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Covid-19, the challenges and the road ahead

March 30, 2020

These are unprecedented times, and while we know we all concerned about our businesses, more important than anything else is that we all come through this safely.

What can we say about the impact on Tourism and Travel?

The team here at Glance have spent almost three decades ‘delivering’ visitors to our clients throughout Ireland (we set up in 1992 to do so). We have seen and have worked to mitigate the impact on our clients from two gulf wars, the SARS outbreak, the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the outbreak of Foot & Mouth, and a Great Recession.

However, the coronavirus, which is already having a devastating impact on travel and tourism, sets up the greatest challenge of all, but we are determined to work through this too.

With the Covid-19 pandemic striking with force across the globe, it’s correct that we all stay safe and play our part in the national and global effort to contain its spread, while a cure or a defence against the disease is being pursued.


What is the current position with our services?

How quickly something that resembles normality returns is not certain. What we do know is as soon as tourism and travel resume, we will be ready to do what we do best, to help deliver business to you. For now:-

  • With attractions, hotels, and other brochure display outlets currently closed, our brochure display service is temporarily suspended. It is almost certain that it will remain suspended for April, but we are ready to immediately resume services as soon as it is appropriate to do so. Note: We will be speaking with each client about whether they wish us to either issue credit for suspended services; extend the service length, or extend their service coverage.
  • Our Daily Adventure guides are in stock. Our plan is to vastly intensify their distribution once tourism activities resume. We believe the domestic market will be the first to bounce back and, therefore, our plans include widening our distribution to additional outlets to reach more visitors and also stimulate domestic business.
  • Our GuideMaps are in stock, but their circulation is temporarily suspended. We will move these out rapidly once tourism activities resume.


What are we planning now and once tourism and travel resume?

We will resume all our existing services (above), intensifying distribution and broadening our reach, as soon as it is appropriate. We know we are a frontline service, communicating NOT with ‘intending’ visitors, but with overseas and domestic visitors who are already here in Ireland and looking for things to do. We fully expect visitor numbers to be down, but the nature of our services means we are best positioned to reach and influence visitors already here to visit and buy from you.

We are contemplating some new ‘bounce-back’ activities and, once we see the likely resumption date for travel, we will be in contact with each and every client.

We are monitoring the impact of the coronavirus around the world – the bad news and the beginnings of some green shoots. We are the only Ireland member of Visitor International (the International Association of Visitor Information Providers), and we are sharing information and ideas between us to both inform our clients and to help with their recovery.

We have a new website at Glance.ie. Our blog there will give Covid-19 updates, and also provide some advice. We will build the blog content weekly. We won’t sugar-coat the information, and much of it won’t make happy reading. However, facts are facts and it will position us all to better understand what we need to do to re-build business. We will, of course, be suggesting business-winning ideas and highlighting opportunities too.

Over the next few weeks, we will be drawing up some suggestions and ideas that might help and influence your planning for the remainder of 2020 and beyond. It may also spark ideas. We will communicate these ideas via a newsletter rather than by email, so please read it when it arrives and feel free to share it.

Covid-19 won’t just impact 2020; it will have a major impact on tourism and travel for the next few years. We are all witnessing a paradigm shift that will affect visitor numbers and profiles, transport, travel patterns and preferences, and individual behaviours. We don’t know how it will all pan out for Ireland – but we do know we will always be the frontline – influencing and guiding visitors who are already here to client businesses.


What are YOUR plans?

We are getting considerable feedback from our clients, and there are differing views.

Some businesses are thinking retrenchment is the best option, and others believe the only way to survive is by seeking out every bit of potential business they can.

The truth is every business is different, as are their circumstances. Our view is that we all have no choice, at the moment, but to hunker down for a short while. We should use this time to review our businesses and plan for short and longer-term recovery. As tourism resumes, you will have communication and spending choices. We believe you should try and keep your business profile as high as you can afford to, as it will win you some business. If you cut back too much you might not be best positioned to capitalise on any post-crisis recovery (out of sight is out of mind) and this may happen quicker than we think.

We do think you should save money by avoiding purely speculative advertising, and watch out for emerging and suspect promotional propositions that are too good to be true (because they are). See our blog warning about this – a link to our blog is below.

There will be some pent-up demand, so try and tap into it – and that’s a focus of our business. We ONLY fish where the fish are (communicating with the visitors that are already here). It’s our big point of difference.


Finally – some optimism

Perspective is good.  The greatest global effort in history is now underway to first control and then eradicate this pandemic. This will happen in some form.

We also know that, when the time is right, billions will be spent by governments, tourism agencies, airlines, and the travel trade to stimulate travel and recovery.

While we expect challenging times ahead, some countries are already beginning to open up cautiously. China’s attractions, which had closed during February, are reopening, albeit under new protocols.

We will be playing our part and will work with every client to help businesses recover.

Please stay safe and well, and stay positive.

View our Blog – For Tourism and Coronavirus News, Views, Advice and Updates

We track what’s happening around the world and are regularly updating our blog to bring you updates – from the bad news to the green shoots; from the threats to the opportunities. Look in regularly over the months ahead, for non-sugar-coated perspectives.






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