Crisis Communication of National Destination Management Organizations before and during the Coronavirus Pandemic
When a tourist destination goes into crisis, the news about the crisis immediately reaches visitors. However, in 2020 the coronavirus pandemic affected not only one destination, but also resulted in a global crisis throughout the entire tourism sector since governmental restrictions were introduced for the sake of worldwide security. As potential travellers were only able to plan their trips, mostly using online platforms, crisis communication, awareness raising, or even reminder campaigns on the part of tourist destinations began to gain in value. In 2021 the national regulations fundamentally affecting tourism determined what opportunities remained open or were instead closed to national destination management organizations (DMOs). As these decisions became endowments and factors that could not be influenced, we chose to focus our research on how the online communication of tourist destinations has changed due to the pandemic. In the study, we review both the pre-crisis communication of national DMOs of the European Union and their online activity during the coronavirus pandemic. Our goal is to explore the change between the two periods: the revealed differences in communication between the first and second waves of the pandemic. We will also examine the possibilities for recovery and formulate recommendations for a post-pandemic communication strategy.