Marketing in a COVID-19 World
The hospitality industry has taken a big hit because of COVID-19. Everthing is different. Many Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) are on life support with budgets nearly wiped out because of this mother of all travel-related disrupters. Hotels, restaurants, and retail are reinventing their business models. And predicting and tracking visitor confidence for travel is like riding a roller coaster. So what do you do? Turn to your locals. People who have chosen to live and work in the destination are the best advocates and best story tellers. It's the "live, work, play" theme but only these stories can be used to make the destination desirable to visitors looking to get back on the road. Sharing and reposting those experiences on social media is an effective way to create and maintain awareness. Engaging locals to tell their stories -- about their favorite restaurant, event, trail, etc. -- is an inexpensive, but effective way to strengthen the destination's brand.