On behalf of the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board, Visit Jackson Hole and The Jackson Hole Travel & Tourism Board (JHTTB) is heartbroken over the recent catastrophic flooding in Yellowstone National Park (YNP).
Though portions of the Southern Loop have re-opened, we recognize people and families are displaced, ways of life have been interrupted, infrastructure has been lost or severely damaged, and precious areas of the ecosystem may never be the same.
Since this event began to unfold, JHTTB has taken the position (with consultation from land managers and our advertising and public relations agency of record) that our best opportunity to be helpful in the early stages of this crisis was by serving as an amplifier for updates and information from YNP and responding state agencies. We recognize the flood has a profound impact on our travel and tourism sector, and there will be plenty for us to communicate in the days, weeks and months ahead.
The following strategies and actions are in place, underway or under consideration and our ultimate goal to serve as a resource for response and recovery during this challenging time. Similar to the pandemic response, the JHTTB maintains the agility and funding to support community needs.
- Communications & Response Planning and Boosting with: Grand Teton National Park (GTNP), YNP, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Town, County Public Information Officers (PIOs), EOC and Community Partner PIOs, including the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce (JHCC)
- Alert banner on visitjacksonhole.com; link to Travel Wyoming’s alert page
- The JHTTB is working closely with JHCC Visitor Services to speak directly to visitors to share information
- Currently we are intentionally not creating new messaging but instead are amplifying information from YNP, GTNP and the Wyoming Office of Tourism
- Developing direct-to-visitor responsible recreation communications email, social, web, to visitors planning to arrive in the days ahead
Next 2-3 Weeks
- Strategize and reevaluate summer campaigns for YNP-related messaging that supports responsible decision-making and addresses any needs to either/and/or drive visitation behaviors or mitigate accordingly
- Track hotel occupancies, bookings and cellular data use tracking via subscription services DestiMetrics and PlacerAI and take action accordingly based on data
- Develop online and digital resources providing visitors with information and alternatives to YNP if they plan and choose to come.
Next 1-3 Months (and Beyond)
- Continue to provide shareable information for Teton County to disseminate information about YNP status, re-opening operations and schedule and milestones, communicate the progress, response, recovery and re-opening via our paid and supported media channels
- Re-evaluate sustainable destination priorities and objectives based on new reality
- Focus on non-YNP attractions to maintain accessibility to prospective visitors
- Prepare for future visitation strains associated with natural or climate events to streamline community and visitor function and communications
In closing, we remain in close coordination with a wide range of stakeholders, state agencies, elected officials and communications specialists and we will continue to adapt to this dynamic situation in real-time while always serving the best interests of our community.