At its heart, tourism is about people. During the COVID-19 crisis, destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and tourism businesses have demonstrated how to uplift both locals and visitors. There are many stories of mutual support. Caremongering is a term that made news in Canada during the early days of the crisis when regular people sought to promote care and kindness in a rapidly changing world.
As travel restrictions are slowly lifted, encourage your community to stand behind local shops, cafes, restaurants, and companies. Participants in our COVID-19 support group for DMOs shared these examples of organizations helping residents care for local businesses:
- Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia: Their website features an updated directory of businesses throughout the city that are open and have adjusted offerings in compliance with the latest Victorian Government COVID-19 requirements. Additionally, there are economic stimulus events and free webinars for business operators.
- Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia: A web page of businesses organized by region under the ‘Take It Away’ slogan. A chat feature for visitors and locals and a button for local enterprises to get themselves added to the campaign make it a one-stop-shop for both operators and consumers.
- Destination Salem, Massachusetts, USA: Printable PDFs of local businesses featuring online shopping, takeout, and delivery options.
- Visit Kingston, Ontario, Canada: Web page listing food and retail businesses complying with new COVID-19 sanitation requirements and live chat feature where locals can contribute information about new listings or changes in hours or services that they see in their community.
- Queenstown, New Zealand: Support local, businesses giving back, and shop Queenstown live links are all visible and prominent on their website homepage.
- Support Puget Sound Small Businesses: This directs users to an app, a map-based directory, and encourages people to use a specific hashtag to share the initiative.
- Explore Asheville, USA: A home page that directs visitors to virtual shopping experiences and ways to support local businesses.
- Love Taupo, New Zealand: This destination invites people to explore and support locals safely. Their statement is direct, asking: “Taupo District, your backyard is full of wonderful, off the beaten track experiences, local artisans, boutique businesses and tourism offerings that are second to none. Right now, and long into the future, these businesses will need you.”
- Kerry, Ireland: A map-based directory of local and independent businesses in Kerry includes popular categories to help locals and visitors self-serve based on their interests and priorities.
- Ottawa Tourism, Canada: This web page features a running list of local initiatives to support businesses during COVID, as well as updates on events and any changes to business hours or services during reopening phases.
- Everett, Washington, USA: The Everett for Everett campaign is a directory of businesses, community ideas, and resources.
- Destination Campbell River, B.C, Canada: Destination Campbell River’s Marketing Specialist Carly Pereboom says, “In Campbell River, we have integrated our business directory into a blog. It then links up to a database where stakeholders and businesses can manage and enter their listing. We then promote this regularly; it’s the home page feature blog and a pinned post on our Facebook channel.”
Support for your DMO
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Feature image credit: Joshua Rodriguez on Unsplash