This portion of our Coronavirus Hub will be for the helpful news stories from around the world we produce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What We Can Learn From The SARS Outbreak
Coronavirus or COVID-19 shares many similarities with the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Like coronavirus, SARS also originated and spread across the Asia-Pacific region, causing chaos and turmoil wherever it was encountered. In 2003 it caused a massive disruption to tourism and hospitality in the region, not dissimilar to what we’re seeing today.
The virus was contained after 4 months, but it took 18 months for the region to stabilise, and that includes the hospitality industry. Although it took less than a year for that to bounce back. Even after this, pockets of SARS would pop up again here and there. But when it did it was met with swift and effective resistance.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 was not contained as quickly as SARS and authorities (and governments) all over the world have been criticised for not acting swiftly or decisively enough. This means the timescales above are no longer comparable on a global scale, but they could be when applied to individual regions.
Some locations may be affected differently or more heavily than others. But the first signs of recovery are appearing in China where the virus originated. Countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia were also quick to act and have seen less of an impact than other nations.
What Does This Mean For Businesses?
For businesses such as hoteliers and restaurant owners, how soon life returns to normal will be directly tied to wherever you’re based and how hard your region has been hit. By this time many businesses in the hospitality sector will have implemented their contingency plans, but our advice is to prepare for the future rather than wallowing in the present.
As we’ve said before on this blog, in time, life will return to normal. From a business point of view, it’s just as vital to be ready for that as it is to take precautions now. Use this time to take stock and re-evaluate your budgets, plans and marketing strategies. Train staff while times are quiet and gear your marketing around anticipation of normality.
We know from SARS that these viruses do not last forever, and your customers will be missing their favourite hotels and restaurants. Tap into this and remember scarcity creates value. Keep your social media channels active, showing people what they are missing. When normality returns, your customers will indeed be champing at the bit to spend money. Plant the seeds for this now.
We will continue to bring you more news stories regarding the COVID-19 as up to date information appears. Therefore, we encourage our followers to check back periodically.
Virtual Solutions Global are also providing a Temporary Marketing Support service to help businesses in need. Learn more and get in touch here https://virtual-solutions.co.uk/temporary-marketing-support/