JERUSALEM, April 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on the international tourism sector, a sector that accounts for 10% of the global economy. Of course, most of the jobs in tourism cannot be performed remotely. Because of this, the COVID-19 crisis shut down almost all of WishTrip's client destinations with virtually no warning and no time for planning last month. So WishTrip, a SaaS-based tourism experience management platform, that helps destinations access SMART tourism tools, immediately began thinking of ways to support their clients through this exceptionally difficult period.
The WishTrip customer success team went to work thinking of new and revolutionary ways to help destinations stay connected with their visitors and potential visitors, generate income during shutdown and plan for the future. What resulted was what the company is calling "virtual tourism", something that would have been dismissed three months ago but is now being embraced by destinations and patrons alike.
In order to help businesses that normally depend on tourists to continue to stay open and generate revenue, WishTrip helped clients rebrand their WishTrip sites as shopping portals. Banners were created to greet visitors and specifically appeal to those who wanted to help small businesses in a time of crisis. Through the client's WishTrip site, visitors can place delivery orders at local restaurants, see the work of local artisans and connect to them to make purchases online.
In order to help parks and similar destinations stay connected to their visitors, WishTrip edited the content of the destinations' site to encourage visitors to take 'digital tours' and promote booking now for future visits. In addition to these direct benefits to the parks and tourist sites, digital tours also provide learning opportunities for students who are not in school and will be missing spring field trips.
One of the first customers to take advantage was Menashe Regional Council, a tourism board that serves a mostly rural but demographically diverse population on Israel's Coastal Plain. In recent years the Council has been making great efforts to increase local tourism and revenue to small businesses to this previously under-appreciated area but COVID-19 presented a huge set-back. But Menashe embraced the challenge and was determined not to let the businesses that depend on them down. Michal Abramov of Menashe Regional Council said, "It happened so fast that we were in shock. We didn't know how to move forward. We knew people in our region would be losing their income and jobs and we felt we had a responsibility to help them. WishTrip enabled us to use tools we already had to do this quickly and cost-effectively. Of course, this won't replace what has been lost but it sends a clear signal that we are NOT closed for business and helps us recover some revenue."
Moshe Lifshitz, Director of WishTrip Customer Success, WishTrip commented, "Before now, our job in the Customer Success Department was pretty straight forward. Clients purchased WishTrip, we set up their WishTrip site, taught them how to use the software and checked in with them regularly. However, COVID-19 created a new challenge for our department. If we want our customers to be successful during this difficult time, we have to support them and give them solutions that make sense for the current reality."
WishTrip is a SaaS-based tourism experience management platform that enables tourist destinations to play a more active role in shaping visitors' travel experiences. WishTrip helps destinations learn more about their visitors, personalize their experiences and improve their online reputations. For visitors, WishTrip is a smartphone application that helps travelers seamlessly navigate customer sites, find information and record their memories.
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