COVID-19 Impact on Destination Marketers
Destination marketing organizations and hospitality/travel brands are being hit hard by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Here are some things destination marketers can do mitigate the impact on revenue:
Have a Plan in Place
Data shows only 30% of destination marketing organizations had pandemic emergency plan in place prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Create a Crisis Management Plan to effectively communicate with your stakeholders. Keep your audience informed. Update Your Website Create a page on your website to keep the community informed. Update your FAQs. Your website could also suggest activities in the destination that follow social distancing guidelines.
Update Your Social Media Approach
Brands have taken to social media to provide support for local businesses. Some brands have created their own slogans on social media reassuring visitors that the destination awaits them once the travel bans are lifted. Be creative with existing content. Visit Portugal re-purposed footage from their existing gallery to create a two minute video clip to reassure travellers.
Support Local Businesses Destinations can encourage locals to support small businesses by buying gift cards for future purchases or order delivery or food-to-go. Encourage shoppers to shop in advance for birthdays, holidays and any other occasions or create a list of restaurants that are in operation and are taking orders for delivery, take out or online ordering.
Plan for the Future Prepare a plan for what to do when the travel bans get lifted. eConsultancy reports that 55% of US consumers ‘may’ or will ‘likely’ purchase a future holiday during the shelter-in-place order. They also speculate that people will be looking for the best value as opposed to the cheapest price.
Local destinations should be prepared for a large influx of visitors as it is likely that many people will want to resume traveling as soon as they can, but there may still be travel limitations for international travel. Destinations should be prepared to promote local restaurants, hotels and businesses.