Statistics show that every long-term relationship involves at least one crisis. Yes, you read that right. I said ‘every’ relationship. So, if you think you might experience a crisis in your international relationship, you are not alone. But the key point is how you manage the crisis effectively – that will determine how happy you are.

  • Want a safer dating experience? Learn how to manage a crisis first!

People who have had bad dating experience in the past may avoid dating altogether. But that’s not a wise move because when you remove yourself from the dating scene, you get rid of all opportunities that can make you perfectly happy.

Thus, please do not leave the dating scene entirely after having a negative dating experience. It is your responsibility to make sure that you make the most of your life and be happy.

Similarly, some people have developed psychological fear at work in uncertain times. A major risk that tourism and hospitality industries face is staff members’ psychological fear after the COVID-19 outbreak. In that case, external experts should be consulted, i.e. when staff members have psychological fear due to COVID-19, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) must be considered (Department of Finance 2020). In Australia, an Employee Assistance Program offers professional counselling services provided by psychologists and qualified counsellors. Many of these services can be accessed via telephone; hence, face-to-face sessions could be avoided if a staff member is worried about COVID-19. Some staff members may even have anxiety and hypervigilance, and external experts’ experience as well as specialist knowledge are very valuable while coping with these issues. Moreover, many EAP providers are very cost-effective because an employer only uses their services when required (the employer does not have to sign a long-term contract with the EAP provider). Most importantly, every EAP consulting session is confidential, meaning the employer would not know which staff member has used the EAP service because the employer will only receive an invoice from the EAP provider which indicates how many staff members have used this service and when this service is used. As confidentiality is maintained at all times, EAP services should be able to help tourism and hospitality industries to manage this type of risk successfully. That is to say, before staff members develop anxiety disorders or paranoia, EAP services could be a crisis prevention strategy (Department of Finance 2020).

As to the risk regarding lack of high-quality broadband Internet in Australia, tourism and hospitality industries can only make the most of technical resources in this regard. Firstly, stuff induction and training must be implemented effectively, especially when it comes to how to use IT skills during COVID-19 when most employees are working remotely. For instance, a restaurant which sells take-away food may use modern technology to allow customers to order food on the Internet, and then customers can come to the restaurant and get the food. Alternatively, customers can order their food remotely and then home delivery meals are sold. This new practice clearly requires staff members to be properly trained in terms of how to use technologies correctly.

  • Instruments of crisis management:

If the above-mentioned risks or crises eventuate, specific instruments of crisis management have to be used.

In the first place, product development is key, particularly the combined effects that can be created creatively. Since bushfires and COVID-19 have negatively affected tourism and hospitality industries in Australia, combining the affected products with other well-known products and / or services is a useful strategy. For example, developing some special events at the destination can give tourists more valid reasons to visit the destination because many tourists would be very interested in sports events, art festivals, and so on. An expert argues that combined effects can quickly divert attention away from the affected product, thereby increasing the profit. Apparently, this is a great way to manage the financial risk faced by tourism and hospitality industries.

Secondly, indirect distribution is another instrument that needs to be used. This process is about selling products and services through intermediaries like travel agencies. In other words, travel agents can receive commissions if they are able to find customers for the destination. As a result, indirect distribution expands the sales team quickly and extensively. Also, indirect distribution can attract more customers by helping those who are less familiar with travelling or need very customized products and services, e.g. senior citizens, new travelers and individuals with special needs. Therefore, this instrument is able to help tourism and hospitality industries find more customers and increase the profit. Certainly, because indirect distribution provides in-depth and relevant information for customers and travel agencies could handle this aspect, this instrument can significantly reduce the pressure on the affected organizations.

Thirdly, communication is also a key instrument that should be utilized. Another expert points out that communication is one of the most fundamental aspects which should be considered throughout the process because communication can convey the right information with the aim of guiding consumer opinions, expectations and behavior. Surely, communication is not just about influencing customers’ behavior and opinions; it’s also about guiding staff members, intermediaries and the general public’s opinion, behavior and expectations. That means Public Relations (PR) should be seriously considered and hiring a PR agency is a very practical strategy when it is necessary. For example, bushfires have made Australia the headlines of newspapers around the world where horrendous photos are published. In this case, an effective PR agency may be able to handle this crisis fast because the PR agency knows how to protect and maintain the reputation and the overall image of the destination. Apart from that, experts also argue that communication with staff members should not be ignored as staff members are the most important asset that an organization can have – staff members help the business make money. More precisely, internal communication with staff members can include explanation of measures that have been taken, a clear overview of the situation (such as COVID-19 updates), and so forth. More importantly, certain highly sensitive information must be protected and kept absolutely confidential, e.g. if the press contacts a staff member for comments on the situation, the staff member must inform the leadership team immediately before responding to the journalist’s request.

Similarly, when you encounter a crisis in your romantic international relationship, you may consult with a dating coach or meet with a marriage counsellor. You don’t have to do this alone.

Quote: “Don’t be passive; always be proactive in your international relationship!”