8 LESSONS WE LEARNED THIS YEAR
One of the most recent corporate slogans on the social pages of Gray Line I Love Rome – our brand for experiences and activities in Rome, states ‘Experiences that Inspire‘ and I couldn’t agree more. Especially when you consider the work done with passion and dedication by the whole team.
I am thinking of the tour guides and leaders, the face of our company for guests on tour every day. To the Sales Team abroad, representing Carrani during the months of absence from international trade fairs. To the Product department, who worked tirelessly to design the best travel experiences, guaranteeing the highest standards during the pandemic. To the Booking team, the bridge between our experiences and the end customer. To the Administration, which kept the whole group solid in compliance with national procedures. To the International Sales department in Rome, always looking for any updates, competitors and new trends.
For Carrani, 2021 has definitely been a year of Digital Transformation. Here below are the 8 most important lessons that we learned this year.
Curious to know more about our past year?
Let’s travel back in time, together!
LESSON 1 – BE THERE, ALWAYS
The pandemic has brought about a change in the way we used to organise our working lives: think of the role that Zoom, Meet or Microsoft Teams have played in keeping us in contact. Our office lives have taken advantage of digital tools ranging from Whatsapp, e-mail and Trello boards, to the Cloud.
Many international travel events have been held virtually, reducing the possibilities of meeting our international clientele face-to-face.
This has taught us that, when meeting in person is not an option, the essential message to convey is Closeness. More than 270 clients were reached by our team in one calendar year, of which over 70% are South American partners!
We participated in more than 10 international events, 4 of which we attended in person: TTG Rimini, ILTM North America, WTM London and ILTM Cannes. We were delighted to meet new customers and long-standing partners to present Carrani’s incredible offer and can’t wait to meet you at 2022’s exclusive virtual event held by us, Hola Carrani!
LESSON 2 – TEAM MEANS SHARING
Good corporate communication should always be the basis of any business and we have capitalised on this in 2021. We have involved the whole team in defining and improving our digital identity through many activities that have shown, once again, how unity equals strength (and makes a difference).
The summer of 2020 formed the basis for the setting up of new distance learning methods, and in 2021 we made these practices part of our daily routine, organising over 20 webinars involving more than 500 people around the world. Together we talked about the 2021-22-23 season and shared best practices from over 20 months of remote working. Our sales representatives organized training courses for all our partner travel agents and tour operators, reaching over 2500 people!
LESSON 3 – COMMUNICATING WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD
Yes, it is true. We say that information reaches every corner of the earth in a matter of seconds. Yet these months of pandemics, perhaps more than ever, have taught us that it’s not always easy to untangle the jungle of information on the web.
So we’ve rolled up our sleeves and thought about how we could make our corporate communications complete and consistent. We updated the FAQ section of our website and held webinars during which we discussed the restrictions in place, how they might affect the business and bookings.
We committed to improving the style of our newsletters and we sent out over 70 marketing communications, communicating operational changes, updates on international travel, guidance on Green Pass and personal protective equipment concerning our products!
LESSON 4 – RENEW, GROW AND UPDATE
If you know us well enough, you will also know that our offer counts over 100 experiences, different in terms of duration, budget, destination and vibe. There is nothing we can’t organise or manage for our clients, but this is nothing new. 2021 has taught us to study the market, its trends and the competition even more carefully. To take advantage of every piece of data available to plan, manage and renew one of the largest, most popular and best-selling offers in Italy.
The product launched last year is a reaction to this period and is called Italian Renaissance, taking any trip to Italy to a different level, with an itinerary through the cities of art and the last word on travel to the guest, who can choose the high-speed train, rental car or their driver.
We then enriched our experiences in Rome with new itineraries: from walking tours in Rome’s most beautiful neighbourhoods, like Trastevere, the Jewish Ghetto or the Velabro, to an evening tour with ice cream included, a tour dedicated to the Ghosts and Mysteries of Rome or the Colosseum for kids. In 2021 alone 20 new experiences were born, also sold in combination with our Pink Hop on Hop off Bus to save more!
LESSON 5 – CREATING CONTENT THAT INSPIRES
The figures speak for themselves: people want to travel, more than ever before, and to charm our guests and convince them to spend their holidays in Italy with Carrani Tours, we have defined an engaging digital strategy and set the tone of the articles we published on the blog, website and social media.
