually supplying ongoing training in the form of regular webinars and training materials understanding that our trade partners may well be utilising this time to focus on learning and refreshing on destinations and we’re very excited to have our first travel writer return to Colorado for a famil later this month!
Then there’s our new partners who’ve seen the opportunity that a smaller, more focused, market can bring. In July, we welcomed Oklahoma Tourism to the Linkd family and set about introducing the State through virtual sales calls to Trade partners eager to start planning their post-COVID sales and marketing strategies. We’ve also enjoyed sharing some of the state’s inspiring stories with media and consumers, from the prevalent Native American culture to Route 66 roadside oddities, filming locations and recipes for Oklahoma’s famous fried pies.
As we travel the 10,000kms across the globe to Japan, we say “Konichiwa” to a number of Prefectures – keen to show their support of the Australian and New Zealand market through ongoing sales calls, eDMs, and training webinars to help educate on the diverse experiences waiting to be experienced once travel has resumed. For Ishikawa Prefecture, we helped the destination build a new tour product with a distributor who had previously never sold Japan tours, provided a comprehensive analysis of the region’s presence across over 120 suppliers within the market and introduced the authentic Japanese charm and culture of the year-round destination to Australian media. And for neighbouring Gifu Prefecture, we helped the destination engage with over 2,500 travel agents and media contacts, sharing their inspiring and idyllic “Gifu on Film” short-film series.
And finally, we remain dedicated to supporting our longstanding partnerships with Alamo Rent-A-Car and the Enterprise group globally during a devastating period in global car rental, to our dear friends at EagleRider Motorcycles whose international business has been annihilated and to Aqua-Aston Hospitality who are suffering unprecedented times in Hawaii and who we pray that recovery will come quickly for. Though stood down for some as they take time to ensure the ongoing successes of their business beyond 2020, we remain available to help however we can and look forward to those continued partnerships when this ship has sailed.
But our gratitude extends well beyond our international partners. We also wanted to take a moment to say a huge thank you to all our in-market trade partners, agents (or consultants as they will now be known), media, and partner Tourism Boards for their continued support and collaboration. It’s been inspiring to see the resilience, creativity and comradery that so many have shown in the face of uncertainty and we feel privileged to continue to work with you each and every day.
So whilst we continue on this rollercoaster of a year that is 2020, we remain grateful to you all for your ongoing support and investment. As we continue to connect the Australian and New Zealand market with your messaging, support and investment, we remain mindful that we will travel again, albeit differently, and that our consumers – as well as ourselves – eagerly await the day when we can visit you again and share a Tim-Tam or L&P, together.
The team at Linkd Tourism