Viewpoint: State’s tourism is straight down because of pandemic, but not out

20 Jun 2020 11:10 AM
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As the unofficial capital of the Southeast, Georgia gets the biggest cities, the virtually all various population and a vast geographical add the mountains to the beach. Our tourism industry regularly redefines what this means to become Southern by posting the spots, culture, stories and persons that produce Georgia so unique, which has earned our status a strong reputation as a top travel destination.  

Only weeks before Covid-19 halted most travel, we gathered mutually at the Capitol to celebrate a record-environment year that saw 111.7 million site visitors, $36.9 billion in travelling spending and 478,000 tourism industry jobs in the state. And 2020 was already on the right track to be even stronger. This pandemic possesses impacted our tourism sector in ways that were unimaginable in January.  

While Georgia’s tourism sector has felt the painful effects of the pandemic, the foundations that made it possible to constantly break tourism information remain intact. The Georgia Department of Economic Expansion (GDEcD) and its own Explore Georgia crew remain focused on safely advancing Georgia’s market and helping the tourism industry. 

As we responded to Covid-19, every division of GDEcD shifted work to aid our state’s diverse businesses, tourism included. To start out, our state tourism office, Explore Georgia, activated its crisis communications method. Unlike crisis conditions of days gone by with definitive timelines, this crisis does not have any playbook. We quickly evolved our ideas, while continuing to activate with visitors and offer inspiration for future travelling. After a brief marketing hiatus, we released a campaign to keep Georgia on travelers’ minds even though they couldn’t travelling: Explore Georgia from your home. In an extraordinarily small amount of time, we built an application that was deployed via world wide web, social mass media, email and mass media relations, casting the broadest possible net for our work.  

To aid our tourism industry partners over the talk about, we launched a Covid-19 page about our Industry Portal, where we linked our partners with the most recent state and federal rules, travel data and exploration, and resources.   

Some state tourism websites found a crash in web site traffic, many with drops of 60% or even more, that didn’t happen on the ExploreGeorgia web page. We also saw increases inside our social press channels and our audience progress on Facebook was practically double that of surrounding point out travel offices. 

Our ability to deftly shift and adjust new strategies will continue to be critical in keeping our travelling industry afloat in the short-term also to developing this dynamic industry in the long-term. That is one of many factors GDEcD is normally proud to announce that Tag Jaronski, a 25-calendar year travel and tourism sector head and veteran Disney marketing executive, has been hired to business lead our Explore Georgia group. 

As Georgia and surrounding states continue steadily to reopen, we know travelers would like places where they are able to safely maintain interpersonal distance and that they feel safest vacationing by car. Knowing this, we will concentration our marketing work on encouraging Georgians in which to stay Georgia. We wish residents to travel in-state, support native businesses and explore all that Georgia provides.  

We’re witnessing the investments that Georgia’s tourism sector partners have designed to keep their employees and customers safe and sound. As client confidence grows and travelling constraints are relaxed, we’ll begin to look at targeting a broader industry of potential guests once again.  

We recognize the road to recovery will get challenging, but our focus continues to be in ensuring travelers remain wanting to discover Georgia's inspiring tales, beautiful destinations and different experiences. We realize their desire to visit is still alive, so when they’re prepared to explore, we’ll prepare yourself to welcome them.