Four Ways Destinations are Supporting Local Businesses During COVID-19

Think of your favorite spots in your destination. How many of those are local businesses? There’s no question that these unique shops, restaurants and hotels all have special places in our hearts, and COVID-19 has renewed local pride and underscored that we are in this together. The Longwoods International research from the first Clarity in a Time of Crisis webinar revealed that the top content of interest to travelers during this time revolved around ways to help our favorite local places survive. With uncertainty and travel on hold, here’s how DMOs are bringing it in to support the local businesses, communities and neighbors that color their destinations and make them hum.

1. Shining a Spotlight on Local Partners

To celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, Visit Delaware is launching a series of videos featuring the hidden gems and mom-and-pop shops that locals have come to love. Sometimes missed by travelers, these discoveries give partners a platform to talk about tourism’s impact on their business and serve as inspiration to look beyond the popular sights on future journeys.

2. Driving the Takeout Movement

Restaurants and local shops are at the heart of every destination and DMOs are making sure to highlight the businesses that are open and offering takeout or delivery service. Visit California created #CATakeoutTuesday to help inspire the community to grab food to go and share photos on social media to be featured on their page.

San Francisco Travel identified the pain point of local foodies trying to figure out which restaurants were open and offering no-contact takeout or delivery. Together with the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, they leveraged the city’s birthday, April 15th, to launch Order415. Featuring a curated list of those local dining options, the website puts restaurants front and center and gives locals easy access to hours, menus and ordering.

3. Encouraging Travelers to Dream Now, Travel Later

Over in the Southeast, Downtown Jacksonville hosted a series of gift card giveaways on social media, helping drive sales to businesses that need it most.

4. Serving as a Trusted Resource

To build a support system for local businesses, Travel Portland went straight to the source. Crowdsourcing comments, questions and concerns from the community on social media, they utilized this feedback to build a comprehensive resource on how to stay afloat during this time. Here, locals can find everything from guidelines and FAQs to tools and social media recommendations.

Visit San Diego quickly acted as locals and frequent travelers asked, “How can I help?” They responded in the form of a blog packed with resources including places with online shopping, information on how to donate and more. 

More Resources

Find clear, timely answers to questions about COVID-19 and travel and tourism in Miles Partnerships' Clarity in a Time of Crisis resource center, including essential insights and recommendations for DMOs and tourism organizations.

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