How to Inspire Tourism When Travelers Can’t Leave Home

written by

Gloria Miller


April 21, 2020

With travel bans and stay-at-home orders implemented around the nation due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the tourism industry (like so many others) has been severely impacted. The outbreak arrived just as most U.S. destinations were gearing up for spring and summer tourists; and now, they’re having to quickly pivot as most Americans aren’t considering traveling until mid-June, according to Dave Bratton with Destination Analysts.

This is the challenge facing our tourism client, Visit Idaho. In Idaho, tourism is the third-largest industry, bringing in over $3 billion each year. COVID-19 altered Visit Idaho’s annual summer advertising campaign, forcing a pause on all travel promotion. Instead, Visit Idaho shifted to a “Plan Now, Play Later” theme encouraging travelers to dream up their next Idaho adventure while they’re staying safe at home so that they’re ready to go when it’s safe to travel again. Campaign elements include:

Stay Home, Stay Healthy Video

A video urging travelers to prioritize their health and safety and reminding them that Idaho will be here waiting to welcome them when the time is right.

At Home in Idaho Online Activity Page

Visit Idaho launched an online activities page, where visitors can download and print Idaho-themed coloring pages, crossword puzzles, Mad Libs and word searches to help family members fill their time with fun.

Zoom Backgrounds

For those working from home and looking to spice up their Zoom virtual backgrounds, Visit Idaho has created an array of incredible landscape scenes from around the state — everything from the Route of the Hiawatha and Blue Heart Springs to the Teton Mountains and Bear Lake State Park.

A view of a beach next to the ocean

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360° Virtual Tours

Visitors can take a virtual tour of the sights and sounds of Idaho’s most iconic adventure areas.

New features will continue to be added to the activities page, including:

  • Virtual tours of select Idaho museums and zoos
  • Live web cameras capturing a variety of picturesque locations throughout the state
  • A Spotify playlist featuring Idaho artists
  • An Idaho Quiz Show

When travel bans are lifted, the destinations travelers seek out may look different than before. Bratton reports that big cities, large sporting events and cruises aren’t high on the list of travelers’ lists when it comes to the focus of their first trip. Instead, 30% of travelers will opt for small town and rural destinations, which positions Idaho as an ideal location.

Where do you plan to go when travel resumes? Wherever it is, we hope you enjoy your time dreaming up the perfect itinerary.

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