COVER Update / How to refill those Isaac cancellations
It’s been a hectic week for our lodging partners in Arkansas. With the concern that potential evacuees might seek shelter in our state, the Department of Parks and Tourism has activated the COVER program. COVER stands for Communication of Vacancies Emergency Response Plan. Created in response to the influx of travelers during Hurricane Katrina, the system is activated when an emergency forces evacuation from surrounding areas into Arkansas.
The response from the industry has been tremendous, with anywhere from 40 to 60 listings offered on http://www.arkansas.com/COVER at any particular time since COVER was initiated Monday morning. Partners continue to update listings at least once a day with the number of hotel or motel rooms, cabins, RV spots and camping slots available at that time. Some have reported visitors who have come up from Isaac-affected regions.
There’s been a down side to Isaac, though. Many of our lodging operators are reporting cancellations for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, mostly from areas affected by the storm. This has resulted in unusual vacancies at a time that premium lodging space is usually hard to find.
To address that, we suggest you consider offering a special on our Deals and Coupons site. While our surprise visitors from Louisiana and Mississippi may be seeking out accommodations on our COVER site, inside Arkansas we could see our own travelers deciding to take advantage of those open rooms and cabins.
For either program, head to http://admin.arkansas.com. Your Attractions, Lodging and Dining user name and password also work for entering COVER information. This is a good time to put your deal out there for all to see.
Remember: while your Deal will expire when you choose for it to expire, COVER listings must be updated a minimum of once every 24 hours to remain active.
If you do not have a user name or password, or if you have forgotten your login information, contact Cara Clemmons at (501) 682-7602 or firstname.lastname@example.org.