ECM-TOPOSOPHY webinar presenting DMMO Covid-19 Continuity Checklist

May 6, 2020

On April 28, European Cities Marketing published “The DMMO Covid-19 Continuity Checklist – An ECM Guide for Sustainable Recovery”. Elaborated in partnership with TOPOSOPHY, the guide will prove to be a strong tool for DMMOs to navigate these uncertain times and put their destinations on the path to sustainable recovery.

In this exclusive webinar, TOPOSOPHY guided you through the Checklist, and gave you the opportunity to hear directly about pioneering projects from three cities featured in the guide: Amsterdam&Partners, Barcelona Turisme and Hamburg Tourism Board. We discussed the practical steps that DMMOs can take to support their local tourism industry and communities, as well as the differences we can expect to see in placemaking, citizens’ expectations and the role of DMMOs in the near future.


Guest speakers:

  • Getting the most the Covid-19 Continuity Checklist, by Manolis Psarros, Founder and CEO and Peter Jordan, Head of Strategy, TOPOSOPHY

The first part of the webinar was focusing on presenting the purpose of this exclusive report, which has been released in partnership with TOPOSOPHY. Manolis Psarros introduced this report and reminded the attendees that the ECM Covid-19 DMMO Continuity Checklist is a comprehensive guide for destinations, for the next 18-24 months, and is aiming to help them for their operational procedures. It is a pragmatical, realistic and multi-purpose tool for DMMOs.

Key takeaways:

  • Covid-19 is accelerating multiple shifts in demand and supply that have been underway for many years already. We can see accelerated trends in different domains: place, industry approach, our purpose & vision, citizens’ expectations, contextual challenges. A few examples:
    • Place: value of the quality of life, health & wellbeing of local residents
    • Citizens’ expectations: flexibility (bookings), transparency & humanity.
    • Our purpose and vision: to be the great facilitator: opening doors & helping our stakeholders to support each other
  • Three fundamental stages are developed in the Covid-19 DMMO Continuity Checklist: Response, Recovery, Resilience. You can find in this Checklist 99 actions across 6 areas of activity to be evaluated & adapted for your organisation.


In her presentation, Geerte Udo explained how Amsterdam, besides inviting visitors to take virtual tours of the city and guiding local residents on restaurants that have remained open, is now looking towards the future and readapting to this new reality.

Key takeaways:

  • The main goals have not changed, despite the crisis: working on the liveability, attractiveness and prosperity of the city, while having a sustainable and inclusive area.
  • As the focus of the post-coronavirus will be on inhabitants, the city has to redirect the businesses that target mostly visitors to a more local market because the value created by an industry that takes into account its residents make a more sustainable economy.
  • During these times, it is important to stay in contact: with your employees, partners, government and locals and tell the story of your city through different platforms, to show that you are present.
  • Amsterdam implemented a new plan, to make sure the streets stay as clean as they are now when the visitors and locals come back.
  • Amsterdam is preparing different scenario for when tourism starts again: by studying the government’s restrictions (travel bans), new safety and hygiene measures and economy, the city is preparing to welcome visitors again by telling the right story to the right person, at the right time through the right channel.


  •  ‘We stand together’ – Hamburg’s online forum #wirstehenzusammen for industry engagement, by Kai Dieterich, Head of Strategy and Communications, Hamburg Tourist Board

Kai Dieterich presented a very recent Hamburg Tourism initiative, which was a response to the lockdown situation in Hamburg and the information gap for the tourism industry stakeholders. In a very short time & without any extra budget, the team of Hamburg Tourism has created a platform that would provide security & improve exchange in the industry, in the form of a forum. It was very important to keep it simple and easy to use.

Key takeaways:

  • This forum is a response to a need for resource and is organized in different discussion topics. The forum is a very good way to find solutions for questions and arrange contact to help each other with the current challenges. 500 tourism service providers in Hamburg have registered in a short time. As in other social networks, there is a large part of readers and a fewer part of very active members.
  • One of the main assets is the ability to share the latest policies, regulations and decisions taken at a city level and to be transparent about them. A very popular function on this forum is about the Hotels Current Situation, in order to see which are open or closed during the lockdown.
  • Recovery step: transform this industry forum to a BtoB platform, to support local businesses and help them in their marketing activities. Suppliers will find inspiration in the form of webinars, discussions, data, info about tourism, target markets for Hamburg city, etc…


  • #BarcelonaVisitsYou, by Mateo Asensio, Director of International Promotion at Turisme de Barcelona

After Barcelona launched its campaign #BarcelonaVisitsYou to inspire travelers, it is now time to focus on the recovery and to think-forward. In his presentation, Mateo Asensio looked back on the succes of this initiative and presented the future strategy of the city to attract visitors back to the city when people can travel again.

Key takeaways:

  • The city implemented a 4-phase plan for the recovery, that spans over 8 weeks: the first phase is to prepare for de-escalation, the second phase will allow the reopening of smaller businesses and hotels, without common areas. Smaller events and premises with limited capacity will restart in the third phase and the last phase will focus on flexibility generated by mobility.
  • Three campaigns to restart tourism are planned: the local campaign will focus on local market and starts now. This summer, the national campaign will be launched to attract Spanish people and the international campaign will not start before 2021.
  • The #BarcelonaVisitsYou campaign inspired travelers and reminded the visitors of the city.  It was reposted by the city’s tourism businesses and showed various aspects of the city’s culture.
  • Turisme de Barcelona also encouraged to support the city’s Hospital Cliníc by enabling people to donate by sending virtual roses to friends and family, as a virtual celebration of the city’s traditional Sant Jordi street festival.



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