It’s the time of year when I usually take down the suitcases from the closet and dust them off to load them up for a fun summer vacation that usually involves the beach and lots of family. Obviously, the pandemic has caused most of us to either modify or cancel those plans, and while it’s a bummer, our health and well-being mean so much more.
It got me thinking about a post I wrote a few years ago about vacation marketing. I wondered how exactly that market is shifting to adapt to present-day needs. How do vacation destinations stay relevant and top-of-mind during this crisis?
This is a particular thought a lot of businesses are having at the moment, not just tourism, so I thought it would be fun to explore how creative tourism marketers are getting to meet the needs of their customers.
The State of Colorado’s Catchy Awareness Video
Starting with our beloved state of Colorado, the tourism team put out a fun video that highlights how out-of-towners can explore Colorado with kindness and care.
It highlights how to be a responsible traveler and not expose yourself or others to unnecessary health or safety risks, with five easy steps.
- Space. Keep a ski’s length apart (about 6 feet).
- Mask. Wear one!
- Clean. Wash your hands.
- Stay home if you feel sick.
- Know the health guidelines wherever you go.
And with a cute singing moose and catchy tune, how could you not remember to keep safe?
The State of Michigan’s Humorous Postcards
While the State of Michigan has eased some of their restrictions lately, their tourism team was running a campaign at the beginning of the summer with a series of virtual postcards you could download and insert with your own family photo. Headlines included “Greetings from Kitchen, Michigan,” “Greetings from Picturesque Patio, Michigan,” or “Greetings from Couch, Michigan.”
The state encouraged sharing on social media as well, which is a great way to stay relevant and engaged with locals.
Other State Examples
A lot of states are highlighting and promoting safe travel for some of their lesser known or traveled to destinations, such as camping grounds, cabins in the woods and RV rentals. There are plenty of fun activities to go along with those destinations, such as fishing, hiking, biking and simply wandering their great states.
Rural destinations are positioning themselves as ideal, safe vacations. Both West Virginia and Wyoming have campaigns that highlight the fact that vacationers will be able to adequately social distance because of their open spaces, all while enjoying the natural beauty their states have to offer.
Let’s not forget fun virtual activities the whole family can enjoy, like taking a virtual tour of all kinds of museums, zoos and aquariums — with many hosting guided tours or streaming animal cams. You could hit up the Getty Museum in LA, Guggenheim Museum in NY, Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam… all within the same day!
Maybe the beach is more your speed. Puerto Rico is offering live virtual events through their site, where you can take Salsa and Bomba dance classes, learn to cook Arroz Con Pollo, take a tour of the El Yunque National Forest, or take a yoga class at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort. While these aren’t quite the same as actually getting away and experiencing these activities firsthand, they do offer a few moments of respite. And maybe, just maybe, for a moment, you can feel the ocean breeze on your face and the sand between your toes (or maybe that’s the crumbs from your kids’ breakfast).
All hope is not lost — there is some fun out there still to be had! Maybe the most important thing is just taking some time to reset and recharge. It’s been a wild few months, and we all deserve a break. Even if that means just sitting on the back patio, with your feet in the kiddie pool, sipping on a cold one. That’s where you’ll find me.
Cheers to summer, family and our health!
Erin Rogers, Creative Director at Jet Marketing
Erin brings her trademark creativity to every facet of her life – from work and parenting, to family playtime. While the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown this mama for a loop, we know she’s up for the challenge.