Opinions: 

#DTTT Blog

The #DTTT welcomed more new perspectives and industry experts to our fourth Weekly Tourism Industry Impact Call. Each week brings new contributors and new insights as the situation evolves. We continue to follow the progress of destinations and support their recovery, with every effort made to provide industry solutions and key learnings for all.

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 4 - 07/04/2020

In Week 4, insights were shared from Visit Austurland, Visit Scotland, Visit Ljubljana and many more. In this ever-changing and uncertain climate, destinations are becoming more mindful of their messages as the full impact of the pandemic is becoming clear. Recovery is going to be a gradual process and the strategy now is for long-term planning. Supporting local businesses and regional tourism is the first step on the long road back to normality. It is unlikely that the world and the industry will be the same post COVID-19, and therefore DMOs must prepare for the challenges ahead.

Key takeaways from the industry

 

DMOs are a support network for local businesses

Many industry businesses are still in shock from the impact of COVID-19, that has decimated the industry and the economy. For many businesses impacted, support starts at home. Visit Austurland is a champion of this approach, providing a key support network for local businesses. It is actively helping local businesses apply for government funding, offering them guidance, and giving them essential support to help them survive. Access to good government schemes will ensure these businesses strengthen at the core. This proactive approach is vital for the long-term survival of the destination and DMOs can play a huge part in this.

Recovery will be determined by political factors

It has become clear that tourism recovery will be gradual, happen in phases and also be influenced by political decisions and regulations. The industry will not have the power to react until it is permitted to do so. Hence, while the industry plays the waiting game, it can use data and predictions to think about all informed scenarios and get a clear picture. Now is the time for the industry and businesses to refocus, encourage innovation, in order to ensure that they can come back stronger. 

Mindful messaging is needed to respond to the current mindset 

Good communication and the right messaging is very important during this sensitive time. Visit Scotland is not using its business as usual model, it has had to adapt. Their message is now moving from encouraging proactive destination dreaming, to focusing on actual bookings at the end of the year. During COVID-19, DMOs messages need to address people’s mindset which has changed. The key message now is about looking out for each other. In terms of tourism, it is about focusing on the short-term. Promoting regional tourism and encouraging people to buy local and book a staycation. 

Be inspired by your visitors and open the conversation 

The pandemic has ensured that every DMO has had to rethink their communication strategy. Visit Ljubljana’s initial strategy delivered the key messages of safety and guidance, but then the direction changed. This change was brought about by Ljubljana’s target audience, their visitors. Social Media gave them a platform to interact directly with Ljubljana, share their memories and start a conversation. Visit Ljubljana took this one step further, opening the conversation to everyone and starting the movement #LjubljanaMemories. This UGC campaign has proved very successful for Ljubljana, who have stayed positive and kept communication consistent. The content created will be used to generate bookings and keep their destination top of mind.

Regional Tourism will be the first step to recovery 

Travel recovery will be in phases, therefore a sensible approach must be adopted which will get us back to normal. For Visit Scotland, regional and domestic tourism is the first focus. As restrictions start to lift, the natural progression will be local day trips, promoting the city locally, exploring the region and the country, then finally looking towards the international markets when it's appropriate. It is a good time for DMOs to adapt their services to be relevant and affordable to the domestic market and ensure it’s what they need. 

DMOs have to respond to people’s fear of the virus

Eventually governments will allow travel, and when this time comes, destinations need to be aware that people will still be fearful of travel. To date, travel has had the highest level of cancellations and a lowest level of bookings, despite messages from DMOs advising visitors to postpone and agents offering low prices to book. The impact of COVID-19 and its presence in the travel industry has depleted people’s confidence. When people are able to travel again, they will be looking to avoid crowds and overcrowded cities. They have seen the worst case scenarios played out and will not want it happening to them. More solitary locations and activities considered lower risk will be preferred during the early stages of recovery.

These are some of the takeaways from our fourth weekly tourism impact call. The key focus now is about refocusing, supporting local businesses, being sensitive to people's fears and implementing a gradual recovery plan, starting within the destination.

 

 

 

 

More from #DTTT

  • In October we present:
    X. Festival: Reshaping the Visitor Economy
    Reshaping the Visitor Economy I believe it was February when we started thinking about how feasible it was to run our next event. Organising two flagship events twice a year presents us with a very tight schedule when it comes to finding speakers, selecting venues, coordinating with sponsors and dividing the work amongst team members. [...]
    #reshapingtravel #digitalevent #event
  • In October we present:
    Defining the Ingredients of a Good Destination brand Experience
    A lot of DMOs are asking themselves, "how can we help our industry to pivot, to design new experiences and to prioritise sustainability in recovery?" Defining the Ingredients of a Good Destination Brand Experience Destination branding is driven by three main factors; reputation, identity and perception. However, the ultimate factor, the key ingredient that brings [...]
    #dmo brand #recovery #brand experience #brand #destination
  • In September we present:
    Market Pivot with Slovenian Tourist Board
    Building a Recovery Strategy that attracts the audiences in the 'new normal' The old way of targeting, converting and growing needs a revision. Gone are 'emerging markets' and 'disposable income' as audience criteria. We need to hit reset. Now more than ever, it is important to be sensitive to the concerns of visitors and to [...]
    #visitor journey #slovenia #consumer behaviour #trends #workshop
  • In June we present:
    New Normal, Same Visitors
    How can destinations safely reopen to international visitors? What are the strategies behind the reopening and what's the role of DMOs? These are only few of the questions we asked to VisitJamaica, who told us how they successfully managed to keep the nation safe for both of international tourists and locals, developing effective protocols and solid [...]
  • In June we present:
    Staycation Storytelling with Visit Estonia – Weekly Tourism Impact Call: Week 13
    DTTT · Staycation Storytelling with Visit Estonia Where do destinations find inspiration for their campaigns during COVID-19? How do they convince people to travel again and engage with the local tourism sector? With the focus on recovery and the domestic restart, we have seen many different campaign approaches aimed at the domestic market. The latest [...]
    #domestic tourism #recovery #COVID-19 #visit-estonia #storytelling #strategy
  • In June we present:
    Why is Design Thinking so important in identifying solutions?

    We are in an unprecedented moment in the industry’s history, which must redefine itself. Businesses must pivot, but with a purpose, destinations must demonstrate leadership, value and co-design a new future for tourism. In today’s remote world, amidst the uncertainty, we will enable the industry to develop empathy and co-create impactful outcomes for the benefit […]

    #solutions #recovery #remote design thinking #DMOs #strategy #tourism
Show more
© 2020 Digital Tourism Think Tank