COVID-19 has impacted tourism and high street retail in a way that will change the face of the industry forever. We conducted a series of interviews with key industry figures in the tourism and retail sectors.
Tourism will never be the same again - at least not in the short-term. The same is true of high street retail. COVID-19 has changed how we think, feel and engage with places, and this means that the bodies responsible for promoting places need to adapt in order to remain relevant and useful.
Working with our parent agency Jacob Bailey, we wanted to find out more about the key issues around place management and place marketing - so we conducted interviews with a broad range of figures across the industry and asked three questions - What has been the impact of COVID-19? What are the challenges you face? and what are the positives? This allowed us to uncover seven key trends.
Many thanks to those who took part in our research interviews - all of whom are listed below. Each of the interviews provided new and interesting insight.
You can watch the edited highlights from all of our interviews in the video below, or read on to find out more about the seven key trends.
"Focusing on showing how clean you are and how you disinfect and decontaminate an area is more powerful, to an extent, than the area itself at the moment."Craig Hurring, Director or Marketing & Communications at South Bank Employers Group
In order to make people feel safe, it'e essential that places demonstrate the measures they have taken to ensure that the place is clean, safe and hygienic. Being visible and vocal about cleanliness will become a key factor in place promotion.
"On a positive note, for places, there's something really special about this. That whole sense of local values and local community has become much more important."Paul Clement, Director of British BIDs
People are protective and proud of where they live, they want to see them thrive and prosper. This, combined with a reticence to travel, has placed a growing importance on supporting the local economy.
"We need to control tourism as much as anything else. We've seen, in the news, instances where people have gone to places all at once and that can cause problems."James Berzins, Director of TXGB
Destinations want to bring back customers, but they need to do so in a controlled and manageable way. The requirement to pre-book will become essential as this not only provides a way to control numbers, but also helps the consumers to feel safe.
Having an itinerary planner, and the ability to book accommodation or tickets to attractions on your website can really help with this. The DestinationCore Itinerary Builder and TXGB integration can provide you with this functionality. Find out more on our Module Marketplace.
"We have built a 'book direct' element into our COVID-19 recovery plan."Anthony Climpson OBE, Chief Executive of Go New Forest CIC
The pandemic has made people use technology in a way they never have before. Consumers will have a fundamental mindset shift - they will be looking to technology to help them with planning and booking an itinerary. Not only will they have to book in advance, they will want to do so to ensure they get the most out of their time away.
DestinationCore offers a number of different technology integrations which can help address these type of issues - contact us now if you'd like to find out more.
"I'm going to be having my holidays, as I'm entitled to them, so where am I going to stay? I'm going to stay more local - somewhere in the UK."Paul Clement, Director of British BIDs
Travel restrictions and fear will limit where people can or want to holiday, but annual leave entitlement won't be cancelled. The British public deeply value their holidays and time away from home and work is important. Staycations will rise with consumers likely to take shorter, more local holidays, but more often.
"With an increasing emphasis on the importance of digital marketing for destinations, this makes track-ability more possible and essential then ever."Will Wright, Managing Partner of DestinationCore
Budgets will be stretched like never before - destinations will be expected to deliver more, with less money available. Therefore, it's essential to collect data to understand clearly what's working and what's no - allowing for refinement and improved performance over time.
Each DestinationCore website comes with an Insights Dashboard which provides actionable insights to help you prepare, plan and spend budget more effectively.
"I think there's a real opportunity to reframe tourism from a health and wellbeing point of view - as people haven't been able to visit their favourite outdoor spaces for example."Ian Thomas, Director of Leisure, Tourism and Research at NGI
Consumers won't come back unless you give them a compelling reason to do so - and that means understanding what's driving their decision making. Places will have to think creatively about how they can work within the imposed restrictions to make people feel safe, welcome and engaged. The use of outdoor spaces and attractions will be one of the keys to this.
You can watch the full webinar from Tuesday 30th June below.
If you'd like to watch either of the webinars from Wednesday 24th June, or Friday 26th June these can be found on the Jacob Bailey Vimeo channel.
You can download a PDF copy of the webinar presentation here.