The DMO Download

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

Direct Your Visitors to the Road Less Traveled

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Don't Miss Out on These Great Resources

From Visit Florida’s new campaign to marketing tips from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to advice on how to market your whole region, this week’s DMO Download is packed with can’t-miss knowledge. Keep reading!

Covid Created These Top Travel Trends

The pandemic changed the world, especially travel. But, it wasn’t always changed for the worst. It’s also popularized a number of exciting travel trends that seem to be here to stay. Here are the top five that DMOs need to know:

  1. Escape into Nature: At first, it was a way to enjoy travel without the risk, but today travelers are just looking for natural adventures that separate them from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
  2. Nearby Tourism: When restrictions limited how far Americans could travel, they began to travel closer to home. Today, rising costs and a changing environment are leading many families to choose local vacations that are less expensive and easier to organize.
  3. Stays in the Outskirts: Before Covid, lodging in the heart of town was in high demand, but the post-pandemic world is increasing travelers’ interest in residential neighborhoods. Apps such as Airbnb and Vrbo are popularizing home lodging due to the proximity to “local life,” giving travelers an authentic experience at their destination.
  4. The Motel’s Return: Once considered less-than-ideal accommodation, motels and vintage roadside lodging is coming back in style. Featuring affordable rates and unique offerings, this trend is changing travelers’ perception of on-the-road lodging.
  5. Hotels with Outdoor Spaces: Accommodations with outdoor activities or nature escapes are more popular than ever. Once the only way to safely distance yourself from other lodgers, outdoor spaces are now providing unique opportunities to enjoy your vacation where you stay.

These are important trends to keep in mind when planning your marketing campaigns and keeping your stakeholders informed.

Visit Florida Highlights Lesser-known Attractions in Their Latest Marketing Campaign

The “Sunshine State” is experiencing a remarkable tourism recovery with over 69 million visitors arriving in the state through June, exceeding even their 2019 visitor data. What’s their secret? Highlighting a wider selection of their destination offerings!

Florida tourism officials wanted to broaden people’s perceptions of what the state has to offer besides Disney World and golfing. Launching a $16 million media advertising campaign, the state released 22 videos showcasing Florida’s 15 Michelin-starred restaurants and distinctive mom-and-pop offerings. The tourism authority also aims to help smaller cities and counties throughout the state build more traveler traffic and, since their latest promotional campaign, has already achieved an 11% increase this year.

“Every decision we make is driven by data. Recently we found that people are nearly two and a half times as likely to travel to Florida after seeing our advertisements,” Dana Young, president and CEO of Visit Florida, said.

Smaller and more rural destinations should take note of Florida’s example. What’s making their promotional campaigns so effective is not just their marketing tactics, but what they’re marketing. By promoting their whole region and not just a single amenity, they’re giving visitors a holistic and more authentic view of what their state has to offer. We highlight some more benefits of this approach in one of our articles below, or you can check it out here.

Market Your Whole Region, Not Just a Single Amenity

When visitors are planning a trip to a destination, there’s one simple truth: a destination with multiple attractions always sounds more exciting than a destination with one attraction. And with the right strategy, your destination can meet their expectations, too.

It can be easy for DMOs to fall into the habit of promoting only one attraction or amenity. But doing so isn’t the best use of your marketing budget because your destination has a lot to offer all kinds of visitors. By promoting your region’s historical attractions, you can open up a whole new demographic of visitors to your destination.

By marketing your restaurants, breweries, wineries and cafes, you can reach travelers who are chasing down their next flavor. Whatever you have to offer, there’s a visitor who is interested in making it a part of their getaway. Promoting your whole area offers the opportunity to market to all kinds of visitors so that your stakeholders and local economy will benefit.
Before settling on a marketing strategy with a limited promotions calendar, consider all your amenities and attractions and begin marketing them together as a whole experience. Your visitors will be blown away by how many things your area has to offer, coming back again and again in order to try them all.

5 Content Marketing Ideas Inspired by 'The Rock'

If you’re looking for some creative inspiration, look no further than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. While the actor is known for, well, acting, what really shot him to the top of the A-list was content marketing. Here are some lessons we can learn from The Rock that will push our content marketing strategy to the next level:

  1. Talk about where you’re from – The Rock talks about his upbringing often on social media and in interviews. By bringing up his past, he’s able to connect with a lot of people and narrows the gap between the entertainer and the entertained. Talking about your town’s history and people will build credibility and trust with your visitors by allowing them to connect with your destination more deeply.
  2. Share your “why” – Telling your visitors why they should love your destination shows why you love it. This adds personality and emotion to your community’s brand, leaving visitors feeling like they can belong there.
  3. Talk to your visitors – The Rock doesn’t hesitate to reach out to those who post about him. Sending thank you tweets and giving positive feedback, The Rock builds trust with his fans. In the same way, DMOs can give their visitors feedback on their reviews and also share their images on social media. This is an excellent way to build a relationship with your visitors!

Using these tactics in your marketing strategy will shape your community’s brand into one that is personable, relatable and authentic. Once you build a trustworthy relationship with your visitors, the possibilities for bookings, online engagement and more are endless!

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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