Lou Hammond, founder and chairman of Lou Hammond Group, talks with Doug Simon about how travel-focused agencies can navigate the changes—and opportunities—brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview.

Hammond stresses that the demand for travel is still there. “Americans feel they have a right to a vacation, and they’re going to take it one way or the other,” she says.

That demand has resulted in what Hammond says is “tremendous creativity” as regards how consumers can still pursue travel experiences.

One beneficiary: “the great American road trip.” While road trips have always been around, she tells Simon, their scope has been expanded in the current environment. Road trippers will go “a day, two days, 24 hours, whatever,” she says. “But they want to get away, and the great American road trip offers them that.”

Road trips are also a plus for smaller towns, because travelers “are driving through and stopping” as they go.

But the desire to head for distant destinations is still a major force, she adds. A key tool for keeping that desire alive is what Hammond calls “virtual public relations,” employing video and photography to fuel “the hope and the dream of doing something exotic.”

Hammond also talks with Simon about how population shifts are increasing the importance of local media. “I sort of sense that people that relocate tend to read, or go online, or be involved with local than they are national because they’re finding their way in a new environment.”

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

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