PLATTSBURGH — Wish you were here, glad you're staying home.
That's the type of messaging ROOST (Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism) is sending to potential visitors to the Adirondack region during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re continuing to plan our summer marketing," ROOST Director of Marketing Michelle Clement said during a community update given by teleconference Wednesday.
"We’re continuing to develop fresh new programs and platforms and initiatives behind the scenes ... so that we are ready to pull the trigger and be back in the marketplace when the time is right and to encourage people to return to the region."
'WILL ALWAYS ENDURE'
ROOST CEO Jim McKenna explained that his organization has reduced staff, and put those that remain on reduced hours for the short-term.
He read from a message sent out to ROOST's known visitor list, comprised of more than 150,000, in which ROOST acknowledges that the Adirondacks hold a special place in the hearts of locals and travelers.
But unfortunately, now is not the time to visit.
"Now is the time to pause, reconnect with loved ones and find safe, healthy adventures close to home," McKenna continued.
The area's lakes, mountains, unique shops and restaurants will always endure.
"So rest assured we will be here, ready to reconnect and welcome you back when the time is right. You can depend on that.”
Clement explained that, while ROOST is not actively marketing the region by calling on people to come visit, they are trying to maintain a positive presence in the marketplace.
That has included changing messaging to what is timely.
ROOST is using the hashtag #WeWillBeHereADK and its team has pivoted the use of its "Insider" emails from putting out an events calendar to supporting local businesses by sharing information about what services are currently available from shops and restaurants.
Businesses and Adirondack communities are encouraged to "keep top-of-mind" with travelers, Clement continued.
For restaurants, that might include highlighting chefs making their favorite foods; some businesses are using webcams to do interactive programming on social media.
"Share positive things, entertainment, things to give people a break from the negative news that’s flooding news feeds,” Clement said.
“Keeping top-of-mind with your audience right now is key so when it is time to say it’s time to come, you’ll still be building that conversation (and) relationship with them.”
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