The DMO Download

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

Hawaii’s Rebrand Could Attract New Visitors


Keep Your Knowledge Current With the Latest Resources

It’s midwinter, which means you’re planning for spring campaigns and funding this time of year. But, planning ahead means staying on top of the latest news and resources. This is where we come in. This week, we’ve gathered stories and strategies that will help you push your DMO efforts in the right direction. Read about Hawaii’s rebrand to market to environmentally-friendly travelers, check out an industry outlook for destination marketing, learn from an expert about preparing a DMO website and more.

Building Your Destination’s Website? Learn From the Expert

We sat down with our lead web developer to get his advice on what DMOs should consider before building or redesigning their destination website. In this expert interview, we cover important questions that DMOs should be asking before starting this process, including:

  • When do I know that it’s time to start building my website?
  • How long will it take?
  • What do I need?
  • What are visitors looking for?

As a DMO, you need a website that is easy to navigate, comprehensive and designed to target the kinds of travelers you want to visit your destination. By answering these questions, you can lay the groundwork for a reliable website that visitors can trust when planning their next trip. If you’re interested in learning more about destination websites and why you might be losing traffic, save your seat for this webinar: “Does Your Website Establish or Break Trust With Travelers?

Hawaii Seeks to Attract ‘Mindful, Respectful and High-Value’ Visitors

Hawaii’s state tourism authority is petitioning the state legislature for millions in funding in efforts to rebrand the destination and attract more mindful and environmentally-conscious visitors. The funding would help the state make necessary changes to their branding and messaging to focus on Hawaiian culture, the state’s natural resources and community.

For years, the island state has been known as the “Playground of the Pacific,” but the Hawaii Tourism Authority hopes to alter this perception. Instead, Hawaii will be globally advertised as a “unique place with a fragile ecosystem, rich host culture and multi-ethnic population bound together by the aloha spirit.” The rebrand’s success will be determined by visitor spending, visitor satisfaction and resident sentiment.

This is a great example of branding’s importance to DMOs. Branding has the power to alter how your destination is perceived, therefore determining what kinds of visitors you’ll attract. However, it’s possible to change those perceptions, no matter the message. Through well-planned branding efforts and marketing campaigns, you can change visitor and resident impressions of your destination. While it might take time to change minds about your destination, it’s far from impossible.

Travelers Are Booking Eco-Friendly Trips in 2022

The pandemic has opened many travelers’ eyes to sustainable travel, and the trend doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. In this article from Fast Company, hotel company Hilton shares some ways they’ve been able to meet visitors’ demands when it comes to eco-friendly options in the hospitality industry. Some of these methods include:

  • Using software that allows visitors to use their smartphones as keys
  • Installing electric vehicle charging stations
  • Designing green spaces for visitors to enjoy
  • Serving food with herbs and vegetables grown on-site at the hotel
  • Providing more vegan-friendly dining options

While some of these may be not feasible for more localized stakeholders, it’s important to be aware of what visitors are looking for when booking places to stay. Encouraging your hospitality stakeholders to consider more eco-friendly alternatives for their visitor experience will affect more than just bookings. Keeping things eco-friendly will also help preserve your destination for its residents and future travelers.

What Does 2022 Look Like for DMOs?

Skift’s new report, Destination Marketing Outlook 2022, analyzes how the pandemic impacted the work of destination marketing organizations and gives a projection for the year. The report surveyed over 100 DMO professionals to gain insight on how funding, staffing, revenue, expenses and marketing have been affected by COVID. The report includes data and findings concerning:

  • Impact of Covid on DMO operations
  • How DMOs responded to Covid in terms of marketing and priorities
  • Recovery aid
  • Emerging trends in long-term recovery
  • Interviews with key DMO executives

It’s important for DMOs to stay on top of industry trends. By learning market projections for 2022, DMOs can not only plan their marketing campaigns in advance, but also learn how to adapt operationally and financially in a post-pandemic world.


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