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.
Idaho Tourism 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.
- Idaho Rebounds: Our Path to Prosperity is Governor Little’s four-phase, data-driven approach to opening up Idaho’s economy. This approach reduces the risk of COVID-19 to Idaho’s most vulnerable population and preserves capacity in our healthcare system, while opening up businesses safely.
- For any questions not covered by the coronavirus.idaho.gov or rebound.idaho.gov websites, 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 COVID-19 page for business impact information, including information on the Idaho Rebound Cash Grants for Small Businesses, SBA assistance options like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
- Idaho Department of Labor Coronavirus page for employers and workers.
- Sign up to receive the Tourism Industry Newsletter for updates during the current COVID-19 situation and beyond.
- Register for Idaho Tourism Virtual Coffee Talks on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. MDT, beginning April 2 through June 4, 2020.
- Virtual Coffee Talk Recording | April 2, 2020 | Presenters: Dan Janes and Addy Coleman, Madden Media and Jessica Flynn, Red Sky
- Virtual Coffee Talk Recording | April 9, 2020 | Presenters: Jerry Miller, Idaho Commerce and Pam Eaton, Idaho Lodging & Restaurant Association
- Virtual Coffee Talk Recording | April 16, 2020 | Presenter: Dave Bratton, Destination Analysts
- Virtual Coffee Talk Recording | April, 23, 2020 | Presenter: Anna Blount, Longwoods International
- Virtual Coffee Talk Recording | April 30, 2020 | Presenters: Dan Janes and Addy Coleman, Madden Media
- Virtual Coffee Talk Recording | May 14, 2020 | Presenter: Matthew Landkamer, Coraggio Group
- Virtual Coffee Talk Recording | May 21, 2020 | Presenter: Steven Paganelli, TripAdvisor
- Virtual Coffee Talk Recording | May 28, 2020 | Presenters: Dan Janes, Vanessa Abril-Gutierrez, and Addy Coleman, Madden Media
- Virtual Coffee Talk Recording | June 4, 2020 | Brooke Burnham and Matt Clement, Arrivalist
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
- U.S. Travel Association Industry Guidance for Promoting the Health and Safety of All Travelers
- 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
- Arrivalist Daily Travel Index – tracks U.S. consumer road trips of 50 miles or more to measure signs of returning travel activity
- 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
- Update any changes to your business operations on your website and social media channels.
- Communicate changes to your customers, 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 slowing of 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 recently relaunched digital campaigns. Calls to action have been updated to focus on public safety and travel guide requests for future travel planning.
- We encourage you to take similar measures to review all paid advertising campaigns and ensure your messaging is respectful of current health and safety concerns.
- During this time, “hard sell” advertising, messaging and promotions will fall on deaf ears. Any messaging should be inspirational and supportive of the situation everyone across America and around the world is experiencing right now.
- 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, interactive videos and Zoom backgrounds. 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”.
- Monitor the State’s Coronavirus website and Idaho Rebounds website for the latest updates and details around Stages of Reopening.
- Please encourage visitors to call ahead to any planned destinations or businesses to ensure they are open and operational. 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, please do so responsibly. Please review Recreate Responsibly Idaho for more 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 for day use, as do some municipal parks, trails, waterways and public lands 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.