Print
Hospitality

'Fall Is The New Summer': Tourism Officials Look At Coronavirus Impact, Recovery

By Laura Moore, posted Sep 10, 2020
Visitors to the Riverwalk in downtown Wilmington a few years ago enjoy a sunny day. (File photo)
The tourism and hospitality industry has been among the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said Thursday.

So the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority dba Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) presented a webinar Thursday to share information on research that has been done to align with focused recovery plans for the next fiscal year. 

With mild weather expected well into the fall, the CVB plans to capitalize on that with their newest campaign theme, “Fall is the new summer.” 

“It’s a perfect time to plan a trip with moderate temperatures, fewer crowds and off-season pricing,” said Kim Hufham, president and CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority.

Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit NC, presented updates on state resident research that reflect a $6.8 million loss in visitor spending as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing “unprecedented destruction to business, but it is slightly better than what is happening nationwide and we are moving in a positive direction.”
 
Tuttell’s research reveals that commercial lodging was down by “almost half of what it was it was last year,” and that customers' concerns are more centered on “safety and security” rather than “price breaks.”  

In response to these concerns, Visit NC initiated the Count on Me NC statewide advertising campaign. It is a public health initiative that empowers visitors, guests, and businesses to help keep everyone safe from COVID-19, according to the website countonmenc.org. 

Businesses are encouraged to participate in the Count on Me NC training modules that contain best practices and procedures to ensure the health and safety of staff and guests.   

According to a 26-week coronavirus research study conducted by Destination Analysts, nearly half of potential travelers are not confident that they can travel safely with 42% of those surveyed saying that they will not travel until there is a vaccine available. 

Assuring visitors that they will be safe when they visit is imperative considering the economic impact these travelers have on the area, officials said.

The average per day spending per travel party is $519, according to Kimberly Vince-Cruz, vice president of Destination Analysts. 

Equipped with this information, Hufham presented the fiscal year 2020-2021 Recovery Strategic Plan initiatives and fall marketing plan. 

The Strategic Recovery Plan focuses on three main areas of concentration including: community building, customer engagement and organization sustainability. 

“We want to align the public-private sector and elevate the community,” Hufham said. “We plan to do this through promotion of diversity and inclusivity, and by supporting our artists and creative economy.” 

Another part of the plan includes reassessing the target markets and defining the best messages for business and leisure travelers to deliver related to health and safety. 

Health and safety ranks among the top concerns of travelers, so the CVB’s fall leisure marketing campaign will focus on highlighting their participation in the Count on Me NC Campaign and showcasing local heroes and influencers. 
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
David webversion headshots march21 8172134246

10 STEPS TO PREPARE YOUR FACILITY FOR HEAVY STORMS

David Grandey - Highland Roofing Company
Brookeskipper saltair headshot2

Steps For Improving Indoor Air Quality

Brooke Skipper - Salt Air
Jasonpathfinder3

Your Retirement Portfolio: Simplicity Is Your Friend

Jason Wheeler - Pathfinder Wealth Consulting

Trending News

Tractor Supply Co. Property In Leland Sells For More Than $5M

Cece Nunn - Oct 19, 2021

County OKs Use Of $1.9M For Affordable Housing Project

Cece Nunn - Oct 18, 2021

Scoops Brings Ice Cream Treats To Burgaw

Jenny Callison - Oct 19, 2021

Clancy & Theys Announces Promotion, Hiring

Staff Reports - Oct 19, 2021

Three Physicians Join NHRMC Physician Group

Staff Reports - Oct 19, 2021

In The Current Issue

Health Care Heroes: Physician

This category honors a physician whose performance is considered exemplary by patients, peers and other health care providers....


Health Care Heroes: Nurse

This category honors a nurse whose performance is considered exemplary by patients, peers and other health care providers....


Health Care Heroes: Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant

This category honors a nurse practitioner or physician assistant whose performance is considered exemplary by patients, peers and other heal...

Book On Business

The 2021 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100