Numbers alone do not bring back trust in the travel industry. This was lamented by Arturo Ortiz Arduan of the Spanish embassy in Berlin at the virtual We Love Travel! event. Spain had suffered considerably from this loss of trust. Among other things, Ortiz said the “game“ that had been played with absolute and relative numbers to define high-risk areas was responsible for this. Thus, Spain’s relatively sparsely populated islands, where in absolute terms infections were low albeit proportionally high, were defined as high-risk, while at the same time major cities such as Berlin with a much higher incidence were supposedly safe. By contrast, only 0.7 per cent of air travellers arriving from Spain at Frankfurt Airport between mid-July and mid-September were registered as infected.
Christian Tänzler from the Berlin-based marketing agency Visit Berlin also said that the numbers needed to be put in the right context. The agency’s activities now not only targeted prospective foreign visitors, but also people from Berlin. It was necessary to harmonise communications in both directions in order to ensure tourism in Berlin was safe in again in the future. In these times of the coronavirus cooperating with partners such as Deutsche Bahn was also particularly important.
Cynthia Paynter from Accor Hotels said her group had established its own sophisticated safety protocol which was sent to customers prior to their departure and which the detailed the steps for a safe journey. The participants agreed that the main thing was clear messaging that “people could believe“ and to dispense with deceptive marketing if one wanted to regain people’s trust.