Pragmatic and cautious. Delicate and blunt. Messaging is all over the map.
It’s a fluid scenario; at the moment 20 states have travel restrictions (plus the entire length of the Canadian border) for visitor and resident movement in, out, and around their borders. It’s not necessarily going smoothly, either. CNN is attempting to keep the state-by-state list updated.
“Frankly— it’s the most important thing, probably, that we have ever done,” said Visit Florida CEO Dana Young. She’s referring to a new $10 million, four-phase ad campaign.
“At Visit Florida, we have been working for months on a multi-phase campaign to bring people back to the state. We’re currently in stage one, which is more of an inspirational phase, to keep Florida at the top of mind with potential travelers as they’re dreaming and planning their next vacation,” said Young.
Visit Florida is already in phase one, focused on positive messaging to buoy spirits and keep the destination top of mind. In the coming weeks, Visit Florida will launch ads targeting state residents and those within a 700-mile radius of North Florida.
Phases three and four will expand ad audiences outward. First, targeting those across the US and Canada. International travelers will be the last target. The timeline for each phase will depend on what the developments around coronavirus.
Safety is key to the campaign messaging message in the campaign, if subtle. Instead of explicitly mentioning virus concerns and protection measures, ads will spotlight outdoor options that reduce COVID-19 transmission risks.
“All of our data and research shows us that during this pandemic and after—in the initial phases—people are going to be more comfortable traveling close to home,” said Young. “People are looking for an opportunity to travel somewhere where they feel safe. Here in Florida, fortunately, we have many, many outdoor experiences that are available where people feel safe,” Young said.
The campaign marks a big moment for Visit Florida, which was at risk of being eliminated in the last two legislative sessions. Lawmakers had been questioning its need and reduced the organization’s funding.
“Our mission has never been more important than it is today,” said Young. “That is to rebuild our tourism economy and bring people back to Florida to support our budget, our economy, and everything that makes Florida great.”
Based on reporting by WFLX, WPEC, and WPTV
Related — Funding: Virginia Leads the Way
Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism and Business Development has launched the “Montana Aware” campaign to promote safe and responsible behavior among those who are traveling in the state. The public health initiative aims to educate residents and visitors on safe travel best practices to slow the spread of COVID-19.
It’s focused on encouraging Montana’s tourism partners and local businesses to use flyers, posters, social media messages, customer emails and business websites to inform patrons about safety guidelines for travel.
As part of this initiative, the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development developed a partner toolkit of resources to help educate residents and visitors on safe travel best practices. Download it here.
Safe travel guidelines from Montana Aware:
Before travelers hit the road, they’re asked to read, “Know before you go.”
- Know the local public health guidelines before arriving at their destination
- Understand some services and destinations may be limited
- Stay home if they’re sick
The best way to prevent infection from COVID-19 and any respiratory virus is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The same preventative measures that are recommended during cold and flu season will also help to protect against coronavirus:
- Wear a mask in public spaces or when social distancing cannot be achieved
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often for at least 20 seconds using soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue (or your elbow)
- Stay home if you are sick
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
The “Montana Aware” initiative is funded with federal dollars through Montana’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Upon entering New Mexico, visitors and residents who have traveled are required to self-quarantine for 14 days or the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter, a quarantine in effect at least through Aug. 28, 2020.
NOTICE FOR ALL TRAVELERS: As of July 1, all out-of-state travelers are required to self-quarantine for 14 days or for the length of their stay in New Mexico, whichever is shorter. (from the website)
In the form of a travel advisory, New Mexico Tourism is “delicately and bluntly” telling visitors to stay away, reports Travel Weekly. Electronic highway signs and full-page newspaper ads in neighboring Arizona and Texas are delivering the message:
Our travel quarantine makes it difficult to visit right now, and we miss you. We can’t wait to see you when the world is safe again. We realize it’s not the most comfortable thing to ask a neighbor. But we’re in this together.” — The Land of Enchantment
Per the New Mexico Department of Transportation, sticking to the out-of-doors does not flex the rules.
Q: Can I visit state parks in New Mexico if I live out of state?
No. State parks are closed to out of state visitors at this time.
Q: Can out of state visitors come into New Mexico for a day hike?
Not right now. New Mexico enjoys visitors but now is not a good time to visit. Unless you plan to quarantine for 14 days after you arrive.