GREATER DES MOINES, IOWA (MAY 4, 2020) - The coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis is having an unprecedented impact on the travel industry and the entire economy. In an effort to show solidarity in the tourism industry, Catch Des Moines, Visit KC, Meet Minneapolis, Experience Sioux Falls, and Visit Omaha have joined forces to promote each other during National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), May 3-9, 2020. 
“Families are looking for new ideas and creative ways to be entertained during a time when it’s important to practice social distancing,” said Greg Edwards, President and CEO, of Catch Des Moines, who created a new video series called ‘SOFAseeing’ specifically for NTTW. "If you can’t visit us right now, we’ll come to you and inspire you to travel later.” 

Each city has created its own Virtual Vacation. Through social media promotion, each destination will encourage its local community to click through and enjoy inspirational photography, colorful videos, and digital offerings from the other cities.  

“While it’s unusual for a city to promote another destination, this pandemic has encouraged a spirit of collaboration in support of the tourism industry,” said Visit Omaha Executive Director Keith Backsen.  
“The crucial importance of travel and tourism is evident in new ways this year,” said Visit KC President & CEO Jason Fulvi. “As travelers look for safe and creative ways to see the world around them, we’re able to provide more inspiration by working together.”   

“Since in-person rallies and events have been hallmarks of NTTW in years past, but are not an option this year, we wanted to find a way to inspire people to travel and explore new places without leaving the sofa … at least for the time being,” said Experience Sioux Falls Executive Director Teri Schmidt.  
Travel research by U.S. Travel Association and MMYG Travel Intelligence indicates 1 in 3 travelers is more likely to take a vacation closer to home than they were before COVID-19. 
“This is an opportunity to partner with our neighbors to showcase what our region has to offer,” said Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant. “When travelers are ready to take that first road trip, we all will be ready to welcome them.” 
National Travel and Tourism Week is an annual tradition during the first full week of May for the U.S. travel community to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses and personal wellbeing. This year marks its 37th year. View all the Midwest virtual vacation materials here:  

About Catch Des Moines  
Catch Des Moines is the official destination marketing organization promoting and representing Greater Des Moines to leisure travelers and meeting/sports planners. Our focus is to increase visitors to the metro and elevate the visitor experience to drive economic success and enhance the quality of life in the 15 local Greater Des Moines communities we represent. For more information, visit