Travel SOS: How can I support local tourism now?

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How can you help tourism during a lockdown? Believe it or not, there are still ways you can support travel, and its starts with your local businesses. 

Q. Jean
I read your comments about not giving up on travel, but it seems we have no choice. How am I supposed to support travel while I’m locked inside my house? I was hoping to go overseas early next year but I don’t think that’s possible. But I’d like to help all those unfortunates who’ve lost jobs and the people who might lose their business. But I don’t know what I can do.

A. Put bluntly, it’s been a sh#t of a year for travel, particularly in Australia.

Bushfires meant that parts of the country usually so reliant on tourism missed out on the summer rush. For many, the summer is what sees them through the year.

For those who were lucky enough to come out of the bushfires physically unscathed, financially, they still suffered and now will quite honestly be standing on the precipice ready to tumble.

Yes, it’s been that kind of 2020. Bring on the new year!

Still, with COVID-19 all around us, restaurants and bars closed, stores shuttered and those staying at home potentially facing a stage four lockdown, there are still a few ways you might be able to help out your local tourism industry, such as these I came across in a great article from Australian Traveller.

The first and most obvious way to help is to buy gift cards. Call or visit the websites of your favourite restaurants, cafés, theatres, bars or shops and buy a gift voucher; coffee card; coffee, beer or wine subscription; or other subscription for use later on. Buy them for your friends instead of physical gifts. Look at it as an investment in your favourite businesses’ future.

Right now, you can still order takeaway or delivery dishes from your favourite food spots. Many have implemented quarantine-friendly delivery options, such as ‘contact-free delivery’  – leaving food on your doorstep, so you don’t have to have any contact with people. Some are ordering pre-packaged meals for you to heat up yourself. Not only will you get your old faves, but by ordering takeaway you’ll also be keeping some hospitality staff in jobs, too.

Many of your local small businesses will have online stores or at least some way of selling their products on aggregator sites. If you need to buy online, try to buy local.

You can also help businesses in other ways, such as giving them positive reviews on review sites or by word of mouth.

If you buy from a bricks and mortar store, pay with your card and limit the staff’s exposure to potentially harmful germs and bacteria.

Many gyms and exercise classes have created online training streams. You’ll even find your local yoga studio is conducting classes via Zoom, Google Hangouts or some other live streaming service.

Most of all, what better way to spend time than by planning your next holiday? You can really help the travel sector by planning ahead. Research your destination, plan your holiday, wait for the green light and go!

How are you helping tourism and your local businesses right now?

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Here’s why we shouldn’t be totally giving up on travel

The World Travel and Tourism Council has written an open letter to governments calling for support

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



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