This week on the Layover Live, we’re talking about how destination marketing organizations can navigate the uncharted waters of marketing during the COVID-19 public health crisis. While many unknowns remain, so do the tried-and-true tenets of marketing, principles that will serve as a guiding light for your organization as you plan ahead for the eventual recovery.

We’ve been so inspired by the actions DMOs like yours are taking to both weather this storm and shift their messaging to a softer community relations focus to build for the future. Your focus right now should be on providing clear and up-to-date information, relying on basic health and safety guidelines and continuing to market local businesses with relevant framing, as it relates to your destination’s current advisories. So many of you are rising to this challenge.

We’ve also seen several DMOs, such as Visit Charlottesville, take the step to install the Simpleview alert widget with COVID-19 updates. This enables you to add a module to your site without having that information take the site over completely—visitors who wish to learn more can do so, while others who are planning potential future trips can continue to do so uninterrupted.

In light of the necessary shift to delivery and take-out, many DMOs such as Experience Columbus have launched hubs highlighting businesses, offering locals a way to support their beloved restaurants. Visit Denver’s custom search engine,, enables you to filter and search by region and cuisine, creating a convenient experience for would-be diners.

And just because attractions are closed for now doesn’t mean people can’t get out and see them up close. We love what Visit Alexandria has done to curate experiences with ALX at Home, a great way for Alexandrians to experience everything from wellness classes to virtual waterfront tours from the comfort of their own homes. Visit Alexandria’s Lamb Cam, which streams from the popular tourism spot Mount Vernon, is beyond adorable. And true to form for its destination, Visit Austin has a great new post featuring DJs and musicians with shows and concert streaming online.

Given this crisis, you’ll likely need to refine your email messaging, and you’ll want to look at your paid media spend and schedule as they fit within your overall marketing mix. But all of these examples show that with a bit of creativity, DMOs are getting smart and thinking future-forward—and we know their efforts will pay off down the line.

Join us for a webinar on Tuesday, March 31 to learn how your team can prepare for recovery with the optimization of your digital marketing efforts.