The DMO Download

A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.

American Generations Share Their Top Travel Concerns and Plans

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Read the Biggest Trends in Tourism

Many reputable sources are releasing more travel data as experts predict what the rest of the year will look like for the industry. To make sure you’re in the loop, it’s important to keep up on the latest information as trends evolve and more data is published. This week, read about American travel sentiment, predictions for heritage tourism in 2022, what Gen Z travelers are looking for in getaways and more.

American Generations Share Their Top Travel Concerns and Plans

A recent study surveying 2,000 Americans from four generations reveals trip planning and travel data in 2022. Some topics covered include how COVID-19 is affecting their desire for travel, trip planning concerns and how often they hope to get away and more. Some key findings include:

  • Gen Z is the generation planning to spend the most on travel this year with over 72% reporting that they will spend more this year than in pre-pandemic times.
  • Younger Americans, Gen Z and Millennials, are making more travel plans than older generations.
  • Baby Boomers are showing more spontaneity, with 64% likely to book a trip one month or less in advance.
  • All four generations reported that money is the biggest factor in planning their leisure trips this year.
  • Only 31% of Americans say that COVID-19 fears keep them from traveling for fun in 2022, with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers being the least deterred.

These trends are important for DMOs to keep in mind when planning their next campaigns and communicating with stakeholders. The decrease in COVID-19 fears means that more travelers will be looking to plan trips this year, but increasing inflation is the next big concern for 2022. Don’t be surprised if visitors start taking shorter trips or ones closer to home. It’s likely that you’ll start seeing more engagement from within your region as Americans plan staycations or take quick weekend trips to stay within budget. Rural destinations also have a big opportunity to market themselves as cost-effective vacation options to travelers from cities and urban areas.

Experts Predict a Huge Year For Heritage Tourism

Travelers are looking for meaningful ways to travel this year, giving heritage tourism the spotlight in 2022. One-third of Americans are leaning towards heritage and cultural destinations, with the highest level of interest coming from the younger generations (18-34 years old). Paired with the authentic travel trend, more visitors are seeking out deep and real experiences than ever before. It’s not just about visiting the most popular attractions. Instead, more travelers are looking to learn about niche histories and cultures, giving rural destinations the opportunity to really let their unique selling points shine.

Visitors are ready to listen and experience, but they can’t learn about your destination’s history and culture if they don’t know about it. For heritage destinations, especially rural ones, it’s their turn on the center stage, which means DMOs and CVBs need to be prepared. A comprehensive marketing strategy and cohesive tactics will ensure that destinations are using this trend to establish a strong foundation for the future. As heritage tourism’s popularity grows, making sure your destination’s marketing and financial efforts are scalable is vital.

Gen Z Travelers Are Ready to Roll in 2022

This article from Adweek takes a deep dive into Gen Z and their hopes and dreams when it comes to travel. This underdog generation is breaking stereotypes by being the group most likely to spend the most money on travel, with 72% planning to spend more or the same in 2022 than in pre-COVID times. Many also report that they’re looking to splurge on a big trip this year.

With the oldest Gen Z member now at 24 years old, DMOs and CVBs will need to start considering this generation in a new light. As Gen Z continues to gain financial independence, it’s important to start thinking about how they can attract these travelers to their destinations. Characteristically more spontaneous and experience-oriented, it’s a good idea to promote more last-minute opportunities and an authentic travel experience in marketing to feed into their travel spending habits. Gen Z travelers are also more likely to use technology to share their travel experiences and get ideas for their next trip, so DMOs and CVBs need to make sure they’re giving the right amount of attention to social media platforms when marketing to this group.

This is a growing and dynamic generation of travelers, so it’s important to pay close attention to trends and behaviors within. Learning all you can about their preferences and habits will allow you to make informed decisions and allow you to expand your influence over their perceptions of heritage travel.

Using Stories to Achieve Your Facebook Marketing Goals

Whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish on Facebook, whether it’s spreading brand awareness or increasing engagement, then posting on Facebook Stories is an excellent way to achieve success. The stories feature is located at the top of a user’s feed, making it the first thing they see when logging on to the app and increasing organic reach. They also offer opportunities for engagement by including polls, links, videos and messaging as well as a great avenue for more authentic and spontaneous content from your destination.

The Facebook Business Suite offers ways to create engaging stories with Creator Studio and stickers. Film a video, upload it to Facebook and start editing to fit your brand voice or include CTA links to get visitors to engage more with your content. There are also opportunities for cross-posting on your Instagram, saving you time and allowing your content to reach an even wider audience. With optimization tactics, your stories can have an even farther reach and allows you to access more metrics when measuring success.

If you aren’t using Stories on Facebook (or Instagram), then now is the time to look into this platform and how it can help you attract more visitors. With more users looking for real, authentic content, quick videos and photos can help communicate your destination brand more effectively, even allowing them to interact with it through polls and messaging. Posting Stories will also help boost your overall Facebook engagement by intriguing visitors to check out more videos and posts.

Paige Fay
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

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