The #DTTT were keen to welcome even more new faces and perspectives to our much anticipated second travel industry impact call. We hosted sixty-one industry participants, who joined us in sharing their views, situations, and experiences of how the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is impacting them.
Every Tuesday at 14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET, we will hold a weekly 30 minute 'Tourism Impact Call' to give the lay of the land in terms of what's happening, how the industry is responding and we will provide a weekly summary. Open to all, every perspective welcome. Join Call
Week 2 - 24/03/2020
This week, we had a range of perspectives from Val di Sole and the DMOs in the Trentino region of Northern Italy, Scottish Enterprise and partners, and Fáilte Ireland amongst others. The focus turned to destinations thinking about how they are going to move on from the COVID-19 situation, and the comprehensive plans and programmes being put in place to support them. It is clear to see that much has changed in a week.
Key takeaways from the industry
The recovery time for the industry remains uncertain and is a concern
It is a growing concern for the industry, that the length of the recovery time is still very uncertain. No country appears to have a clear exit strategy. Unfortunately the end is not yet in sight for most of the people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. From all perspectives, everyone has been impacted. It is not business as usual, with lockdowns around the world, everyone has been disrupted.
DMOs have responded differently to the crisis
Due to all the uncertainty, DMOs and industry businesses have communicated mixed messages and different responses. We have seen DMOs close their websites but advise consumers to keep dreaming and visit later, we have also seen DMOs staying visible and open through social media. Bringing the destination to the consumer is a strategy many DMOs are using to create inspiration awareness. #DreamNowTravelLater is a direction many DMOs are choosing to go in.
It is the end of Tourism as we know it, change is inevitable
DMOs understand that things will be different post COVID-19. Tourism has changed significantly forever. To address this, many DMOs are changing their strategies, focusing on increased collaboration and business support. The DMOs in Trentino are implementing their crisis strategy by creating a collaborative digital hub, restructuring themselves and developing a comprehensive detailed 8 pillar plan. It has the impact to change how the industry works collaboratively going forward. Tourism will change and we have to be ready for it.
Sustaining local businesses is a priority for DMOs
Visit South of Greenland has been using data collection to assess the impact that the crisis has had economically. This year there has been huge losses across every sector in the industry. In an attempt to sustain local businesses, DMOs are now looking to governments to provide aid packages for businesses that have been impacted. Visit South of Greenland is offering local businesses guidance and consultation, helping them to access government aid. “Support Tourism, impact real people” is their message. To complement this, they are featuring the people behind local businesses in daily social media posts. Visit South of Greenland is highlighting the people behind Tourism and showing how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting people’s lives and livelihood.
DMOs are choosing social listening and content that is virus-free
As we are inundated with so much constant bad news about the COVID-19 pandemic, some DMOs such as Visit South of Greenland are choosing not to mention it on social media. Their aim is to focus on authentic content that allows people to escape from the virus through beautiful photos of Greenland. Offering escapism for people in a time of crisis is a key part of social listening right now.
Collaboration is essential to ensure the voice of Tourism is heard
An increased number of destinations are working collaboratively. Scottish Enterprise are working closely with the main industry body in Scotland, to influence the government and ensure that the voice of Tourism is heard. Emergency response groups are creating greater industry collaboration by collecting key data from surveys across all sectors. The main focus is supporting people and initiatives to retain businesses and jobs. Collaboration must align across the whole destination from intelligence to consultancy.
These are some of the takeaways from our second weekly tourism impact call. The key message is about being transparent, working collaboratively across the destination and offering every sector of the industry continued support. It is about looking at the long-term future of the destination. It is about supporting and sustaining the real people behind Tourism who have been affected. As a global community, the end is not yet in sight, but united we are stronger and we can continue to support the industry.
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