Q: “Our company conducts Chicago-based walking and bus tours. We are concerned that even when we are able to resume business, customers may not be comfortable riding with us. How are similar companies handling this challenge?”
May 15, 2020
Answered by Kevin Corrigan
As you know, for the time being, bus and walking tours companies are not considered “essential businesses” and, therefore cannot currently operate. These restrictions are subject to change. The best advice we can give you is to be prepared for when you can resume operation and/or, if feasible, offer “virtual tours” as some companies have begun doing. You are right though that there will still be some fear and hesitation on the part of customers to sign up for tours, even after restrictions are lifted. We would suggest that you begin to plan for when your operations can resume. For example, you may want to tell potential customers on your site that when you do resume operations you will do the following (these are just suggestions):
- Incorporate driver education awareness training for cleanliness procedures and preventative hygiene practices
- Hand sanitizer station in the front of the coach for passengers to use when boarding and exiting the coach
- Complete disinfectant cleaning of the coach prior to each new trip
- Spot cleaning of high-touched surfaces with disinfectant
- Limiting capacity to respect social distancing and create a more relaxing environment
- Distribute PPE, like face coverings.
You might also want to get ahead of curve by sending a letter to your customers, or posting on your website, putting forth your reopening plan. That way, customers that may want to book a tour a month or two from now can do so with comfort. Attached is a link to the American Bus Association website that serves motor coach operators, tour operators, tourism-related organizations and is providing Covid-related advice and resources.