Visit Baltimore Rolls Out Tourism Ad Campaign
Amid a spike in coronavirus cases and a statewide travel advisory in effect, Visit Baltimore on Monday launched a new tourism ad campaign that's aimed at markets within driving distance.
The campaign includes TV, radio and print and online ads and outdoor billboards. It's bold and unexpected, and it's the campaign's underlying message that the organization hopes resonates with tourists.
The B.Willow flower shop is not typically thought of as a Baltimore tourist attraction, but it's on a short list of places highlighted in a new multimedia campaign that encourages people to safely explore Baltimore City this fall and winter.
"We are limiting it to four customers at a time. We've changed the entire layout of the in-person shopping experience. People will have separate spaces, so they don't have to be on top of each other," said Liz Vayda, owner of B.Willow.
The new safe travel campaign is being launched when the city is limiting indoor and outdoor public gatherings to 10 people and capacity in restaurants and retailers to 25%.
"All these businesses are taking precautions to make sure everyone is safe -- we're ready," the ad says.
According to Visit Baltimore, travel is the third-largest economic driver for the city. The U.S. Travel Association estimates the coronavirus pandemic has taken 51% of tourism-related jobs in the country.
Visit Baltimore's new campaign aims to turn things around, selling the city as a safe day trip. The Doubledutch Boutique is another featured business in the campaign. Its owner, Lesley Jennings, said they are taking extraordinary precautions.
"We have a sign stating that we have limited capacity. So we will probably be monitoring the door and the amount of people that come in," Jennings said. "We ask people to use the sanitizers that are spread out throughout the store. We do have fitting rooms, and we allow people to try clothes on, but we steam it afterwards, and we make sure that everybody is socially distanced."
The campaign is made possible by a $5 million coronavirus relief act grant that can be used to help support industries hit hard by the coronavirus, which, in this case, is the tourism industry.