The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
Electric Vehicle Initiatives Offer Big Opportunities for DMOs
by Paige Fay
The DMO Resources You Need This Week
As winter begins to wane, there’s a lot happening in destination marketing! Read how Destination Quebec is attracting residents to local amenities, why DMOs need to provide deeper experiences for visitors, how electric vehicles offer opportunities to destinations along the highway system and more. Keep reading!
Quebec Tourism Initiative Encourages Residents To Travel Local
In the month of February, Destination Quebec City launched an initiative to help attract locals to the city’s hotels and restaurants. Residents will be awarded 50% off nights at participating hotels and each night booked results in $25 gift cards at participating restaurants. With tourism being hit hard by the pandemic, Destination Quebec City hopes the program will encourage locals to invest in their tourism economy. Hotel and restaurant owners have applauded the initiative.
“It’s really a good idea. It will certainly help our members who are struggling with the current situation,” says André Roy, the general manager for the Quebec City Area Hotel Association.
The program is an extension of a similar program that was launched for the entire province in the winter of 2021. This program resulted in 31,000 overnight stays between November and December.
Implementing similar programs could greatly benefit United States DMOs in more restrictive states. Lodging can take up a significant portion of a travel budget, so offering incentives like gift cards or discounts are excellent ways to increase bookings and support your stakeholders in challenging times.
DMOs Need to Go Big in 2022
Coming out of the pandemic, experts predict that travel will be about so much more than just “going somewhere.” Instead, travelers will be seeking out deeper experiences.
“Coming out of such a long period of constraints and limitations, 2022 will be the year we wring every bit of richness and meaning out of our experiences,” Christie Hudson, senior public relations manager for Expedia, said.
The travel hiatus means that visitors will be booking destinations that are big and meaningful to make up for the lost time. This means that DMOs need to think carefully about how they’ll deliver on these demands. Make sure you offer tourists opportunities to dive deeper into their visit to your destination. Offering exclusive tours, highlighting wellness-focused activities and emphasizing cultural attractions will help your visitors get the experience they’re looking for.
Electric Vehicle Initiatives Could Open Up Opportunities for DMOs
With over $5 million being invested in infrastructure for electric vehicles (EV), DMOs, especially in rural areas, gain access to some unique opportunities. The U.S. Travel Association announced that they’ll be working closely with destination marketing organizations, state tourism offices and private travel businesses to “make data-driven recommendations on the most popular EV travel corridors and destinations where investments should be made.” The program, called the Green American Road Trip, will invest in EV charging stations along the Interstate Highway System.
For DMOs, this could reveal opportunities to attract more environmentally-conscious and affluent travelers. And, as the use of electric vehicles continues to increase, destinations along the interstate will have the potential to market to more travelers and become high-traffic stops. These destinations should keep an eye out for funding and marketing opportunities to increase visibility along highways.
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.
These Destinations Are Mastering Social Media
The internet age revealed a whole new kind of travel: the social media kind. Beautiful images of hiking trails, delicious food, colorful parades and videos of rivers and lakes are flooding social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. People are fascinated by the aesthetics of a location. In fact, the more social media-worthy a destination, the more likely travelers, especially younger ones, will book a trip.
So, what makes a destination rank on the social media list? For one, your destination needs to have a strong brand and social media strategy. By ramping up your presence on social media, you’re able to show off your destination’s hottest spots through organic brand awareness. Also, encouraging previous visitors to share their experiences will help spread the word even further. Check out these eight destinations that have social media marketing down. Their efforts turned them into big social media destinations. Take a look and learn how you can implement some of their tactics into your own strategy.
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