The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
Bike-friendly Tourism Can Boost Your Businesses
Don’t Miss The Latest In Heritage Tourism News
This week, catch up on the latest travel data from Destination Analysts, read about how a Pennsylvania tourism authority is promoting bike-friendly travel, what the latest Covid requirements means for international travel, how to manage your visitors’ expectations this summer and more. Keep reading!
An Update on American Travel Sentiment By Personality Type
With rising gas, food and travel prices, it’s time to check in on American travel sentiment. Destination Analysts surveyed 4,000 travelers and found some important data regarding spending, media consumption and more. Before we dive in, DMOs and CVBs can rest assured knowing that travelers are still booking trips. In fact, travelers are still reporting that they’re more willing to splurge this year on travel than ever before. Here are some more interesting takeaways from the report:
- Energetic, active types are more likely to spend more on travel than other personality types, spending on average $5,200 instead of the previous $3,900.
- Americans who describe themselves as creative are likely to plan a week-long vacation in under 2 months.
- Self-described calm travelers prefer Instagram Reels to view travel-related content, while self-described worriers prefer TikTok.
- When it comes to ad imagery, the top three image types preferred by travelers are beautiful scenery/landscapes, sunsets and families enjoying the beach.
- Over 60% of American travelers say that leisure travel spending will be a high priority, but if gas prices don’t begin to decrease, they’ll start planning trips closer to home.
This is important information for DMOs and CVBs to know. With inside information on what the American traveler is looking for, you can make educated decisions about your marketing budget and put ad dollars where they’ll be most effective.
Northern PA Promotes Bike-friendly Tourism to Boost Businesses
The Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance is pushing for more than 400 miles of the scenic highway to be more bike-friendly. Route 6 is a designated state and U.S. Bike Route, meaning that thousands of bicyclists travel the highway each year to enjoy the beautiful views, learn history and explore small towns along the way. To encourage bicycle-friendly tourism, the Alliance is launching a Bike-friendly Business Program that will help local businesses attract more bicycling visitors on the Route 6 corridor.
Bike-friendly Businesses must provide at least three of the following:
- A bike cleaning station
- Floor pump and tools for bike repair
- Bike maps and area information
- Public restroom
- long-term vehicle parking
- Free water bottle refills
- Complimentary bike locks while at the business
- And more
“Bicycle tourism is one of the fastest-growing demographics in the outdoor industry. We’re helping local businesses prepare to take advantage of this great economic opportunity while also providing a quality bike travel experience,” Candace Hillyard, executive director of the PA Route 6 Alliance said.
This is an excellent example of how a DMO can benefit their stakeholders. By paying attention to key regional trends, the Alliance is able to equip their stakeholders with knowledge and resources to help them succeed.
No Testing Means More Travel For the US This Summer
Just in time for summer vacations, the U.S. will no longer require pre-departure Covid-19 testing to enter the country. Previously, passengers had to receive a test no more than one day before boarding a U.S.-bound flight regardless of vaccination status or citizenship. Not surprisingly, the news is being well-received by tourism companies, airlines and travelers alike.
“The Biden administration is to be commended for this action, which will welcome back visitors from around the world and accelerate the recovery of the U.S. travel industry,” U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said. According to Dow, by eliminating this requirement, it marks a huge step in reviving inbound travel and the return of international tourists.
This means both opportunity and risk for U.S. DMOs. Now that international travel is becoming easier, it could mean an increase in international visitors, especially for regions closer to national attractions. But, it could also mean that DMOs will start competing with international destinations for American travelers. With revenge travel still trending, it’s possible that many will begin to choose bigger trips over smaller, domestic vacations. If this is the case, then DMOs and CVBs can still rest easy knowing that their destinations still have the advantage when it comes to price and travel flexibility.
How Will You Manage Your Visitors’ Expectations This Summer?
If there’s one thing we’ve learned this past year, it’s that communication is key to heritage tourism. As Covid still remains an ever-present thought in travelers’ minds and inflation is making a drastic impact on travel, it’s vital to make every effort possible to ensure your visitors are well-informed. Whether you’re adjusting your Covid guidelines or updating your hours, it’s important to make sure you’re also going through the right channels to communicate these changes with your visitors. Posting on your social media, sending monthly or quarterly newsletters, updating your website or even setting up SMS messaging for visitors to opt-in on can ensure you’re sharing the latest information with them regularly.
Visitors aren’t the only ones who need clear communication. You want to make sure your stakeholders and business partners also have all the information they need to provide their visitors with a great experience.
Your visitors and stakeholders don’t want to be surprised. By using all your communication tools to stay in touch, you’re making sure everyone has a memorable experience they want to share while building trust with the people that make your destination successful.
A Social Media Marketing Checklist for 2022
Developing and executing your social media strategy is a big project. But, once you have a solid strategy in place, it makes all the difference in accomplishing your social media marketing goals. Social Media Examiner shares a social media strategy checklist that DMOs and CVBs can use to improve their digital presence. Here are a few items to keep in mind:
- Plan your social media strategy.
- Create a social media content calendar.
- Add paid social media advertising.
- Track your social media analytics and measure engagement.
With a detailed checklist, your strategy can be executed more smoothly and effectively, yielding greater results and supporting your overall marketing strategy seamlessly. A consistent digital presence will also build trust with potential visitors and give you more opportunities to engage with them, leading to more bookings and a bigger following.