Thank you to Simpleview, our main sponsor, who have written an incredibly helpful guest blog for us.  It is really worth a read.

Coronavirus has obviously taken its toll on the global travel sector over the last few months but we're starting to see more and more destinations and providers being innovative and proactive when it comes to communicating with their target markets.  How the travel sector responds to the coronavirus crisis will have a huge impact on how quickly it recovers.  Those organisations that continue the dialogue and maintain their marketing share of voice will come out on top. 

The teams at Simpleview, both in Europe and the USA have been looking at some of the initiatives that destinations around the globe (including some of our own clients) have been implementing to keep their audiences in the loop and support their tourism providers during these challenging times.  We’ve also been thinking about some activities which our DMOs can implement as part of a short-term digital marketing strategy so that they’re ready to welcome back visitors when the restrictions are lifted.   

The list is not exhaustive and we’ll continue to add to it but hopefully it will provide some food for thought… 
 
Supporting Food & Drink Businesses
 
Some destinations are helping to promote local restaurants that are offering alternatives such as takeaways, delivery and additional services:

 
Supporting Other Local Businesses

Here’s some examples of destinations that are providing a helping hand to their general providers and partners: 

  • Ventura(California) has distributed a #StayVenturaStrong sign template to their partners so that they can hang these posters in their windows and spread a message of hope and community throughout the city. 
  • Holiday company, HolidayPirates, is promoting virtual city and museum tours around the world
  • Raleigh, North Carolina is offering ideas on 150 Ways to Support Local Businesses
  • Stoke-On-Trent City Centre BID created a Photo Album on their facebook page so that local businesses can tag them directly into any relevant COVID-19 related opening time changes etc.
  • Athens, Georgia - partner resources including loans info, hotelier webinars, relevant industry groups...
  • We've seen multiple destinations create Support Local Bingo cards for their residents, like this one.

Events Marketing

Obviously, many events will be cancelled or postponed over the coming months but here’s a few tips on how you can still use your pages to continue to engage with visitors:

  • Consider adding some content to your events pages that encourages your visitors to sign up for your newsletter so that they will be updated when things settle down and events are back on.  Now is a great time to build on your local contacts and capitalise on being the most up-to-date resource on the status of businesses in your destination.
  • Think about live streaming - Visit Oslo decided that restrictions on public events would not stop them so they have moved into digital spaces 
  • Add a note on your events page suggesting visitors check official event websites (with links) for the latest news (similar notes can be added to the Hotels page and Restaurants pages, as appropriate).
  • Don't remove Event details for those cancelled events but instead, update your event detail template with a warning that events info may be out of date. In addition, update the description of any individual events that have been postponed or cancelled. We recommend leaving the titles the same for URL continuity in search engine indexes and analytics reports.