As COVID-19 continues to move forward, DMO’s are caught in two different directions. One the one
hand, organizations are looking for that elusive date when things begin to return to some level of normalcy. Is it next month, three months, six months, a year, or longer? Truth is nobody knows.
The tourism industry has had an incredible run over the last decade, and we like to think our destinations benefitted from the marketing programs DMO’s implemented, they have, along with an astonishing global and national economy. But did that incredible run jade us into believing our destination is just one fresh new marketing program away from getting back to normal? Perhaps.
On the other hand, DMO’s are faced with significantly reduced funding that is leading to program cuts and staffing reductions. It’s a very unfamiliar territory and not a pleasant place to be. Daily we are reminded by a variety of research firm reports, indexes, and sentiment studies that tell us what we already know.
That being said, DMO’s need a way forward. The longer this crisis goes on, the primary and only strategy is organizational survival. But the smart DMO can use this moment to think one step ahead and not look backward and dig out the files and see what was done after 9-11 or after the 2008/09 recession. But instead, approach what comes next with a clean slate.
What comes next will be very different from what was going on six weeks ago. The smart DMO is trying to understand what changes are likely to happen as a result of the crisis, what can be learned? What will the sociocultural, economic, technology, and competitive landscape look like, and they are already redesigning their organization in terms of programs, messaging, and staffing. It’s hard to see it now, but the smart organizations will emerge better.
Never let a crisis go to waste.
About SMG Consulting
SMG Consulting, located in South Lake Tahoe, is a strategy consulting firm specializes in the tourism and recreation industry. For more information www.smgonline.net