The DMO Download
A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.
Initial Impact of COVID-19 on Tourism Revealed
by Paige Schamberg
VA Tourism Industry Asking $50 Million In Aid
The Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is seeking $50 million from state legislators, WHSV 3 reports. The funds, if granted, will be out of the $4.3 billion Virginia received from the American Rescue Plan. The corporation intends to use $20 million on marketing to out-of-state visitors. The leftover $30 million will go to Virginia’s 133 localities, according to Virginia Senator John Edwards.
“If we do nothing, we won’t recover until way into 2023,” VTC President and CEO Rita McClenny said.
The request will be discussed during a special General Assembly later this summer.
UNWTO Begins Recognition of Best Tourism Villages Across the World
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is recognizing villages around the world who are committed to preserving and sharing their cultural heritage through sustainable tourism, Financial Express reports. To be considered for the “Best Tourism Villages” initiative, villages that are taking “innovative and yet transformative approaches to promote tourism in rural areas.
Some requirements for the recognition initiative are:
- A low population density
- A location with important traditional activities such as agriculture or fishing
- A society that shares community values and lifestyle
The full list of requirements and application forms can be found on UNWTO’s website.
Wisconsin Tourism To Receive $142 Million Grant
Wisconsin will award $142 million in grants to the state’s tourism and entertainment industries, Governor Tony Evers said, with additional funding for reopening Wisconsin’s historical and heritage sites.
The grant program intends to support live event venues, movie theaters, summer camps and other sectors affected by the pandemic. “From leisure travelers looking to reconnect with friends and family to business travelers attending meetings and conventions, these dollars will be crucial to help our industry bounce back,” Department of Tourism Interim Secretary Anne Sayers said.
Tourism Consulting Group Podcast Discusses The Future Of The Industry
Longwoods International, a market research consultancy within the travel and tourism industry, released a podcast discussing the future of the industry with President and CEO Amir Eylon. In the podcast, Eylon talks about changes and challenges DMOs and tourism businesses face in a post-pandemic world.
Some talking points are:
- DMOs doing more with less
- A necessity for collaborative programs and increase in non-traditional partnerships
- Community values influencing travelers’ plans
- The importance of suppliers to step up
To watch/listen to the full podcast, visit their website.
U.S. Census Bureau Releases Review of COVID-19’s Initial Impact on Tourism Industry
A year after the pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau released an official review of how COVID-19 initially affected the tourism industry. The review shows DMOs and travel industry professionals detailed data about travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation throughout the year. Some key takeaways include:
- Nevada, Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming and Florida are the five states with the largest employment share in the industry.
- Women and younger workers were most likely to be affected by the decline in tourism employment.
- Travel, tourism and outdoor recreation make up 4%-5% of private employment in the majority of states.
- The travel industries in Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island were hardest-hit by the pandemic with declines over 35%.
More information on the year-in-review can be found in the report.