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COVID-19 Impact on North American Destination Organizations

by Katie Skrzek

Mar 27, 2020

Hudson River, New York City © Ilja Mašík | Dreamstime

Trends / Top Trends

Marketing research company MMGY Travel Intelligence and nonprofit organization Destinations International Foundation recently released findings of a survey regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on North American destination organizations. The survey was conducted in two parts: March 4–8 and March 16–22. Employees of city, region and state destination organizations in North America completed the survey.

 

More than 80 percent of the destination organizations surveyed reduced or postponed sales and/or marketing spend in the last few weeks. More than 60 percent of these organizations asked employees to work from home. The majority of these organizations expect COVID-19 to continue to impact business over the next six months.

 

Almost 100 percent of destinations report postponements or cancellations of conferences, meetings or events due to COVID-19. Only 30 percent of destination organizations had a pandemic emergency plan in place prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

“This is a rapidly evolving situation for our industry, and it’s important for destinations to make decisions based on facts and hard data as they begin to prepare recovery strategies,” said Craig Compagnone, chief operating officer, MMGY. “While there is no precedent for this situation, we know that travel has spiked following previous crises, and data will help influence how destinations keep travelers and communities informed until travel restrictions are eased and bookings return.”

 

The full report can be accessed on the MMGY Travel Intelligence website.

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