With the exception of a 3 month grace on filing tax returns and the public facing launch of a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp. there was little of critical note to report to you on Wednesday 25th, hence no update. Hopefully this is indicative that we are over the immediate shock and understandable, initial confusion following Monday’s lock down and that some clarity and better organisation and understanding is now emerging. Today we are expecting information on the self-employed, which will be of great importance to many in the typical destination town or area.
For the last few days, you will have been focused on supporting your businesses. We have been looking at that too but have also started urgently looking at the issues of sustaining a network of very differently organised and resourced (finance and staffing) destination management and marketing organisations, operating to various, differing business models. It may be too early to think in detail about recovery plans but is not too early to start assessing whether all DMO’s themselves with survive the crisis to be in a position to lead the recovery locally and for those that are still operational, what the implication for the resources they will have to deploy to drive that recovery (marketing, events, conference budgets and ?)
I have spoken to many members and or had email updates over the last week. It is now time to try and formalise the collection of business, DMO and recovery resource impacts. The running updates given to date have be extremely helpful in informing colleagues national, including Government. What I am now seeking is your more considered internal reports and assessments, that have already, or will, I am sure, be produced in the coming days and weeks.
Please ensure any report you do share includes an as at date, indicates any caveats on whether we can use (quote) the information externally and if we can whether you are content for your location to be used (if it is necessary) or whether the detail needs to be used anonymously.
As the dust settles and hopefully you have more time, we looking at setting up a series of short conference call for destination mangers to share experience and to start to discussing the headline requirements and the national level support needed for recovery. I have been reluctant to take this forward yet, simply because I am aware of the degree of local pressures on each and every one of you. I’d welcome an indication from those who would like us to set up this service and if possible, an indication of when you would feel it appropriate to start from. I can have something up and running from 24 hours onward.