It’s been over half a year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, and travel is still difficult for most. International travel is greatly decreased, thanks to traveling bans and mandated testing and/or quarantines. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., even travel to/from certain states has been curtailed.
However, tourism is a big moneymaker for many cities, states, provinces and even whole countries. So while residents are limited in where they can visit, marketers are looking closer to home for tourism dollars, and advertising to the people who live there.
New York City
The Big Apple is launching a new campaign called “Neighborhood Getaways.” Its goal is to encourage New Yorkers (and other visitors, when possible) to visit the 5 boroughs of New York City in the form of “Staycations.”
With 67 million fewer tourists, they’re hoping locals will be encouraged to visit the attractions they oftentimes don’t bother with, such as museums or even The Empire State Building.
New York is also considering partnering with New Jersey and Connecticut on a joint campaign, to increase what’s available.
Visit Florida reported last month that, in comparison to 2019, the Sunshine State had a 60.5% drop in tourism during its second quarter of 2020, thanks to COVID (frankly, I thought it would be more). Visit Florida is a huge marketing company in Florida that advertises…Florida ;-). And with COVID cases in Florida decreasing, they’re doing their best to do just that.
However, although Florida has fewer cases per day than previously, it doesn’t, by far, have a low number of cases. That makes a visit from places like New York, Vermont, etc. more difficult because they’d have to quarantine when they got back home.
So while Visit Florida is marketing to Floridians, the theme park sector is advertising in nearby states (Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, the Carolinas, etc.) that don’t have such stringent quarantine rules, as well as within Florida, in the hopes of getting their residents to make local road trips and staycations.
International tourism accounts for 64% of San Francisco’s visitor’s spending. However 40 million people live within driving distance of the City By The Bay, so they’re trying to tap into that. San Francisco is also working with other big cities in California, such as Los Angeles and San Diego. It’s apparently the first time northern and southern California, which are usually fierce competitors for tourism dollars, are working together for in-state marketing.
Marketing to locals is not just happening in the U.S.
When coronavirus hit, London tourism officials shifted their focus from international travel to domestic travel. They began by going virtual, with videos about London, and what it was all about, for Londoners to view and share. That way it would stay in peoples’ minds.
They followed that up with a campaign called, “Because I’m a Londoner,” which, like NYC, encouraged locals to visit while there were fewer tourists in town.
I think my favourite (note the spelling – we ARE talking about London) was a campaign that the mayor of London launched. It’s called Pay It Forward and it encouraged people to buy from local merchants – a cup of coffee, a theatre ticket, a manicure, etc. – so they could stay in business.
Looking towards the future
We’ve already seen that COVID-19 cases tend to wax and wane. As some states’ numbers go down, others’ go up, with no end in sight yet.
Without a federally-based plan of how to handle the differing virus numbers, each state is doing its own thing on its own time. Short of a change in the federal government’s response to the virus, that will probably continue until a vaccine becomes widely available and appropriate treatment is the norm. Until then, a state or city marketing tourism to its own residents is a viable way to get some tourism dollars…even if it’s not nearly the same amount as previously, or necessarily from their respective “typical” tourists.
Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and get emailed notifications of when we post. Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group – we have 15,000+ members and we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary