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Global Traveler’s Globility Board Shares Thoughts, Suggestions and More for Tourism Boards as COVID-19 Continues to Affect the Travel Industry

by Kimberly Inlander

Apr 27, 2020

Elizaveta Galitskaya | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

In 2012, Global Traveler compiled a group of its subscribers to serve as its Globility Board. After an interview and vetting process, the members have served the publication in many capacities: as a focus group for clients, as a resource for articles and, now, to provide thoughts, suggestions and more for tourism boards as they face the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

 

Below is the third in a four-part series with our Globility Board. They also came together to offer support for hotels, airlines and cruises.

 

On our tourism board committee was Tom and Celeste Linhard, a husband and wife based in Colorado that have both flown more than 2 million miles with United Airlines; and Iris Childress, a cloud computing engineer with Microsoft Corp.

 

When the committee spoke, the quarantine and lockdowns were still developing in some areas. The Linhards were at the beginning of Colorado’s lockdown and were already considering road trips, while Childress, based in Seattle, was on a week of business travel that required both flights and a rental car. According to Childress, planes were half full, but not much had changed in the airport except for all the restaurant closures. The airplanes were spotless, and travelers were in masks.

 

While Childress worries how quickly people and business can remobilize once the bans lift, all agreed deals and discounts will get travelers back on the roads and in the air. Tom Linhard suggested canceled festivals worldwide should begin promoting rescheduled dates as soon as possible, and state tourism boards should consider “drive to us” campaigns to promote road trips, especially with gas prices at a low. The tourism boards could even partner regionally to promote trips to specific areas of the country. And, in areas where road trips aren’t as possible, it was mentioned tourism boards might consider pairing with regional airlines to offer incentives to travelers.

 

It was widely agreed  travelers are likely to first return to the worldwide destinations that best handled the virus, or at least those perceived to have handled it well. Many agreed tourism boards may use influencers, social media and travel journalists to promote that destinations are back open for business.

 

And which destinations are these intrepid travelers planning to visit once travel is able to return to normal? Childress is planning a trip to Asia in November, over the Thanksgiving holiday, and the LInhards are hoping to return to Europe on a two-week cruise in August. Tom Linhard will also return to Asia for business as soon as possible.

 

What suggestions do you have for tourism boards in the face of the COVID-19 crisis? Share with us at letters@globaltravelerusa.com.

 

Along with the Globility Board, we here at FXExpress Publications, Inc. cannot wait to #ComeBacktoTravel, and have you all #ComeBacktoGT, #ComeBacktoTrazee and #ComeBacktoWhereverFamily.

#WhereverFamily

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