The pandemic has highlighted the importance of cooperation between governments, destinations, and business.
To rebuild traveler confidence, destinations must be able to demonstrate visitor safety across the end-to-end journey, which requires all players to adopt a coordinated approach.
Moreover, as the tourism sector comprises mainly micro and small businesses, there is a clear role for governments and DMOs to use their convening power to help local businesses work together and be heard by policy makers.
- Do gather compelling data on the industry’s importance to the destination, as well as the impact that the pandemic has had on local businesses and workers. For example, prior to the pandemic, New York’s Hudson Valley collected data which found that tourist activity supported multiple sectors of the economy, sustained $38bn total income, reduced the unemployment rate from 12.5 to 4.1%, and saved every household an average of $1,221 in taxes.
- Do make things easier for stretched public officials — becoming a single point of contact to understand industry wants and needs, a way to communicate to the industry, and a partner to get support to the businesses and workers who need it most.
- Do accept that different segments of the industry may have different priorities and focus the task force on common goals — but not on the lowest common denominator.
- Don’t try to maintain the task force beyond its useful life, and don’t ask it to solve every challenge facing every segment. Remember that it is a temporary grouping for the purpose of accomplishing a definite objective.