We’ll get through this together.
While many things remain unknown at this point, there is one thing we know for sure: Idahoans always come together to support each other and to share their pride for our beautiful state. This situation is no different. We will find our way forward together and welcome visitors to safely discover and enjoy all our state has to offer.
We are here for you. Idaho Commerce-Tourism Development is working closely with state, industry and national partners to continually monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the travel industry. Given the evolving nature of the situation, we have gathered resources that will aid in tracking the situation, what it might mean for your business or community and opportunities to seek support. We’ll continue to update this page as more information and resources are received and developed.
- State of Idaho’s Coronavirus site for accurate, up-to-date information about public health conditions across the state, including the latest information on the Governor’s Stay-Home Order. Answers to commonly asked questions regarding the order can be found here. For any questions not covered by the order or the FAQ document, we recommend contacting the Idaho Office of the Governor, the Idaho Office of Emergency Management or the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
- Visit Idaho’s Travel Alert page for the latest information to assist travelers and residents alike.
- Idaho Commerce page for business impact information, including information on the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
- Idaho Department of Labor Coronavirus page for employers and workers.
- Register for Idaho Tourism Virtual Coffee Talks on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. MDT, beginning April 2 through April 30.
- Sign up to receive the Tourism Industry Newsletter for updates during the current COVID-19 situation and beyond.
Travel Industry Resources
- CDC Guidelines for traveling in the United States
- U.S. Travel Association page for emergency preparedness and response
- U.S Travel Association CARES Act relief resources
- To apply for SBA economic injury disaster loan assistance. Assistance is available to small businesses and non-profit organizations.
- “Protect. Plan. Recover” guidance from Madden Media to think about not just short-term actions, but preparing and planning for the recovery of your marketing efforts for your destination.
- 7 Tips for Communicating During COVID-19 guidance from Red Sky
- Destination Analysts research updates on Coronavirus’ impact on American travel
- Longwoods International COVID-19 and Travel Sentiment Surveys
- Destinations International coronavirus Industry Update webinar
- Roger Brooks Webinar: “Dealing With the Coronavirus: What to do immediately to help save your tourism industry, and downtown businesses”
- “Open Idaho” from the Idaho Lodging and Restaurant Association. Find restaurants with takeout, delivery, and curbside options and update the services your restaurant is offering.
Travel and Tourism Business Considerations
- Leisure travel is not encouraged to or within Idaho at this time.
- Hotels and lodging properties should remain open only if providing lodging for essential service providers or providing rooms for self-isolation and quarantined individuals.
- Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food can remain open, but only for delivery or carry out.
- Monitor whether your business is considered an essential service. Update any changes to your operating hours on your website and social media channels.
- Communicate changes to your local city or county officials, chamber of commerce, downtown business association and industry associations.
- Review and consider updating your cancellation, postponement and refund policies. Ensure changes are updated on your website and communicated to customer-facing staff.
- Identify open, allowable, and safely accessible outdoor recreation and relaxation destinations in your area to share with guests/visitors.
- Consider calling or sending emails to guests or groups planning trips in the next 90 days to communicate the above changes.
- Lead with empathy and understanding when interacting with potential visitors or guests who need to change their plans.
- Review industry economic modeling, surveys and insights to prepare your business.
Steps Idaho Tourism is Taking
Like you, we are watching COVID-19’s evolving impact on our industry. The pause on travel, entertainment and meetings will have a direct effect on room tax collections. We are actively monitoring the latest data from economists and industry experts to understand what this situation means for Idaho’s destinations. Our latest update on collections and FY20 projections can be found here.
Many of you have asked how you should handle your existing marketing campaigns.
- At the state level, Idaho Tourism has paused all paid advertising efforts except for a few very limited digital campaigns. Calls to action have been updated to focus on travel guide requests for future travel planning.
- We encourage you to take similar measures to pause all paid advertising campaigns and respect the safety orders implemented in Idaho and other states.
- During this time, advertising and promotions have the potential to fall on deaf ears so save those marketing dollars until we see an increase in intent to travel.
- Any messaging should be inspirational and supportive of the situation everyone across America and around the world is experiencing right now. A hard sell to “Visit my destination” or “Visit my business” is not advised.
- Review Madden Media’s COVID-19 Website Strategies.
- Review the COVID-19 Travel Alert on VisitIdaho.org.
To keep Idaho top of mind and inspire future travel, Idaho Tourism is currently developing the following:
- A public service announcement type video encouraging travelers to prioritize their health and safety and reminding them that Idaho will be waiting to welcome them when the time is right.
- A variety of online activities, including downloadable and printable Idaho coloring and activity sheets and a quiz show. Each activity is designed to provide fun, lighthearted engagement to those looking to stay home and fill their time.
- Videos and other supporting tactics for the VisitIdaho.org Backpack feature to help visitors begin dreaming and planning itineraries for when it is safe to travel to Idaho.
- Social media posts that offer beautiful, relaxing photography with messages of support and “we’re all in this together”.
- Idaho is presently under a Stay-Home Order issued by Governor Little on March 25, 2020. The order is in place for 21 days. Monitor the State’s Coronavirus website for the latest updates and details around the Stay-Home Order and allowable essential services.
- Not all Idaho destinations and businesses are open presently or allowed to be open. Leisure travel is not encouraged to or within Idaho at this time. Please respect state and local guidance. We look forward to welcoming travelers again when the time is right.
- We understand people’s desire to travel and enjoy Idaho’s great outdoors, however, at this time we recommend you stay home. If you must travel or your travel is deem essential, we recommend calling and inquiring with destinations and businesses for up-to-date information.
- As the situation is constantly evolving, the public is encouraged to stay home as much as possible, exercise healthy habits and seek and heed the latest expert guidance from the CDC.
Fresh Air: Not Cancelled
- We all know the healing and calming powers of fresh air. Idaho offers opportunities to responsibly explore and relax in the outdoors.
- Some Idaho Parks remain open, as do some municipal parks, trails and waterways across the state. Identify and amplify those aspects of your community where individuals have the space to safely roam and enjoy, and then share them — we all need stories, images and moments to make us smile.
- Above all else, do no harm. Be sure to reference safe distances, healthy habits, and encourage the following of CDC guidance in any messaging. We look forward to welcoming all Idaho visitors again when the time is right!
Information contained on this page and linked pages is subject to change. All information, documents, and resource links provided by the Idaho Department of Commerce are for information purposes only. Please consult with your legal and financial advisors for recommendations specific to your business or organization.