Things have been difficult for Travcom members and the wider travel industry over the past few months. Covid 19 has changed the goalposts.

In New Zealand there are signs that the Travel industry is starting to recover with the ending of lockdown, and many operators have shifted their focus to domestic travel and everything that Aotearoa has to offer.

Both the industry and travel writers, bloggers and photographers have had to pivot.

At a recent Travcom event in Auckland, Kristine Horne, Communications and Partnerships Manager for The Travel Corporation explained how the business had changed its focus to domestic travel and offering travellers unique experiences not found with other operators.

She shared the story of Newlands Hazelnut Farm which faced challenges when new owners Kerry and Pete had to carry out their first harvest with nobody to help during lockdown.

They are now embracing tourism as an additional revenue stream and hope that by bringing Trafalgar clients to the farm this summer that New Zealanders will be more invested in buying locally produced nut products and also by increasing awareness of the hazelnut farming processes.

Here are some tips for keeping ahead of the pack in these interesting times.

1. Housekeeping

Now is a great time to find out how clients may view you and how clients find you. Google yourself, make sure you use an Incognito window, this way you are seeing what other people see when they search your name.

Your search results may surprise you, what do you see? LinkedIn has very good searchability and often appears high in search results, make sure your profile is updated and if necessary include a photo.

How can clients see examples of your work? Do you have social media profiles on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, or do you have your work available on content hubs like Contently?

Make it easy for clients to find you and  examples of your work.

If you are a photographer get your files in order in case clients come calling for images they can’t get hold of in the current environment.

2. Re-purpose your existing content

Consider the work you’ve already completed, can you re-purpose it and use it elsewhere? Consider translating your work into a different language, sites like freelancer.com provide plenty of people willing to translate articles for a small fee. This could give you a new market for your work.

Also look at your back catalogue, what have you written about in the past that can be rewritten or re-angled? Think about how you can tweak existing content and make it appeal to a different market.

Reach out to existing clients and see if they need help, offer your services, it may add to your portfolio and result in work further down the line.

Think beyond the New Zealand Herald, Stuff and magazines, many corporate publications may have budget for content. Approach travel industry players who may be rethinking their strategy and including blog posts and content on their websites.

3.  Upskill

Many Travcom members have been taking this opportunity to upskill, think of an area you want to improve, look for courses to help you achieve your goal.

The Southern Institute of Technolgy offers fee-free courses, orhead to Youtube if you want help in specific areas.

www.Edx.org is another online platform that offers a variety of courses. Or even just use this time to become familiar with a social platform, experiment with Instagram stories, or Facebook groups, or read up on how you can use these to boost your profile.

Don't forget to connect with other member in our Facebook group and share your top tips for navigating in Covid-19 times.

- Tracey Bond, Travcom President

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