The DMO Download
A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.
Communities Are Voting On Lodging Tax Allocation
by Paige Schamberg
Check Out These Fascinating Articles
We’ve found some really interesting resources for economic development and heritage tourism this week. Learn how Delaware County, OH is making their parks more accessible, key factors in improving rural economics, an important election in Colorado that will affect tourism and so much more. Keep reading!
Ohio Park and EnChroma Announce a Colorful Addition To Their Visitors’ Experience
Preservation Park of Delaware County and EnChroma, a creator of glasses and viewers for colorblindness, announced that colorblind viewers had been installed in Deer Haven Park. These viewers allow red-green colorblind visitors to experience the vibrant autumn colors in the park for the first time. These visitors are also encouraged to come back in the spring to witness the bright wildflower colors.
“This viewer changes the visitor experience for the better. It’s reassuring to be able to provide this experience to someone who has never seen color with the clarity that this viewer provides, and we welcome visitors to get excited to see fall color for the first time,” said Tom Curtin, executive director of Preservation Parks.
The average person can see one million shades and hues, but those with color blindness can only view around 10% of these colors. With around 13 million colorblind people in the United States, a huge number of travelers aren’t able to experience the full color of nature. Offering opportunities for colorblind visitors to experience beauty is a wonderful example of how Delaware County is making its destination more accessible to all types of travelers. There are so many important ways that DMOs can shape their destinations to be more welcoming to visitors with disabilities. Take time to consider how you can make changes – small or large – to make your destination a fulfilling experience for everyone.
There Are Many Keys to Improving the Rural Economy
Rural communities have been seeing a gradual decrease in population for years, but rural economies aren’t shutting down. Instead, they’re changing. According to a study on a rural community in Indiana from the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University, economic life in these areas still have a lot of potential despite the decline. Access to education, childcare and, considered by many to be the most important, the ability to achieve a higher quality of life are all factors in making a rural community successful.
“In today’s economy, most occupations can be performed anywhere, so household location decisions are motivated by quality of life. Higher quality of life is strongly correlated with more school spending, the absence of crime and a few key private sector amenities, such as recreational activities,” the Indiana study reported.
The biggest key to economic stability in rural regions is diversification. Since 1970, rural economies expanded from agriculture to manufacturing, education, healthcare and government services. Today, the economy continues to grow as self-employment increases and heritage tourism takes center stage. Read the article to gain more helpful insights into improving your own local economy.
Colorado Voters to Decide on Redirecting Tourism Marketing Dollars to Communities
On Nov. 8, Colorado residents are deciding how much of their collected lodging tax revenue they want to redirect from pure tourism promotion back into their communities. In Estes Park, Glenwood Springs, Snowmass, Gunnison County, Summit County and many other will vote on exacting a new lodging tax or move the existing lodging tax revenue towards affordable housing. In other areas, residents will vote to redirect 60% of lodging tax funds away from tourism marketing to fund affordable housing and childcare.
These measures are a result of Governor Jared Polis’s signed House Bill 1117 which allows “local governments to let voters decide how to allocate up to 90% of lodging tax funds to areas outside of tourism marketing.” Typically, this revenue is reserved for DMO budgets, but these decisions are the perfect example of how communities aren’t just spectators in tourism marketing anymore.
In these Colorado regions, tourism has boomed in the past several years, taking a heavy toll on residents, communities and natural resources.
“The task is increasingly looking at destination stewardship, recognizing that all of our towns have been discovered and maybe we don’t need to be marketing and advertising these towns as much as we used to in the past,” said Margaret Bowes, the executive director of Colorado Association of Ski Towms. “It’s now more of a matter of how do we keep these towns wonderful places to visit.”
It’s important for DMOs to pay attention to what’s happening in not just Colorado, but in their own backyards. Ask yourself: Are you using your tourism funding in the best interests of your community? Attracting new visitors is a vital part of tourism marketing, but it’s not the only purpose. When planning your budgets and strategies, make sure you are taking measures to also protect your destination and your people. This will allow for sustainable practices that will earn your community’s trust and preserve your region.
Digital Analytics Aren’t Boring, They’re a Powerful Marketing Tool
When it comes to using analytics, it’s normal for DMOs and CVBs to focus on membership growth and hotel bed tax numbers because that’s the data that stakeholders and board members want to see. But what about data that encompasses the entire visitor journey? This is just as important as that “bottom-of-the-funnel” data because it gives you a more holistic view of your marketing efforts. And when you see the big picture, it makes your future marketing tactics more effective and reassures your stakeholders that you’re headed in the right direction.
By treating your destination website as an e-Commerce platform, DMOS and CVBs can use this data to make data-driven decisions that convert users into visitors. This doesn’t mean literally selling. Instead, you want to inspire feelings of excitement about visiting your destination, giving your website users the wanderlust that will convince them to book a trip. This blog offers tactical tips that DMOs can take to “seal the deal” with their website users. Check out how these steps and insights can help inspire you to create future programs and build a sustainable calendar of experiences to keep your visitors coming back again and again.
Follow These 2023 Content Marketing Trends
It’s time to start planning your 2023 marketing strategies! But, before diving in, you need to get the lay of the land. Content marketing is constantly evolving as new technologies emerge. That’s why we’re highlighting some of the top trends projected for the new year. Take a look:
- Personalized content: People are looking for personal connections, so giving your visitors a unique experience will give you an edge against the competition.
- Brands that are niche: You can’t be everything to everyone. Instead, consider capitalizing on travel niches such as golfing, birdwatching, geocaching or thrifting. In travel, there are so many opportunities to get specific. Don’t hesitate to highlight what really makes your destination special.
- Voice search is a growing segment: More people are ditching typing and going straight to Siri. How we speak is very different than how we write, so longtail keywords will become more important than ever when it comes to appearing in the top voice search results.
- Focus on the content experience: How your visitors consume your content is just as important as the content itself. Make sure you are tailoring your content toward your audience and platform.
These trends are just the tip of the iceberg. Read this article to take a look at 9 more trends that are going to make waves in the next year. Staying on top of trends puts you one step ahead of your competitors and allows you to give your stakeholders an advantage in attracting visitors and customers.