The DMO Download
A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.
How Can Travel Brands Improve Their Personalization?
by Paige Schamberg
Branding, Revitalization and GA4, Oh My!
There’s a lot to dive into this week. See an example of successful downtown revitalization, learn what visitors want from travel brands, read about travel app updates and what it tells us about visitor expectations, get updated on Google Analytics 4 and more. Keep reading!
See What This Small Town Is Doing To Become a Visitor Hotspot
The town of New Hope, Pa. is marketing itself as a charming, historic weekend getaway and, as you can tell from this article in Travel + Leisure magazine, people are starting to notice. Though it’s in close proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia, this Bucks County town preserves that idyllic, historic, small-town feel while offering a variety of activities and amenities. Visitors can enjoy evening entertainment, boating on the Delaware River, cideries and breweries, the New Hope Railroad, state parks and more. New Hope also offers annual events that attract thousands of attendees such as their May PrideFest and Upper Bucks Brewfest.
New Hope is a great example of how a small town that equally markets its amenities can become a well-trafficked tourist destination. By showcasing its myriad of offerings, visitors can get a holistic picture of New Hope, making it all the more appealing to visit. Its unique geographical location means that it can become a popular destination for travelers who are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, as well as tourists from all over the country.
How Can Travel Brands Improve Their Personalization?
In this article from MarketingCharts, DMOs and CVBs can hear directly from travelers. According to travelers, these are the top ways that travel brands can better their relationships with potential visitors:
- Personalized safety recommendations when booking a trip
- Personalized offers to make their travel experience better
- Personalization that is consistent across all platforms
- Personalized follow-up regarding travel concerns and issues
DMOs and CVBs need to think of new ways to give their visitors personalized communication. With more and more Americans looking for more meaningful and individual experiences, the tourism industry needs to be able to keep up with the trends. For rural destinations with a limited staff to make this possible, looking into AI technology is a great way to get the results you need. From chatbots to automated email marketing, there are many (and affordable) ways to implement personalization into your marketing strategy and build stronger relationships with your visitors.
Travel App Hopper Gives Travelers More Options
The money-saving travel app, Hopper, announced the launch of some new flexibility products that will allow users to save even more on hotel, flight and car rental bookings. One of these products, called “Leave for Any Reason,” allows users to leave their hotel for any reason at or after check-in and book a new hotel of the same category with Hopper covering all rebooking costs. In addition to this new feature, Hopper is also adding a “Cancel for Any Reason” option where users can instantly cancel their reservation up until check-in and receive a full room refund. Both features are priced at $30 per reservation.
These features are being launched after Hopper was recently valued at $5 billion this year. The data is clear: travelers want cheaper travel and the most booking flexibility possible. DMOs and CVBs should take note of this story and what it shows us about travelers’ expectations. A continually shifting travel environment and the constant presence of COVID-19 means that travelers need to have flexibility. If visitors aren’t able to safely cancel their plans, it’s less likely that they will book in the first place. It’s important that you work with your stakeholders to develop cancelation policies that will give visitors, and your local businesses, risk-free reservations. Not only will this look good to visitors on travel booking apps, but also lay the groundwork for a trustworthy reputation for your destination.
Your DMO Website Needs to Have These 5 Key Elements
With travelers visiting over 38 websites before booking a getaway, a digital presence is vital for a successful heritage tourism strategy. Visitors rely strongly on quality websites, seeing them as the authority on a destination. A good website lets you build credibility and showcase the unique aspects of your destination, giving visitors a holistic view of what your region has to offer. There are five ways to make your heritage tourism website stand out from the crowd:
- Understand and communicate the unique selling points of your destination.
- Develop a clear brand for your heritage area.
- Work on creating a good user experience.
- Use high-quality photography to showcase your destination.
- Connect your heritage site to the community.
Having an informative website is a vital part of your marketing strategy to develop your destination’s brand. Implementing these five elements will help wow visitors long before they arrive at your destination.
What Do DMOs and CVBs Need to Know About GA4?
Google recently announced the launch of Google Analytics 4 and DMOs and CVBs need to know what this means for their marketing efforts. While Google has launched some updates in the past, this one will change the way data is collected, stored and even visualized. Search Engine Land published an article that gives marketers a look at the biggest changes. Here are some key takeaways:
- Firebase Analytics, a mobile app development software, will not be the backend of GA4 and will capture data across websites and native apps into a single format.
- GA4 will be built on top of Google Signals technology, which is used to create audiences, but now this feature will be able to recognize users instead of relying on cookies.
- The Global Site Tag will allow you to make changes to the user interface that will allow you to get a clearer picture of what visitors are doing on your website and how they’re interacting with your content.
Search Engine Land also explains the most important feature: the event-driven data model. This will replace some metrics such as pageviews and sessions, instead reporting events, event parameters and user properties. These mean that GA4 will show marketers which link was clicked, some info that describes the link click and information that describes the user who initiated the event. With this in mind, DMOs and CVBs will need to prepare new reporting methods for stakeholders and board members, so they can explain new data and what it means for their strategy. If you’re using Google Analytics to learn more about your audience, it’s vital that you take time to read more about the new changes and how this will affect reporting moving forward.