The message from the UK Government (in fact across the world) is crystal clear, #StayatHome. There is however a challenge for destination marketers in being sympathetic and responsible to the advice, whilst also continuing to keep awareness of their destination on the radar of a potential visitor.
As the crisis has taken hold and more destinations across the globe go into lockdown, we’ve been impressed by the creativity of destination marketers that are finding ways to connect with their audience. We’ve taken a look at some of the campaigns and messages that are currently being distributed and what lessons can be learnt.
As the national tourist board responsible for encouraging overseas visits to our shores, the Visit Britain social feeds have been full of everything quintessentially British. Historic house, castles, films and literature inspiration to name just a few, Visit Britain has used inspirational content to say ‘we can’t wait to welcome you again soon’. Visitors are being inspired from their ‘quarantine couch’ with calls to actions including watching TV series The Crown on Netflix, gaining your magical fix with Harry Potter films or crowdsourcing a Spotify playlist of iconic British music. The content is engaging and inspirational; it’s certainly going to put Great Britain on the radar!
Following the huge numbers that descended on Snowdonia at the end of March, it was clear that the #StayatHome message was not getting through to some. Visit Wales have been sharing regular social posts, reinforcing the visit later message. Highlighting that the National Parks, and stunning scenery will always remain, their plea for people to Visit Wales. Later. The clear, succinct messages with the iconic imagery again captures the attention. The image below also shows how it doesn’t all have to be sunshine and flowers. The rainbow breaking through the cloud is incredibly symbolic at this time.
The Visit Cornwall message is clear. Please stay away, stay well and see you later #LoveCornwall xx
The team shared a video through Instagram, which is also on the home page of their website, encouraging people to stay at home, look after loved ones, support the NHS and key workers, reach out to your local community and know that ‘good times and memories will be had again’. Look on from afar and know that we are here……and receive a lovely warm Cornish welcome when you return.
The caring and nurturing approach will stand Cornwall in good stead for receiving visitors in the future and reaffirms what a visit to Cornwall is all about.
Their support for the membership base has also been impressive; working with partners at UK Hospitality and Tourism Alliance to raise issues with Government surrounding the support measures put in place and how they can be accessed, whilst campaigning for those smaller businesses that slip through the net as they pay council tax, not business rates. There has been regular email correspondence outlining what they are doing as a DMO, alongside creating a business impact survey with partners VisitDevon. The plan is to take the findings to Government to further support the Cornish economy where possible.
Welcome to Yorkshire
Yorkshire are sharing inspirational imagery, enticing people to explore and discover once these tough times are over. Business support has again been incredibly supportive, lobbying Yorkshire MP’s, working with the local industry and forging allegiance with local newspapers. CEO James Mason has been incredibly visual on Twitter in support for #YorkshireTogether
Using your figurehead to support the destination is important. It puts a person against the place and gives people someone with which to make a connection with.
Peak District & Derbyshire Dales
As well as sharing beautiful imagery and encouraging people to #StayatHome, the Peak District is also asking followers to share their memories. We all know that unique experiences create memories and that is why many people choose to travel. Using #UniqueDistrict the Lakes are engaging their audience in conversation and sparking interest in great locations across Derbyshire. Encouraging people to think about their experiences of the destination, will take them back to that moment in time, eliciting the feelings and emotions that they felt too. A really, strong positive way to encourage people to consider the destination again.
Starting 1 April, Visit Somerset has been sharing ‘Somerset Fascinating Facts’ and each day posting an image along with relevant facts about the area. The aim to raise awareness and create interest in the destination, whilst giving an insight into the destination. This campaign is encouraging active engagement, whilst also sharing knowledge which is relatively unknown.
The Visit Somerset team have also been doing a fabulous job of keeping their members up to date and directing them to relevant resources to help them through the pandemic, sharing member stories and content to support future bookings to the area.
Here’s a few of the campaigns that are happening across the UK at the moment; it’s no mean feat to find the right balance in terms of tone, content and frequency at a time when many would usually be taking their first holiday of the year, but instead are safe at home.