VISITOR’S BUREAU RELEASES A NEW PLAN TO PROMOTE THE ADIRONDACK COAST DURING AND AFTER THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THIS IS AN UNPRECEDENTED TIME IN RECENT HISTORY. THE COMMUNITY, RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES, GOVERNMENT AND TRAVELERS ARE ALL NAVIGATING A NEW LANDSCAPE AND THE ADIRONDACK COAST VISITORS BUREAU (ACVB), A DIVISION OF THE NORTH COUNTRY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, IS DOING THEIR BEST TO HELP EASE TRAVELERS’ ANXIETIES, WELCOME VISITORS BACK SAFELY AND HELP KICKSTART A “SUPPORT LOCAL” MOVEMENT AMONGST THOSE WHO CALL THE ADIRONDACK COAST HOME.
WHILE THIS TIME HAS CAUSED SEVERAL CHALLENGES: –Visitors’ fear of travel
• Residents fear of going out in public and welcoming visitors to their community
• Temporary Closure of the US-Canada Border
• Uncertainty in state funding for 2020 & 2021
• Potential business closure
• Questions around hosting large scale events
IT HAS ALSO CREATED SEVERAL OPPORTUNITIES:
-Reimagining tourism marketing & offerings
• Looking at new drive-in markets
• Strengthening the “Buy Local, Support Local” Movement
• Engaging with potential travelers in new and fascinating ways
• Looking at new cooperative ways to work with regional Tourism Promotion Agencies (TPA’s) to help present a unified, regional message and leverage limited dollars
This is why the Visitors Bureau has adjusted their marketing plan to include a “phased reopening” process. Just as New York State has done, they will look to each phase to re-introduce the Adirondack Coast to their audience (old and new) and the community when the time is right!
“We know that while this is a trying time for many businesses in our community, it is also a good time for us to step back and reflect on how we want to move our destination forward. Tourism brings a lot to this community, helping to drive sales tax, encourage business development and increase quality of life. It is important that we welcome visitors back to our community safely with strategic planning and sensitivity.” Kristy Kennedy, VP, Marketing for the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau continued. “We think the plan outlined below does just that. We look forward to seeing the Adirondack Coast thrive and rise up to this challenge.”
The Phases will include:
Phase 1: Moments and Memories:
Reminiscing about the Adirondack Coast. We chose to implement content and programs that connect our audience to memories they have of our area, giving them a moment of peace during a hectic time. We also focused on finding ways for our visitors/residents to bring the Adirondack Coast to their house, keeping the Coast top of mind.
Phase 2: Be a Tourist in your Town: The Ultimate Staycation
We know that the community will be uncomfortable with visitors coming to the area and know that this acceptance will come with time. The ACVB will take this opportunity to build awareness among local residents about all there is to do right in their backyard. We will encourage them to “Be a Tourist in Their Town”, “Plan a Staycation” and “Support Local”. Tourism is uniquely positioned to help societies and communities who are negatively affected return to a time of growth and stability.
Phase 3: Welcoming our Neighbors to the North!
The ACVB staff knows that the Canadian border being closed has essentially closed us off to one of our largest travel markets. However, we understand that this will not last and that leisure travel will open again. With that, we want to make sure that we continue to send positive messaging to our Canadian friends, making sure they know that they will be welcome here, as they always have been.
“There has perhaps never been a more challenging time to engage in tourism marketing while at the same time there has perhaps never been a time when thoughtful marketing is more crucial to our businesses and to our area economy, not to mention the generation of revenue for our counties and local governments.”
Phase 4: Open for Business: Embracing Travel
This phase is not anticipated to occur until late in the year, if not 2021. The idea in this phase of marketing is to slowly turn back to what we know works and execute campaigns that encourage travel to the area, similar to what we outlined in our original 2020 marketing plan. However, we will tweak the messaging to constantly remind travelers that we must practice safe travel habits and be sensitive and aware of those around us.
“There has perhaps never been a more challenging time to engage in tourism marketing while at the same time there has perhaps never been a time when thoughtful marketing is more crucial to our businesses and to our area economy, not to mention the generation of revenue for our counties and local governments,” stated Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “With active input and consultation, we have a comprehensive new plan that is suited to the time and will directly support the recovery process. It is already in play and will unfold in stages over the coming weeks and months.”
The Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau works in partnership with Clinton County on all Tourism Marketing initiatives and is delighted to have their full support and cooperation, as we move forward. “As we transition to a new normal, it is critically important that our economy opens in a safe manner. To that end, the Clinton County Legislature fully embraces the updated 2020 Adirondack Coast Marketing Plan. This updated plan prudently allows for flexibility as we continue the re-opening process, and does so in a way that continues to showcase our region as a top-tourism destination,” said Clinton Count Legislature Chairman Mark R. Henry.
We know that this is a hard time for everyone, but the Visitors Bureau team, along with the leadership of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, will continue to implement aggressive marketing efforts to not only help the community bounce back, but become stronger and more diverse than before.
The complete plan can be found on northcountrychamber.com.