How DMOs like Flagstaff and Little Rock Are Supporting Local (Roundup)

April 13, 2020 Julia Manoukian

How do you incentivize people to support local? What can you do to assist health care professionals? How do you remain a reputable source of information?

These are some of the important questions the DMOs in this week's roundup are answering. 

Read below to see how Little Rock CVB is selling shirts to support the community, how Discover Flagstaff is inspiring residents to make a difference locally, and more. 

We’re always looking for examples of how travel & tourism businesses are responding during this time. You can enter a submission in our Travel & Tourism Community Stories Hub.

Act as a reputable source of information for locals and visitors

Travel Oregon's COVID-19 hub connects their community to all the resources they need right now

Travel Oregon's COVID-19 consumer hub includes the latest updates, ways to enjoy Oregon from your home, and explainers on how to help businesses now.

Supporting local businesses

Visit Seaside announced their own Tourism Relief Program

Seaside, OR, just announced its own Tourism Relief Program for small businesses in their city. The grants are funded by the city. Those eligible include non-lodging businesses such as restaurants, shops, galleries, cafes, and entertainment establishments who have been operating for more than a year.

The team has also created a Google Sheet that shows all open restaurants in the area, which they update daily. This tactic is useful for smaller destinations and one-person marketing teams where keeping your website up-to-date might be a challenge. 

Butler County keeps a diligently updated directory of local businesses 

On the landing page, which shows detailed information on delivery options and deals, the Pennsylvania DMO shares CrowdRiff Galleries on the header and footer. The UGC they've chosen is down-to-earth, personal, hopeful and optimistic.

Little Rock Arkansas CVB is selling “Big on Little Rock” shirts to support local businesses and the community

Proceeds go to two efforts: food relief coordinated by World Central Kitchen, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care professionals and first responders. World Central Kitchen has so far provided 53,000 meals across the city.

Little Rock has also partnered with Mangan Holcomb Partners/Team to create a free, one-stop hub that provides a comprehensive, reliable list of information for all Arkansans.

Here, organizations across the state can keep the community updated on their availability by claiming or adding a business listing or job opening. The site also empowers consumers to do their part by buying goods and services, taking online courses or museum tours, or simply providing support by interacting virtually with one another.

Community leaders in Kamloops collaborate on an online resource for businesses and the community

Eight community business leaders in Kamloops have come together to provide resources and information for businesses and locals during COVID-19. 

Discover Lehigh Valley offers interactive experiences and at-home activities

Discover Lehigh Valley has shifted to focus on online experiences from local attractions, listings of restaurants with curbside services, and at-home activities for families.

Discover Flagstaff launched an online program to incentivize choosing local

Flagstaff Local is a dedicated website for locals that encourages and celebrates residents that choose to Shop Flagstaff, Volunteer, Be Eco-Friendly, Donate, Support Education, Mentor, and Vote.

Encouraging travelers to “Dream Now, Visit Later”

Pure Grenada is focusing on being a positive source of inspiration

Their campaign #GrenadaDreaming is sharing images to inspire consumers to visit Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique in the future.

Destination British Columbia shares Dream of Later video and message

The video reminds would-be travelers and locals that "right now, distance is more important than ever... so far now we pause, stay in and dream of later. Because the more we do today, the sooner we can return to British Columbia's natural wonder...". The tone strikes the right balance between optimism and inspiration while subtly reminding people to respect government guidelines.

Lifting followers’ spirits and fostering local pride

Visit Lake Charles' shares a social distancing guide, Louisiana Style

The Facebook post shows creative ways to calculate 6 feet of distance.

Visit Mobile features "Hometown Heroes" & how they are supporting the community 

Using CrowdRiff galleries, read the story of how locals are giving back. #MobileStrong started with the concept of "Mobile Takeout Friday" to encourage ordering food locally.

Explore Georgia brings out local pride with UGC on Zoom Backgrounds

Explore Georgia created virtual zoom backgrounds using a CrowdRiff gallery to display the images, media hub to download them and rights approved images to create them.

Uplifting updates from Visit Saint Paul

Visit Saint Paul is curating an ongoing blog with uplifting news from around Saint Paul to bring a smile and some positivity to this time.

Visit Holland using Instagram to share their world-famous flowers to those who cannot visit

To reach people around the world who can't visit right now, Visit Holland is sharing their world-famous flowers in video posts using #VisitNetherlandsFrom🏡.

For example, they used 50K plants and 150K flowers to make a #Flowers4Oxygen piece. This is a great way to keep their brand lights on during this time and share uplifting, inspirational content. 

Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau launch an interactive #StayHomeRKFD website

This site curates virtual fitness classes, tours, coloring books, and most recently "Stay Home Songs" songwriting contest.

Greater Zion launched its StayGreater campaign to inspire local pride

The StayGreater campaign includes easy access to dining initiatives, COVID-19 Resource Pages, and inspirational stories from the community.

Visit Rochester used UGC to create an inspirational video for their community

Using UGC sourced from CrowdRiff, this video shares the best of the community. In the first 24hrs, it received over 10K views across all platforms.

How is your DMO responding? Visit our Community Stories Hub to let us know. 

Image credit: @missvito

How the travel industry is responding to COVID-19

About the author

Julia Manoukian

Julia Manoukian is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at CrowdRiff. A former journalist, she has helped several Toronto startups raise their thought leadership profiles and scale their content efforts to influence revenue. She's passionate about storytelling, traveling, and tech.

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