The DMO Download

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

Austin Is Promoting Cultural Heritage Tourism

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Pave the Way With These Heritage Tourism Insights and News

Stay in the “know” with the latest heritage tourism and economic development news. Learn about travelers’ summer vacation plans, check out how Austin is promoting economic and cultural development in their region, Chicago’s latest marketing campaign and so much more. Keep reading!

Travelers Are Spending More and Worrying More About Summer Vacation Plans

While the headline sounds grim, there’s a silver lining: travelers won’t cancel their trips. Rising prices have not impeded Americans’ desire for travel, with 41% of travelers saying that nothing will prevent them from going on trips, not even war or Covid-19.

“Easing pandemic restrictions has unleashed two years of pent-up travel desire,” Damian Tysdal, founder of travel insurance site CoverTrip.com, said. “At the same time, restrictions are not easing uniformly across the board. This will lead to a lot of excited but confused travelers trying to figure out how to manage their trip.”

This presents some things for DMOs to consider. First, and perhaps the most obvious, is that DMOs and CVBs can relax knowing that inflation is not hindering Americans’ travel plans. They are still planning and booking trips, but will be more cautious about how they spend their money. With airfare and gas prices on the rise, it’s likely that Americans will stay close or plan far ahead to get the best prices. The constant changes and uncertainty about restrictions are also making travelers more cautious, and almost flighty in their bookings. Implementing opportunities to cancel any time with refunds could increase the number of bookings as travelers feel more comfortable knowing they can be flexible with their plans. With all of this in mind, it’s crucial for DMOs and CVBs to continue to be flexible themselves as traveler sentiment continues to settle.

Austin Plans To Support An African American Cultural Heritage District

Austin, TX, is planning to invest in an African American Cultural Heritage District in the eastern side of the city to connect residents and visitors to the region’s history, culture and heritage sites. This neighborhood will be the first one to use a “new framework being developed to create, retain and enhance economic districts.” This will also include new signage and branding to help identify the area as a cultural center.

“The City of Austin is dedicated to improving the quality of life for African American residents through the preservation of historic Black spaces, artistic cultivation and by serving as a catalyst for social and economic development,” Sylnovia Holt-Rabb, Austin’s economic development director, said. “Our efforts to support the African American Cultural Heritage District will ensure we continue to recognize, celebrate and preserve the vital contributions of our Black residents.”

This is a great example for DMOs and CVBs of how destinations can combine economic development and cultural recognition in one. This will improve the local economy by attracting tourists and residents who are interested in learning more about African American heritage and their legacy in the Austin area.

Heritage Tourism Can Help Preserve These Historical Sites

Princeton, New Jersey isn’t the first location that comes to mind when discussing Revolutionary War history and heritage. But actually, this Ivy League town played a vital role in the fight for independence at the Battle of Princeton and preservationists are working to secure funding for this historic battlefield. Unfortunately, this work is proving to be difficult as New Jersey’s heritage tourism budget is left mostly ignored.

“The problem with tourism and marketing of tourism in New Jersey is that it has been focused on two places, Atlantic City and Jersey Shore,” Patrick Murray, a Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area trustee, said. “And heritage tourism has taken a backseat, in part because we really don’t have a heritage tourism identity, nor do we have a critical number of sites that are open that tell a cohesive story so that you can market New Jersey as a heritage tourism destination.”

So, what can DMOs learn from New Jersey’s predicament? The value of promoting heritage tourism in your region, especially the lesser-known historical and cultural sites! While New Jersey spends a large portion of its budget promoting major destinations within the state, its missing out on excellent opportunities to encourage historical and cultural tourism in more unique areas. With heritage tourism on the rise around the world, it’s the perfect time to begin showing your rural and unique regions some love. Not only will this bring more tourism to your area, but also lay the foundation for a more sustainable tourism network and preserve what makes your region special for generations to come.

A Comprehensive Marketing Strategy Made All the Difference With This Destination

Visit Crawford, the destination marketing organization for Crawford County, Pennsylvania, was struggling to communicate their offerings to potential visitors. A disjointed marketing strategy and a lack of resources left the organization ineffective ads, a limited digital presence and an unfamiliarity with their target audience and community brand. When new leadership took the helm, Visit Crawford realized that they needed to outsource their marketing efforts to achieve the results they needed.

Visit Crawford collaborated with Bull Moose Marketing to create a comprehensive marketing strategy that helped leverage the county’s heritage tourism offerings, cultural touchstones and rich history to help the region stand out. Beginning with a variety of workshops, the organization worked with us to identify the region’s unique value proposition, target audiences and other key points to help build a strategy that would put Crawford County on the map as an ideal tourism destination. This yielded a unified brand voice and strategy, increased engagement on social media, more stakeholder participation and more.

This shows how a comprehensive heritage tourism marketing strategy can make the all the difference in a DMO’s marketing efforts. Learn more about the how Visit Crawford and Bull Moose Marketing collaborated to overcome challenges and achieve goals here.

TikTok Tricks DMOs Need to Know

TikTok isn’t just the next the big thing in tourism marketing. Instead, it is the thing that DMOs and CVBs need to be doing to spread awareness. If you’re new to the TikTok experience, have no fear. Hootsuite shares some tips and tricks to help get you on top of your TikTok game. Here are a few things you’ll learn about:

  • How to make a slideshow on TikTok to share more images
  • Doing voice effects over your videos – there are a lot of voices to choose from!
  • Making your transitions more exciting
  • How to use popular TikTok songs from viral videos

There are so many more tips in here, but this just gives you a taste of what creativity TikTok has to offer. If your destination is not on TikTok yet, then this is your sign to start creating an account. Not only are they fun to make, but they are an excellent way to engage your audience with all of the amenities your region offers. Gain the attention of potential visitors with sharp videos, fun interviews and beautiful shots of your area.

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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