The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
America Is in the Traveling State of Mind
by Paige Fay
Check Out This Week’s Resources for DMOs
Happy February! With the new month comes new stories and tips to help keep your destination on the path to success. This week, read the sequel to our destination website expert Q&A, learn how travelers are reacting to the Omicron wave, how to create a content strategy that drives traffic and more. Staying informed is the first step in creating effective content and strategies to propel your destination forward. Keep reading!
Expert Q&A: Questions DMOs Need To Ask Before Building Their Website
We sat down with our lead web developer to get his advice on what DMOs should consider before building or redesigning their destination website. In the second part of our expert interview, we cover important questions that DMOs should be asking before starting this process, including:
- What should I know before I start building my destination’s website?
- How do I organize my website content?
- What are a good website’s must-haves?
- Will I be able to manage my website after it launches?
As a DMO, you need a website that is easy to navigate, comprehensive and designed to target your ideal visitors. By answering these questions, you can lay the groundwork for a reliable website that visitors can trust when planning their next trip. If you’re interested in learning more about destination websites and why you might be losing traffic, save your seat for this webinar: “Does Your Website Establish or Break Trust With Travelers?”
NEW TIME: Is Your Website Giving Visitors Trust Issues?
If you couldn’t make it to our webinar on February 16, then we have great news for you! Our webinar is now scheduled for March 23 at 1 p.m. For destinations, an organized and informative website is vital in getting your website visitors to trust you. And people who trust you are more likely to book at your destination. Before committing to a new website project, take time to evaluate your website and ask yourself these questions:
- Does my website convey accurate and updated information?
- Is my website easy to navigate for potential visitors?
- How do I earn my visitors’ trust through my website?
- What are some must-haves a destination website needs?
Answering these questions paves the way for a strategy that will build trust with your visitors. This webinar will answer your website questions while highlighting principles and functionality that makes destination websites perform and stand out. Also, you’ll receive free materials with tactics that DMOs can implement into a savvy website strategy.
The Forces, Places and Trends That Will Shape Travel in 2022
A new report released by CatchOn reveals 22 forces, destinations and travel trends shaping travel in the new year, as well as some exciting predictions for the future. Some notable points from the report include:
- Travelers’ awareness of climate change and natural disasters will dictate their travel behavior.
- Travelers seek experiences that will contribute to their overall health and this sector is projected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2025.
- Destinations such as Iceland, Singapore and Mexico are pointing to a new future in destination marketing.
- Big travel trends, including expedition cruises and pet-friendly travel, are on the rise in 2022.
Both urban and rural DMOs can learn from these rising trends and destination marketing efforts. Being aware of what 2022 could hold for the travel industry will keep your destination prepared when it comes to planning marketing campaigns and anticipating the demands of your visitors.
After Omicron Comes Hope for the Travel Industry
Destination Analysts shares the most recent data on traveler sentiment after the Omicron wave. This week, the report shows some of the highest levels of traveler optimism since the 2021 vaccine rollout. More and more Americans report that they feel an increasing sense of normalcy with over 63% admitting they think that life should go back to normal despite the pandemic.
With over 80% of Americans in a traveling state of mind, the demand for travel information and ideas will only increase. The top researched topics will likely include food, historical attractions and shopping. According to this report, New York, Florida and California are the states where Americans most want to go in 2022.
There’s even more good news for destination marketers. The increased desire for travel means Americans are very open to travel messaging through online blogs and articles, websites found via search, email, print magazines and social media. Despite the prevalence of these resources, over 40% turned to official DMO-produced resources when they were available.
This information is big news for the travel industry, especially for DMOs planning marketing campaigns and preparing their stakeholders for the spring and summer season. The data alludes to busy seasons ahead, so it’s important to prep accordingly with COVID-19 information and digital content highlighting what visitors are looking for and helpful guides for those planning trips in the near future.
Three Visitors Guide Examples You Need To See
Visitors guides are the most-referenced DMO resources by visitors and are shown to increase their stays by 1.9 days. This means they should be an important part of any DMOs’ marketing strategies. By creating a guide that shows visitors everything your destination has to offer, not only can you inspire them to get a full experience, but also gives your stakeholders the opportunity to shine. Quality imagery and thoughtful content will give your stakeholders and destination the spotlight it deserves.
For some inspiration, check out these three visitors guides from CrowdRiff. Oklahoma City, Travel Alberta and Tourism Toronto are some great examples of good photography, creative content, clean design, trip itineraries, user-generated content and more.
These are great examples because they are authentic representations of what makes their destination unique. They aren’t a how-to guide on how to make one. Their elements worked together to create a memorable visitors guide, but remember that your visitors guide should capture the essence of your destination. Visitors, and your stakeholders, will want a guide that is authentic to your destination’s character, community and experiences.
Content Production Manager at Bull Moose Marketing. A lover of literature and a sunshine enthusiast who probably drinks too much tea. Connect with me on LinkedIn @paigeschamberg