It’s no secret that COVID-19 brought numerous challenges to the travel & tourism industry. With no one traveling and attractions being forced to close, travel destinations were faced with the difficult decision to either to either pivot their strategy or halt marketing spend all together.
Our client Greater Beaufort – Port Royal Convention and Visitors Bureau shares their plan of action once the pandemic began.
Phase 1: Stop, Listen, Proceed with Caution
As soon as the pandemic took hold, Greater Beaufort-Port Royal CVB’s immediate response was to revert to a hyperlocal campaign.
“Our goal was to work with stakeholders providing them with up-to-date information but also working with them on how we may be able to start facilitating guest experiences in the interim, said President and CEO Robb Wells. “We paused digital and moved social campaigns to a ‘dream now, return later’ model.”
Switching to a localized approach inevitably shifted Greater Beaufort-Port Royal CVB’s role as a DMO as they began to provide local stakeholders with up-to-date information from local government.
Wells reports a successful COVID-19 recovery strategy as far as getting some brand lift to a destination that had been silent for basically 2 1/2 months.
“The response has been better than anticipated,” said Wells. “We’ve seen our numbers increase from a revenue standpoint, and while we’re not 100% back, we are striving all so close.”
Phase 2: Beginning Again
When this phase begins, we advise keeping imagery and promotions centered on wide-open spaces, outdoor and spacious attractions where people can feel safe and not crowded.
As their destination began to reopen, Greater Beaufort-Port Royal CVB decided to put all their advertising dollars in digital, focusing on showing people what makes Beaufort Port Royal and the sea islands so beautiful. They aimed to appeal to why the vast natural beauty is a great escape for those who are cooped up in their houses.
About Robb Wells:
Before becoming the President and CEO of Greater Beaufort-Port Royal CVB, Wells served as Vice President of the Tourism Division at the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, Senior Director of Marketing at Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation, as well as Executive Director of Duplin County Tourism.
Advance Travel & Tourism is helping tourism marketers find success in a time of maximum uncertainty and change. Everything we do is tailored to meet the needs of our individual clients – from DMO’s to attractions to hotels and casinos. We’re helping our clients find marketing success in an environment that’s shifting every day, and we’d like to work with you too. Drop us a line, shoot us text or send us an email and let’s dive in together to find strategies that make sense for you.