As travel restrictions from the Coronavirus have spread across the world, it’s evident that tourism is currently one of the most affected sectors during this pandemic. In fact the UNWTO has revised its 2020 forecast and estimates that global international tourist arrivals could decline between 20-30%.
Those of us in Destination Marketing have been faced with the challenge to creatively promote our clients in a way that’s not just appropriate in the current situation but also responsible, inspirational and uplifting.
With governments across the globe reminding residents that hand washing is the first line of defense against the virus, it’s no wonder that Forbes profiled Turkey and its tradition of sprinkling kolonya, or cologne, as a secret hygiene weapon driving demand in a country where deep cleansing has existed for centuries. Bottles of kolonya are also available on-board Turkish Airlines, and Business Insider recently included the global carrier’s newly implemented practices in the wake of COVID-19.
Traveling is often inspirational, and in these difficult times it can be the glimmer of hope that we all need. Destination Brands such as South African Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board are using various digital platforms to provide an escape from our “new normal.” Departures highlighted the virtual game reserve tours that allow consumers to go on a South African safari from the comfort of their home while Travel + Leisure shared the Instagram video series featuring DJ sets, chef demos, cocktail classes and wellness sessions that will enable followers to dream about their next trip to Jamaica.
On the domestic travel side, iconic I Love NY is supporting the vast and growing collection of virtual events and online tours of all the things tourists crave during an upstate experience. These include glass blowing demonstrations at the Corning Museum of Glass through their Youtube channel and nightly New York State Brewer’s Virtual Happy Hour featuring a different brewer every night.
What these brands, and many others, have in common is helping us all dream about what’s to come after COVID-19. The message is clear: #StayHome today, so we can #TravelTomorrow.