GEORGE NEWS - George Tourism is currently investigating options on how to support the tourism industry during these trying times.
Joan Shaw, George Tourism manager, said while the municipality’s primary focus is on relieving social pressures, most officials of the Tourism Department are hard at work from home, gathering and distributing information.
“We are closely monitoring trends and interventions from across the globe, other towns and government agencies, learning how to adapt to the challenges the industry is facing and exploring ways in which we can evolve our product, now and into the future,” said Shaw.
Their focus is to disseminate accurate and relevant information to all their stakeholders. “We gather this information only from trusted sources such as confirmed government-issued statements, and do not entertain fake news,” she said.
Important information is being issued daily on the George municipal app and social media channels. George, Wilderness and Uniondale Tourism frequently issue Covid-19 tourism-related updates via e-mail to members and core tourism products (accommodation, restaurants, activities, events).
If you are not receiving them, and they are not in your spam folder, send an e-mail to email@example.com to be added to the list, or correct your contact details. If you are not a member and would like to be, request a membership application form from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advice to the tourism sector
Shaw said all businesses should urgently put business continuity, optimisation or rescue planning in place. “After lockdown, travel will still be severely hampered, and we can expect this year to be tough on the travel industry. Plan for these tough times,” she said.
“The financial sector offers these services and can assist you in planning for the future. Keep up to date and apply, where required, for the funding and UIF assistance available to SMMEs. Look at how you can use payment holidays that your banks, landlords and others may be offering.”
She urged the tourism industry to start planning marketing strategies. “International travel is going to be hampered, but when it is safe for South Africans, and eventually the world, to travel again, how will you reach them with your offers?
Keep posting content online so that our destination stays top of mind. People still want to travel, it is just not safe to do so, so let’s keep them inspired about travelling to our area. Please tag the relevant Tourism Social media pages for your destination, to spread the word.”
To this end, George, Wilderness and Uniondale Tourism will apply a good portion of their marketing budget (allocated to various trade shows which were cancelled) to launch an intensive, targeted social media campaign in the domestic and key international markets.
George Tourism will be featuring all products with their database. If you have not yet signed up, kindly contact email@example.com for more information and application forms.
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