In lieu of the updates you would normally hear at our quarterly partner receptions, please find highlights from the most recent WMTA Board of Directors meeting below:
July 28th Board Meeting Highlights
WMTA Executive Director’s Report
- Our COVID Journey: Dan reported that we furloughed three staff members for a few months. We cut marketing expenses, travel expenses, and 401k match. He said we are trying to keep expenses down as low as possible, and we have done an incredible job working for our partners during this time.
- Distribution: Dan said that we have heard from a lot of partners that their distribution is down. We also have 20,000 of our guides that were sent to Welcome Centers, but they have not opened so they aren’t getting distributed. Dan said that some of the Welcome Centers have racks that we are filling. Dan also said that thanks to the DNR, we have guides at a lot of the state parks. He said if anyone needs guides or maps, to please let us know.
WMTA Marketing Report
- Marketing Update: Adrienne reported that we have tried to keep people thinking “Plan Now, Travel Later,” and also promoting those things that travelers could still experience. We also promoted a lot of virtual options during COVID-19 and quarantine. Adrienne said that we promoted jigsaw puzzles online and we have 100 partners that participated. We also created a West Michigan Cookbook – we reached out specifically to partners for these and our intern also sourced content from restaurant and agritourism partners sites. We also created a Small Town Staycation Guide, that was so well received that we expanded it to other larger cities. Adrienne reported that we also worked to constantly share ideas and concepts with partners. We also updated our editorial topics to have a different spin or feel to keep up with the current times.
- Internet Report/Digital Update: The current, updated internet and digital numbers are included in the board packet. Adrienne reported that a lot of traffic on our site is to the live cameras. Gaslight Media said that our bandwidth traffic is up 2,600% due to all of our interactive opportunities. Time spent on site increased by 94% during May.