Chamber President Nort Johnson is serving a Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Convention and Visitors Bureau for 2020. This is his message to the Association this month;
We’ve been busy conducting our year-end reviews and setting the table for 2021 strategic plans over the last few weeks here at the office in Faribault. We’re not unusual for a community our size in that we have multiple functions under one roof which means we create multiple strategic plans. Not surprisingly all of our functions have been affected by the ‘rona and so each of our plans are affected as well.
Like nearly all CVBs and DMOs around the world our tourism promotion budget has been quite thoroughly trashed. I am thankful that we’ll recover that budget as travel returns to normal levels as we have a multi-year contract in place with the city and the lodging tax remains protected for under statute. In some communities around the country we sometimes hear of local competition for funding pools. Often dollars that have been dedicated for our CVB/DMO use either by tradition or by statute are at risk. Now, as much as ever we need to show with confidence that the work we do is vital to our local economies.
Even in a non-covid travel economy without a well-rounded marketing and messaging campaign the great reputations we’ve built for our destinations over the years with visitors quickly fade. Without well-organized caretaking of your visitors needs consumer confidence and visitor ratings of your destinations will suffer as well. Trying to recover a local travel economy post-pandemic will be challenging enough but working with significantly reduced budgets post-pandemic would be too daunting for even the best of us.
Your MACVB Board will be holding our Annual Strategic Planning Summit next week and we’ll be working hard to make sure we provide you – our valued members with tools to protect and potentially grow your funding so you can continue to do the great work of supporting your local economies. We’ll also be coordinating the right advocacy campaign with our lobbyists to continue protection of the lodging tax. We’re committed and proud to do this work on behalf of our members and our industry.
Thanks for all you do for the industry and for your communities! Keep your spirits up and remember – this too shall pass.