During Covid19 both tourism and churches have taken a major hit, which may have long term effects.
Our tourism team have attended tourism webinars and spoken to industry experts about the short and long term future for tourism. They have run online training sessions for churches addressing some of the immediate concerns, and looking to the opportunities that might arise so churches can make the most of them.
Before Covid19 the big travel trends were 'experiences' and 'travel like a local'.
Now, we have all had to rediscover our local area. Many people are discovering they can 'live like a tourist' because they have wonderful heritage, open spaces and small businesses right on their doorstep. Recent polls have shown that travellers are likely to want to continue this trend when they can get further afield; getting more out of less travel, support local sustainable businesses and make sure their money goes ‘to the right places’.
- Churches are the epitome of local, in all senses; cake, stories, people, community support they offer
- We already recognise that we need local and we know our communities
- Domestic tourism will see a boom; safer, promoted, rediscovery of local, cost of flights
- People want positive stories, content and entertainment; we have that in spades
- Virtual tourism will continue to be a strand in the sector in the medium to long term, so what you do for now will have a long life even after Covid19
Now is your chance to get some of the practicalities in place:
Nine things to do from home:
Check and update your online presence; your website, your social media, your google maps entry, your TripAdvisor reviews; ensure they all clearly list up to date information, location and contact details
- Develop your online content; add photos and stories to your website
- Research your church heritage and stories, try different ways of sharing them
- Explore and practice using 3d photos, cinemagraphs, free virtual tour builders, video makers and other free tech
- Learn from others; some churches and heritage attractions have done digital brilliantly during lockdown; seek them out and learn from them
- Create and schedule regular engaging posts on social media, plan and produce a virtual tour, take photos and films once you can get into church
- Share your social media stories and posts with us, via either the NCT channels or ExploreChurches channels
- Watch our training films: tourism, taking great photos, create great films
- Make sure your church is listed on ExploreChurches, that your page is up to date and tells a great story
Three things to do to prepare for opening:
New Covid-19 signage; be clear about what you are doing and why
- Handwashing or sanitising stations; order supplies
- Prayer stations and social distancing measures