We live-streamed more than 70 virtual tours for free from all main attractions in Italy, with our #livefromitaly and #dreamfromhome live series. We visited the very best Made in Italy experiences, attractions and accommodations to show our partners and guests, generating over 30,000 minutes of live content. With almost 2 million impressions, our social media pages thrived and allowed us to collaborate with travel influencers and guest stars to share the very authentic Italian experience with the world! Our viral posts let you feel the sun over the Colosseum or the artist vibe inside the Vatican Museums. We took you with us to visit Rome from a different perspective, onboard our Hop on Hop off buses and advertised many more attractions via our social pages.
Always hunting and testing new channels to reach our global audience around the world, we joined several online initiatives to support our industry, such as the Tourist Guide Day, which supported more than 100 tour guides from Italy and their mission: sharing the art, culture and experience … the Italian way!
LESSON 6 – CONQUERING NEW HORIZONS
We have never stopped, but we believe that no one but the market itself could possibly show us that better than any words.
Our experiences portfolio welcomed new Italian-language departures, stimulating a market that was historically less familiar with travelling within their own borders. This generated new and important partnerships with attractions and sent us to the 23rd edition of the Borsa Mediterranea del Turismo Archeologico in Capaccio di Paestum, where our Managing Director and Product Manager, Letizia, experienced first-hand some of the most interesting travel trends in Italy for the coming season. Our work generated unprecedented curiosity and to win over 70 new clients!
LESSON 7 – ALWAYS KEEP THE FAMILY TOGETHER
We definitely want to celebrate you, as according to 2021 statistics, you represent an outstanding 96% of the organic audience that reacts to what we share with you every day. You repay us for all the quality and commitment we put in.
Thank you! Without you, it would never be the same, but this lesson has always held a special place in our hearts.
LESSON 8 – PUTTING YOUR FACE TO IT AND HAVING FUN DOING WHAT YOU LOVE
Saw our beautiful Christmas selfies on the company’s festive wall? Familiarized with our Brand Ambassador, Davide Bello, on the ground to show you the best experiences in Rome? Great! So you know how we love to put ourselves to the test every day for our Bel Paese, its cuisine, colours, traditions and art. That is why it is one of the most popular destinations in the world!
Follow our Executive Sales, Claudia, on a Spanish-language tour dedicated to the beautiful Naples, recently immortalised in Paolo Sorrentino‘s film, È stata la mano di Dio. Stroll around Florence with Marise Nakagawa and our Global Sales Manager & Social Media Strategist, Zena. Join a cooking lesson with our General Manager, Chiara, or find out all about religious itineraries with Kika!
Follow Zena’s itinerary in Sicily for all Italian lovers abroad, or know more about the exquisite Apulian cuisine, with our guide Roberto, to unveil the secrets of the best orecchiette in Bari!
We know how important it is to give a face, a name and a voice to everything we build with hard work and commitment; but the one lesson we have learned from digital transformation is that you can do it, having fun, experimenting and learning.
Italy regained its place of world relevance and was chosen as “Country of 2021” by the Economist this year, but it will forever remain in our memory as one of the most intense and critical years in our long history. For every time we went beyond adversity, that we solved a problem or removed the barriers of physical distance, getting closer to partners and customers, this same year will also be remembered as our year. And we wish to dedicate this to our big, colourful and beautiful family.
If you don’t yet, follow us on our social profiles, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or Youtube to experience the Italian magic!
BREAKING NEWS! The exclusive virtual event for the B2B world – Hola Carrani! – will open its doors to the public, from January 19th to 27th: make sure to select your spot to have a chat with us. Click here to schedule your call!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Micol is a content creator with a passion for hospitality. She writes about the best experiences in Rome. Her daily mission is making sure that Gray Line – I Love Rome tours and experiences are perfectly uploaded onto our website to offer our guests all over the world a hassle-free experience when booking and enjoying one of our top-rated tours. Born and raised in Rome, she lives in Marino (near Rome) in the beautiful, green and tasty area of Castelli Romani. Her passion is connecting the English-speaking readers to the Gray Line – I Love Rome world!