The DMO Download

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

Don’t Get Duped By These Pandemic Travel Myths

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Read the Latest Industry News for DMOs

The holidays are here and you are working hard to make sure your destination, and your visitors, are ready for the season. That’s why we’ve gathered the top resources and headlines for you to stay up-to-date on the latest news for DMOs. Catch up on the latest webinar, read how some small cities are gaining lots of attention, check out these debunked travel myths and the biggest social media trends for 2022. Keep reading for helpful information that will keep your destination at its best.

In Case You Missed the Brandlands

Missed our webinar? No worries. Attended, but want to watch it again? We’ve got you covered, too! You can watch “Welcome to the Brandlands – Branding Your Destination” anytime, anywhere by watching the on-demand video here.

To get you up to speed, Ron Mattocks and Camila Gomez took a deep dive into destination branding by discussing these major points:

  • The real definition of your destination’s brand.
  • How to develop your brand by finding your destination’s unique selling point.
  • How to get stakeholder buy-in for your branding strategy.
  • Maintain ownership of your brand by monitoring sentiment and constantly evaluating your brand’s success.

You’ll see that destination branding requires a lot more effort than designing a nice logo and thinking of a clever tagline. This webinar helps you learn how to develop a successful brand that gets your community excited, attracts visitors and stands the test of time.

These Small Cities Are Attracting Big Attention

What do Spokane, WA, Duluth, MN and Brattleboro, VT all have in common? Successful marketing campaigns!

These small cities have been utilizing unique campaigns in order to attract more visitors… and, despite the pandemic, it’s working. Visit Duluth, the city’s destination marketing organization, ramped up a campaign called “Be Here” to highlight the region’s outdoor amenities, such as Lake Superior, and the area’s cultural activities. The campaign was very successful and resulted in hotel occupancy that frequently exceeded 2019’s levels.

DMOs, especially from lesser-known areas, can take a leaf out of these destinations’ books and create marketing campaigns centered around their amenities. Not every tourist is looking for large urban areas. DMOs should focus their marketing efforts on highlighting amenities and showcasing why someone should book a trip.

7 Myths About Pandemic Travel (And the Truth)

In the age of digital media, it’s easy for misinformation to spread, especially when it comes to pandemic travel trends. Thankfully, Skift explored these seven travel myths and researched to find out the truth. Here are the top three debunked myths for DMOs:

  • MYTH: Americans are “over” Covid-19.
    Actually, more than a third of Americans don’t believe that the pandemic will be under control until at least 2023, though they are ready to hit the road again despite this sentiment. Instead, Americans are looking for travel that combines safety and travel.
  • MYTH: Short-term rentals are replacing hotels.
    While the short-term rental industry had its best year in 2020, hotels are bouncing back. Skift reports seeing hotel bookings overtake those of short-term rentals in over 20 different countries.
  • MYTH: The pandemic pushed travel into the future.
    Much of the technology “revolutionizing” travel is really old technology. The pandemic really just forced the industry into the present.

DMOs need to have a good grasp of trends before planning and funding campaigns. Understanding the reality of the market, instead of what many wish or think it might be, is what separates the successful DMOs from the rest. Make sure you’re staying attuned to the realities of the travel industry.

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Potential Visitors Want a Website and Digital Visitors Guides

Destination Analysts published a report on DMO websites and every DMO needs to hear the results. Users are perceiving DMO websites as authoritative sources of information, making it an important part of the visitor’s journey. Almost 40% of users reported that they were considering or interested in booking a stay at the destination when using their website. This is a vital part in the decision process, meaning that DMOs need to make sure their website is updated, user-friendly and informative in order to convert users into visitors.

After websites, the top official DMO resources consulted by users were a digital visitors guide (50.9%) and a printed visitors guide (26.4%). Users reported referencing these materials during their trip planning process. This data proves the importance of both websites and visitors guides when it comes to educating and informing visitors. If you want users to view your content as authoritative, then you need to make sure you’re delivering correct content in an engaging way.

The Social Media Predictions You Need to Know for 2022

Social Media Examiner released the top social media marketing trends they predict for the coming year and DMOs should check it out. Here are some of the top trends to note:

  • If you’re on Instagram, you need to be using Reels to really engage your audience.
  • Organic video on Instagram builds trust with your audience.
  • Shorter attention spans mean short videos for successful Facebook ad campaigns.
  • Marketing basics still matter! Focus on a good foundation for good marketing.
  • The lifespan of Tik Tok trends is only getting shorter, so you need to act quickly on this platform.

To keep your social media presence performing, you need to be adaptable to these kinds of trends. Social media is constantly changing with new updates, new trends and new audiences. Make sure you’re keeping up so you can resonate with potential visitors and engage with them in a meaningful way.

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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