I can understand every golf club & resort around the world who are doing their best to mitigate and/or recover from the coronavirus caused damages and losses.
See what happened to the tourism industry in the Middle East in the first 5 months of this year:
The very same UNWTO study found in May that tourism declined (YTD) by 58% in Europe and 60% in Asia & the Pacific.
The artificial intelligence modeling of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) predicts the possibility of a rise in cases over the winter.
Similar to the Portuguese initiative (Turismo de Portugal created a “Clean and Safe” stamp) DCT Abu Dhabi has recently introduced The Go Safe certification program (among the other initiatives) to fight against coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) has also introduced the latest forms of technology to assist the UAE’s population every step of the way, ensuring help and support is not only provided to all of its citizens but is also available at all times.
In addition to their meticulous domestic strategy, the UAE has been able to offer humanitarian support in the global fight, donating equipment and hospital beds to over 50 countries in need.
Abu Dhabi’s three championship venues, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, and Yas Links Abu Dhabi have all aligned with government guidelines to implement many health and safety measures to protect employees, members and guests visiting the clubs.
The additional measures include:
- thermal scans at the entrance to each facility,
- stringent social distancing measures,
- dividers to separate golfers in each cart,
- a reduction in the maximum capacity of all food and beverage outlets, and
- many other protocols to ensure the clubs are able to welcome players back safely.
Similar measures you will find also at The Els Club Dubai (managed by Troon International).
During the summer months, the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, and Yas Links Abu Dhabi have been looking to reset as they enter the low season and prepare for a strong end to the year when international travel is expected to resume in a regulated capacity.
Abu Dhabi Golf Club continues its plans to host the 16th Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in January 2021 and following this year’s success the Troon Abu Dhabi Pro-Am will also return for 2021.
Reimagining the golf tourism industry
This is an excellent moment to reimagining the golf tourism industry. I share with you some technology solutions from the global tourism industry that golf resorts and clubs could utilize not just because of the coronavirus threat:
- Recognition technology – it will help you to make purchases and interactions seamless and improve your NPS & CX too. The technology itself includes fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, retina scanning, and various other biometric identifiers. These are really useful not just during the coronavirus crisis.
- Contactless solutions: check-in and out, bag drop, digital room keys, voice search, etc. See UNWTO recommendations.
- Tee time marketplace (B2C) & channel manager platforms (B2B). By using channel manager platforms (e.g. Zest.Golf) you will be able to connect effectively more golf travel agencies, golf societies, PGA Pros, etc.
- Virtual Reality (VR) – it can help you to showcase your golf club’s amenities (e.g. restaurant, pro-shop, hotel rooms, etc.) and motivate golf tourists to book a golf holiday in your club.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) – I am sure you are already familiar with chatbots and other real-time messaging apps that are utilizing AI. They can help you catch as much website visitor data, leads, and contact information as possible. This can lead to more effective sales and marketing activities and campaigns.
- Big Data – this is for many golf clubs and resorts an untapped opportunity to grow. Don’t try to save on a business analyst position. The ROI is enormous. The obvious output of such a position is no more guessing and assumptions!