Are You Ready to Bounce Forward?

Partnership to support recovery

Big Red Group values your partnership and understands its role in supporting and growing your business as we collectively navigate our way beyond Covid-19. We want to ensure your business is best prepared to not just bounce back, but instead bounce forward as restrictions ease and Australia and New Zealand’s economic recovery begins. We continue to establish new opportunities, industry partnerships and channels to market to expand your reach, with some exciting initiatives to be announced in the weeks ahead, in line with our bounce forward strategy.


1. Connect with your Channel Manager

One of the biggest learnings from 2020 when Australia came out of lockdown was that people wanted to book with confidence. They wanted to know that they had something confirmed to look forward to, or to do NOW.

Live bookings (placed through a Channel Manager) will help reduce your administration as you won’t need to manually confirm every booking that we send you, or manage date changes.

Here’s how to connect your channel manager to Big Red Group:

Rezdylearn how to share your rates with us

FareHarbor – to connect, email support@fareharbor.com and copy in supplypartners@thebigredgroup.com.au mentioning you’d like to connect

ResPax Suppliers – to connect, email support@respax.com and copy in supplypartners@thebigredgroup.com.au mentioning you’d like to connect

Booking Boss Suppliers – to connect, email support@bookingboss.com and copy in supplypartners@thebigredgroup.com.au mentioning you’d like to connect


2. Is it time to increase your prices? Discounting is not the answer

We learned in 2020 that the moment lockdowns end and/or borders reopen, demand returns and customers begin to book. People will be excited to travel and engage in experiences, so now is the time to reassess your operating expenses, and add in any increased costs.

Review your cost of doing business, and price yourself accordingly.

Consider:

  • Fixed costs – have they gone up?
  • Your cost base is increasing, but for how long?
  • Will social distancing affect per-seat yield?
  • Using higher rates now to dilute lower net rates from pre-COVID vouchers/bookings I.e., existing vouchers may have been sold at pre-Covid rates, so new higher rates can assist in diluting your yield per customer

3. Maintain a healthy and hygienic Covid-safe environment

Covid safe protocols are mandatory and a primary consideration for customer choice.

Ensure you continue to monitor and maintain State health requirements, and publicly promote a Covid safe, hygienic environment to appease customer and employee concerns.

  • Prepare and anticipate emerging health and hygiene trends
  • Look to EU for inspiration in your specific industry
  • Anticipate that rapid antigen tests, COVID health records and more may accompany or even replace double vaccine requirements
  • Consider offering free sick leave to staff (and tell customers that you do so)
  • Covid-safe policy is a minimum, you cannot overdo safety – perception of over preparedness helps to convert some customers

4. Are your product listings up to date?

Have you made any changes to operating hours, days of operation, inclusions, minimum or maximum numbers since listing with us?

Head to redballoon.com.au and adrenaline.com.au to see what consumers see for your experiences and ensure listings are up to date.

To make changes – log into your SupplierHub account and make any required updates. If you are unsure how to do this, we have tips here to help.

If you also work with Adrenaline, your changes will be automatically transferred across (or you can email supplypartners@thebigredgroup.com.au).


5. Put your best foot forward

We can’t stress this enough. You want to put your best foot forward, so please ensure you have supplied us with high quality, captivating images which will appeal to prospective customers. See how to update your images on RedBalloon here.

Alternatively, send a clearly marked image library through to supplypartners@thebigredgroup.com.au and we can update on your behalf.

If you also work with Adrenaline, your changes will be automatically transferred across (or you can email supplypartners@thebigredgroup.com.au).

Our minimum requirements:

  • Minimum 5 photographs per experience
  • Landscape orientation only (no square or portrait)
  • Image needs to be .jpg, no RAW files · Approximately 3000 x 2000 pixels, usually 2MB-5MB – high resolution
  • Photographs must be free of text, watermarks or logos
  • Photographs need to be clear, in focus, with good lighting
  • Photographs must be authentic – no stock photographs allowed

Tips for photography:

  • If the experience involves food/drinks, ideally provide photos of the food customers will be served
  • If the experience occurs in beautiful surrounds, it’s a good idea to provide scenic images
  • Photos of customers enjoying the experience, learning from their guide, instructor, etc., will enable future customers to imagine themselves doing the experience
  • When selecting images, please keep in mind that RedBalloon and Adrenaline wishes to show diversity, experiences are for everyone, regardless of ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or gender

6. Cancellations

Customers want to see great cancellation terms upfront – it’s one of the first considerations a customer has before they book.
A customer-friendly policy (i.e., 24 or 48hrs) is proven to increase conversion rates and sales of your product.


7. Boost resources to cover upcoming demand

The first bounce forward caught everyone by surprise, as the talent pool of returning staff to the industry was not in line with expectations. Don’t wait until you need staff, start looking now. Offer contract roles, based on borders reopening, and start to train new staff so that you’re ready to welcome all the customers that come your way.

For tips on recruitment strategies and trends:


8. Ramp up your social media presence

The sharing of travel experiences across social media is surging. In a 2020 Youth Insight survey, 80% of young travellers said they would use social media to plan their next domestic trip. Millennials and Gen Z travellers are far more likely to use social media than they are a travel agent.

How can you leverage this?

While partnering with domestic focused partners such as Big Red Group boosts your online presence, we encourage you to share authentic stories about guest experiences on the social media platforms your customers use. And expect guests to capture and share their experience in ways you’ve never even considered.

With more than 450,000 social media followers, tens of millions of video views, and hundreds of millions of social media impressions made over the last 12 months, a fast way for you to boost your online following is to engage with ours.

Share your content with us so that we can engage with your business, and make sure you’re following us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn

  • @redballoon – #redballoon #enrichingexperiences
  • @adrenaline – #adrenaline #adrenalinecrew
  • @bigredgroup – #bigredgroup

9. Sustainability is our collective responsibility

Focus on sustainability continues, with increased demand for environmentally and socially responsible practices, and a collective responsibility for our planet’s future. The world’s recovery, and specifically that of Travel & Tourism, needs to be both sustainable and inclusive.

We encourage you to:

  • Consider sustainability in recovery initiatives
  • Keep sustainability at the core of all future planning
  • Capitalise on consumer demand for sustainable offerings, and seek to modify or create new experiences in line with this
  • Keep us updated with your sustainability, eco-tourism and/or inclusivity policies and practices so we can amplify across your listings

10. Don’t Forget Domestic Travel

As borders reopen, and interstate and international travel becomes a reality, don’t forget your domestic market. Australians are well known for their wanderlust; it’s part of our national identity. In fact, Australian’s thirst for travel has grown rapidly over the last decade, with over 90 percent of total trips remaining domestic.

Add to that, when international borders do reopen, much uncertainty will remain, with consumer confidence for overseas travel expected to remain low until 2024 and beyond. In the short term, it is predicted to be the Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market that travels internationally.

In a recent World Tourism and Travel Council industry report, it highlighted the pandemic has shifted travellers’ focus to domestic trips or nature and outdoor destinations. Travel will largely be “kickstarted by the less risk averse travellers and early adopters, from adventure travellers and backpackers to surfers and mountain climbers. In the end, the return of tourism will likely hinge on what will be a deeply personal decision for many people as they weigh the risk of falling ill against the necessity of travel.”


We look forward to supporting you in your bounce forward, please reach out to your Account Manager if we can assist you in any way.