As lockdown continues and people are urged to ‘Stay Alert’, many destinations are continuing to share virtual content to keep awareness high in the hope that visitors will choose their destination post-lockdown. There is a real dilemma for destinations at the moment though. The exercise restrictions issued by the Government now state that as from today (13 May) people are able to exercise outside more than once a day and allowing for travel to open outdoor space, irrespective of distance.
There is real concern among local residents of honeypot sites, such as the Cotswolds, Cornwall and the Lake District, who are anxious about what this lift in restrictions may mean. The DMO has a real balancing act here; still wishing to encourage future visits, showcasing a friendly, welcoming place whilst also understanding & protecting the needs of the local community, many of whom will fall into the ‘vulnerable’ category.
The advice from Visit Cornwall to the public is clear
“.. unless you can visit a location and return within 90 mins or so, you should visit a location nearer your home for exercise or to spend time outdoors, in that way you will be adhering to the principles within the Government rules”
Visit Cornwall is also continuing to promote their ‘Stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you back’ message
The team responsible for the promotion of Cumbria to the rest of the UK and internationally states
“The Government has issued clear instructions for all of us to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and to help save lives. This includes all visitors and second-home owners.
As tourism businesses, visitors and residents, we all need to take responsibility. Not taking these steps puts additional pressure on communities and services that are already at risk.
Thank you to everyone for following the official government advice and for helping to save lives.”On their Facebook page, the team shared the following post from The Lake District Foundation "We know you are missing the #LakeDistrict - but please respect our communties and don't visit just yet! Instead Join Us tonight for a live virtual quiz."
“While the Cotswolds normally warmly welcomes visitors, unfortunately these are far from normal times. Sadly we must ask would-be visitors to stay away from the Cotswolds for the foreseeable future and instead ask you to play your part in limiting and slowing the spread of the virus.
The Cotswolds will be still be here, waiting to welcome you. Stay safe and stay at home.”
The Cotswolds AONB shared a Facebook message, which encouraged safe travel and more importantly ensuring that social distancing continued.
These three examples are of destinations actively following Government advice and guidelines, whilst trying to showcase the area as a future place to visit.
What strategy is your destination adopting?