Mayor Marty Walsh Thursday announced the rollout of a new city advertising initiative aimed at reviving the city’s crippled tourism industry by marketing Boston as a “safe city” — to begin when, Walsh says, the city has significantly lowered COVID-19 infection rates.
“We know that the pandemic has been certainly tough on the tourism industry of this city — we want to be able to come back faster,” Walsh said of the campaign, which is reported to cost the city $2 million.
The Walsh administration announced that the city had selected Colette Phillips Communications, the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Boston advertising company Proverb as vendors for the campaign after a competitive bidding process.
“It’s not going to have an immediate impact, but it’s building up as we think about next year, how can Boston be highlighted as a safe city — as long as we are safe — to bring back the tourism industry.”
Walsh says the initiative is still in beginning stages.
“Obviously with a 7.8 [positive test] infection rate, this would not be the appropriate time to market the city,” Walsh said.
Meanwhile, Walsh said it is imperative that the city bring COVID-19 infection rates down and that he cannot rule out reversing some of the re-opening of businesses and other economic activity.
All of this is on the table if we don’t get our infection rate down. [If] we see infection rates continue to climb to the point we have to shut [the city] down, we’ll have to. But the intention right now is for everyone to take this virus seriously.”
Walsh urged every Bostonian to get tested for COVID-19. There are more than 30 testing sites in Boston, including several “mobile” testing sites offering free testing daily to anyone who wants it.
Walsh also congratulated the city of Boston’s Election Department and election staff — as well as election workers still counting votes across the country — for doing what he called an exemplary job of processing and counting votes.
“We’re seeing dedicated public servants and community members across this country, many of them volunteers, … they’re working their hearts out to make sure that every single vote gets counted and that the will of the people will prevail,” Walsh said. “I want to thank them, on behalf of all the people of Boston.”