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
Danielhughes liveoakprivatewealth october 2

Wills And Trusts: The Key Differences

Daniel Hughes - Live Oak Private Wealth
Chris coudriet

Creating An Age Friendly Community

Chris Coudriet - New Hanover County Government
Aaeaaqaaaaaaaaidaaaajdhiztrkodm0lte2yjetngrkmy1hotrmltawmdvlmwqyztmymw

In The (New) Beginning…Genesis Block

Diane Durance - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Trending News

NHRMC Plans $210M Hospital In Scotts Hill

Neil Cotiaux - Oct 19, 2020

Apartments, Townhomes Coming In New Project At Echo Farms

Cece Nunn - Oct 19, 2020

Next Glass Acquires Georgia Beverage Tech Firm

Christina Haley O'Neal - Oct 19, 2020

In The Current Issue

Health Care Heroes: Innovation In Health Care

The Innovation in Health Care category honors an individual or team behind a new scientific discovery, procedure, treatment or device that c...


Info Junkie: Randall Johnson

Randall Johnson, executive director, Southeastern Office for the North Carolina Biotech Center and NCEDA president, shares his top info and...


Health Care Heroes: Physicians

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

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2020 Leadership Accelerator: Virtual Workshops for Real Leaders
2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`