The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
How Rural Destinations Can Hop on the Sustainable Travel Train
by Paige Fay
Chow Down on the Latest DMO News
As travelers are planning their spring and summer vacations, now is the time to get your destination’s message out there. Get some inspiration on how you can reach your visitors with this week’s DMO Download. Read about the state of Washington’s new branding, check out some tips on making hotels sustainable, learn about the vegan travel trend and more.
Washington Tourism Gets a Facelift
State of Washington Tourism (SWT), previously known as the Washington Tourism Alliance, is experiencing a major rebrand. A new name, logo, website and a nationwide marketing campaign are being put in place to position Washington as a top tourism destination in the United States. In addition to the new branding elements, the organization will be implementing a new “travelers first” approach to tourism. This approach seeks to promote their destination to travelers who are craving unique and transformative experiences.
“The new brand and campaign were co-created and shaped by stakeholders from across the state,” said SWT Executive Director David Blandford. “It was a thoughtful process that allowed us to uncover a brand that is an authentic reflection of our destination. We leaned into many of the findings we uncovered throughout the past year. We believe responsibility and inclusivity need to be embedded in our work from the ground up, and that this mindset will help us attract travelers who put values-based decisions first.”
DMOs can expect this perspective as the way of the future for destination marketing. As travelers continue to seek out these kinds of experiences, destinations need to be able to deliver on these expectations. Getting input from your stakeholders is a great way to gain insight into what your destination has to offer as well as what visitors are looking for in their travels. To learn more about getting stakeholders involved in your branding efforts, read this blog.
7 R’s for More Sustainable Hotel Practices
Visitors are looking for more sustainable ways to travel, so the fact that more travelers are seeking out environmentally-friendly accommodation should come as no surprise to DMOs. But there’s no need to tell your accommodation stakeholders to revamp their whole niche. Instead, Tourism Review released seven simple tips to help hotels become more sustainable without breaking the bank. By implementing changes as easy as asking hotel staff and guests to conserve water or revising inventory before purchasing new items, your stakeholders can take steps towards helping the environment. Not only does this increase sustainability, but these changes can also help your stakeholders reduce costs.
If your destination is looking to market to more value-based tourists, then it’s important to encourage your stakeholders to participate in the movement. Create a conversation about sustainability and listen to your stakeholders to gain insight on some practices they may already have in place that would appeal to value-based travelers.
Visitors Are Getting a Taste for Vegan Travel
Sustainable travel is becoming more than simply staying at hotels that conserve their water. Now, vegan travel is taking the industry by storm. Despite vegetarians and vegans taking up the minority in the United States, more people are choosing to minimize their meat consumption. In fact, a 2019 survey by Ipsos Retail Performance revealed that 9.7 million Americans are vegan, compared to 300,000 from a survey in 2004. In response, “plant-centric” hotels, restaurants, tours and even festivals are becoming more and more popular.
Sustainable travel company Responsible Travel recently added around 1,000 vegan-friendly and nature-positive trips to their repertoire. Travel agents around the country are beginning to organize trips catered to their vegan clients. Cities such as Greenville, South Carolina and Scottsdale, Arizona are introducing more vegan options for visitors.
If you have vegan- or vegetarian-friendly amenities or dining experiences in your destination, then now is a good time to feature them – especially if your destination is making a push to market towards sustainable travelers. Not only will this attract value-based travelers, but can also attract travelers looking to eat healthily or who have more sensitive diets. Consider creating content that dives into these sustainable amenities and you can open the door to a unique new audience.
5 Destination Marketing Tips for Selling Experiences
Travelers are craving authentic and creative experiences. And, here’s some good news: your destination already has those! Your destination is one-of-a-kind with its own history, culture and amenities. So, this means the trick is to show potential visitors all the great opportunities you have in store. This article highlights five tips to help you share these unique experiences with more travelers.
- Make your DMO website the central hub for information about your destination. Visitors need to be able to rely on your website to give them accurate and updated information so they can get everything they need to plan their trip.
- Highlight stories from people who have already visited your destination. Potential visitors want to know about the amenities and opportunities from real people.
- Create niche itineraries based on traveler interests. These will present your destination to all different types of visitors and help persuade them to experience it themselves.
- Make it easy for visitors to share their experiences. People want to talk about what they’ve done and seen, so even something as simple as sharing branded hashtags will get them talking and sharing about your destination.
- Be sure to highlight lesser-known, exclusive experiences. These are the ones that will stand out in visitors’ memories.
These tips will help get you started on a successful destination journey. For more tactical destination marketing tips, check out these blogs or register for this webinar to learn more about developing a standout DMO website.
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