It's never easy to bring business travellers and tourists back to destinations after a crisis. Here are some destination management strategies.
- Candid reports and travel advisories.
This builds the trust to restore confidence. Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) issues:
Japan Travel Advisories
- Clear maps indicating the distance between "hotspots" and resort areas.
The Jamaica Tourist Board did this effectively in 2010.
- Familiarization trips for journalists and prospective corporate incentive travel clients.
- Familiarization trips for conference planners.
- Special airline and hotel promotions for corporate meetings, incentives and group travel.
These should be valid for incentive travel and retreats completed within the first 6 months after turmoil has subsided.
- Trade shows and advertising.
TV commercials with famous nationals are powerful. Toronto used Canadian celebrities in tourism commercials after SARS.
These commercials weren't a response to a crisis but they demonstrate a celebrity's brand impact.
- Roadshows or a seminar series.
Japan is offering seminars across Canada during the month of June, 2011.
- New cultural fairs or arts festivals.
Toronto: Luminato helped bring tourists back to Toronto after SARS.
- Special rates for residents to stay at hotels.
After SARS, a special tourism coalition designed a strategy that included offering special promotions at Toronto hotels, Toronto restaurants, and attractions in Toronto to residents and visitors.
- Leverage the power of social media.
Give prospective visitors instant access to information and answers.
- Jamaica: Not only does the Jamaica Tourist Board have a killer website, it has done a wonderful job with its Ask Jamaica Twitter account. In combination with VisitJamaicaNow, it's a powerful social media presence.
- Japan: Japan has an active Visit_Japan Twitter account and Visit Japan Facebook page.
Next week, we'll discuss the role that corporations can play in helping destinations recover after a crisis.
What other strategies are destinations, hotels and resorts using to restore confidence after a crisis?