Destination Marketing Achieves Best Practices in the Midst of COVID-19

While we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, traveling has most definitely slowed down all over the world. With that said, so many travel agencies and tourist destinations have had to completely pivot in the way they’re conducting their marketing strategies. 

In fact, destination marketing is a whole subject in itself!  We’ll look into how the current tourist center is handling the global pandemic, and what we can expect from them down the line as the spread of COVID-19 officially begins to slow down in spreading.  

Why Are People Traveling Now?

So, let’s first determine why (if anyone) is traveling right now. COVID-19 is still a major threat in much of the world, but some major cities have hit their peak and are on a great slowdown. Take New York City for example. After they hit their peak in April, the city and the state has seen a less than one percent spread in total over the last month.

This makes that area much more safe to travel than most. And the same can be said for a few other cities. With there being a twinkle of light at the end of the tunnel, more and more people are now experiencing a slew of different comfort levels. Some have even added travel as part of it. 

Plus, there are several individuals that are burnt out from the pandemic as a whole. Life as we know it has had to greatly transform to be able to incorporate and deal with this virus. It’s a sense of normalcy that people are seeking, and some find traveling to be the answer.  

Destinations Are Saying to Stay Home

With that said, there have been a great number of destinations that asked individuals to stay home and to not participate in the possible spread earlier in the year. It’s now more of a debate if companies and destinations that are associated with travel should be open at this time. Economically, can they afford to? 

Let’s look at a few companies that have marketed in a way that they’re telling travelers to stay home. Many utilized hashtags and social media marketing as a way to spread the word quickly and safely. 

  • Cornwall UK 
  • The National Trust  
  • My Switzerland 
  • Lonely Planet
  • Las Vegas Convention 
  • Las Vegas Association 
  • Visit Fort Worth

What do you think about this type of marketing in the midst of the pandemic? We’d love to know your thoughts. 

Are Destinations Willing to Lose Money Now? 

While many travel associations promoted the idea of staying home to their followers, they also didn’t have much of a choice. Due to the various country and city regulations, there have been many instances where destinations have been shut down for at least a couple of weeks or months. 

However, as a company, they also pay a responsibility to their employees as well as their visitors. To show the care and compassion during this upsetting time is a marketing tactic in itself. It’s important to show that you genuinely care for the quality of life to a customer. By showcasing this, it will bring future business down the line. 

Transparency in this type of communication and care also builds a sense of trust that is not normally so easily earned. By looking at all of the different ways a company can seamlessly handle a situation, it builds a good report with you and the consumer. 

There Are Travel Organizations Shifting Their Strategies 

As we continue to progress through the pandemic, there are travel organizations as well as other companies that have announced their changes in marketing. Take a look at the following to see how they’re taking advantage of the switch in consumer lifestyle. 

Delta: To help with the boost of future travel, Delta is instigating benefits that can be redeemed down the line. They’ve extended their Medallion Status, club membership and so much more so that points can actually be used later rather than sooner.

This is an airline that understands that they can’t manipulate the new traffic patterns because there is a virus at hand. Instead of going against it, they’re able to seamlessly work with it, which is a smart and efficient way to handle this type of situation. 

Omni Hotels Resort:  This hotel company was able to put their pivoted marketing strategy into action early. In an email blast and website upgrade, they’re able to bring the hospitality to the family. In fact, they’re even targeting the fact that the majority of them are working from home and are attending to their children. 

As a result, the resort is offering them a safe escape and socially distanced events. 

Jetsetter: Jetsetter was able to bring the products they’ve been loving (even in quarantine) directly to the consumer. In fact, that’s exactly how they’ve been able to position their messaging. 

In an email blast, the company released a roundup of their favorite products that are currently available for purchase. The best part? All of them can actually be used from home. From blankets and pillows to house plants, this company is able to successfully influence some of the best products you’ll need during the entire time the pandemic lasts. 

Alaska Airlines: Alaska Airlines actually took a more informational route to their marketing practices. Instead of really persuading their customers to hop on board, they utilized email marketing and set up a FAQ page on their website to answer all questions and concerns. 

During an important time like this, it’s essential to eliminate the worry out of the consumer’s mind. This is because they’ll be able to make a more informed decision down the road and receive a full understanding of how this particular traveling service is operating compared to others. If others don’t give this level of communication, then Alaska Airlines automatically achieves a competitive advantage. 

Norwegian Cruise Line:  Since cruises are not exactly in operation right now, Norwegian Cruise Line thought it would be clever to send out an email marketing blast for 2021 cruises that would travel back in time. This means that the cruise line is communicating the fact that they know no one is able to travel right now in the way they had hoped. 

To compensate, they’re looking to the future. By planning ahead, communicating the safety measures needed and engaging with consumers efficiently, they’re able to move several steps ahead and achieve the business they need to succeed.  

The Bottomline 

How do you think destination marketing is doing during this uncontrollable time? With all things considered, massive pivoting has had to take place in order for there to be any sort of current relations to a consumer’s changed lifestyle. Not only that, but travel companies now have to follow the new guidelines and regulations based upon the city or country they reside. 

This is not easy for any industry right now, and so many have taken an economic hit that won’t be so quickly erased in the coming months. By grasping the storm early and accepting the new environment for what it is, marketers are able to better communicate with their consumers and work with them in a way that makes the most sense. 

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