Intrepid, Grenada, Collette find authentic ways to connect during COVID-19

Keeping The Travel Dream Alive:


As travellers around the world are unable to do what they love most — explore new places and connect with people in a way made possible through travel — Collette, Grenada and Intrepid Travel have all found inspiring ways to create a sense of community during this challenging time.

Collette connects community with #wewilltravelagain

A tour operator that’s survived a century in business knows that along with the good times there will also be challenges. With travel at a standstill during its 102nd year of operation, Collette is encouraging people to take the time to look back on past travel memories as a way to really remember the great times and pay homage to the power, beauty, and importance of travel.

“The concept for #wewilltravelagain really came to life when the team started to look at ways to connect the entire community — guests, travel professionals, partners, and employees alike,” Stephanie Mirando, director of agent marketing at Collette tells Travel Courier. “We wanted to acknowledge our current situation while also delivering a message of hope.”

“I’ve been looking for a good travel post to share at this time. This video says it all — when this is over I will be a blur dragging my suitcase running to the plane to go travel again,” says Shelly Monroe of Sweet Escapes Travel TPI.

Collette is encouraging others to use the #wewilltravelagain hashtag with travel memories as a way of coming together during this time of uncertainty, while recognizing that “we will travel again” as a message of hope.

Coming together to be Intrepid

Intrepid Travel is calling on its community to share letters to someone who made their travel experience special, be it the homestay host who made them feel right at home, the stranger turned roommate turned lifelong friend, or the travel agent who made it magically all work, for a social media initiative called #BeTogether

“When trying to figure out how to sensitively approach marketing during a pandemic, a few things became clear. The first was that it’s about our community, not about us. And the second was a simple question – how can we add value to our customers? That’s why for now, we’re opening our social accounts to share their stories and letters to people they’ve met all over the world. We’re giving our community the platform to engage with one another, to help combat physical distance with online connectedness,” Mikey Sadowski, marketing director of North America for Intrepid Travel tells Travel Courier.

The 100% user generated content is posted across the company’s social media accounts as a means to share the uplifting stories with everyone. The first letter was from Dan, a blind man from Colorado, to his Inca Trail porter Elias.

View this post on Instagram

⠀ Dear Elias,⠀ Hope you and your family are safe and well. Travel is one of my greatest joys in life and during this time of lockdowns and travel bans, I have been going back and reliving some of the best experiences of my life.⠀ ⠀ At the top of the list is our 2015 Inca Trail expedition. When I told people I was going to attempt the Inca Trail in a single day they told me it’s crazy for anyone to try, let alone a blind person. You ran the Inca Trail three times before I arrived to make sure I’d be ok. And then you ran with me every step of the way.⠀ ⠀ We live in such a visual world that it’s difficult for some people to understand how I see beauty. But for me, it’s the people I am with. And people like you.⠀ ⠀ I wish you well and look forward to our next visit to Peru when this pandemic passes.⠀ ⠀ All my best. Take care and stay safe,⠀ -Dan (@teamseepossibilities)⠀ #BeTogether⠀

A post shared by Intrepid Travel (@intrepidtravel) on

The letters don’t have to be specific to an Intrepid trip – all are welcome to participate.

“When you love to travel, it’s a surreal concept that international borders are almost entirely closed. But while your next adventure may need to wait, we can still come together (albeit in collective isolation) to celebrate one of the greatest gifts of travel: the people we meet and the friendships we make,” Intrepid wrote in an email outreach to previous travellers. “We want to help overcome distance with connectedness by providing a platform for you to share a letter with someone who made your adventures more memorable. Visit the link below and together we can help bring our travel memories to life.”

Intrepid also rolled out a new video that speaks to the benefits of travel and why today we must be apart, so that someday soon, we can all #BeTogether.

#GrenadaDreaming today, travel tomorrow

To uplift audiences amid the constant COVID-19 news cycle, the Grenada Tourism Authority took to social media with a positive digital campaign called #GrenadaDreaming.

“As a small tropical Caribbean island nation, this global crisis has impacted Grenada’s tourism industry like never before,” Patricia Maher, CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, tells Travel Courier. “Tourism cuts across other sectors on the island like agriculture, manufacturing and financial services and as stewards of the sector, we need to ensure that our immediate efforts are focused on strengthening our tourism infrastructure to be robust and ready for when travel demand returns. #GrenadaDreaming was launched on social media to inspire people about the destination and to encourage would-be travellers to come visit us when possible.”

Travellers are invited to share their photos from past trips in hopes of inspiring others to visit Grenada in the future: to ‘dream today and travel tomorrow.’

“Through this campaign, we are leveraging the strengths of our destination to meet the demand for inspirational travel content by sharing how Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique’s key sites, attractions and unique experiences can uplift and offer some respite during this time,” she adds. “From images of our world-class beaches, rainforests, and waterfalls, to sharing the health benefits of our locally grown herbs and world famous spices as well as the delight of our rich chocolate and amazing rum all with the warm and friendly hospitality of the Grenadian people.”

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