The DMO Download
A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.
In-destination Travel Experiences Are Evolving
by Paige Schamberg
The Top Heritage Tourism Stories This Week
This week, we have several fascinating stories for you. Learn about the evolution of in-destination experiences, the top six steps for effecting destination marketing, how funding the arts can improve your community, and so much more. Check it out!
How In-destination Travel Experiences Are Evolving
This article from TravelPulse discusses how the in-destination travel experiences market is evolving and what it means for destination tourism. In-destination experiences refer to activities and services that travelers participate in while at their destination, such as tours, excursions, and other activities.
Several trends have arisen in the in-destination experiences market, including the increasing popularity of unique and personalized experiences, the use of technology to enhance the booking and delivery of experiences, and the growing importance of sustainability and responsible tourism practices. For heritage tourism, these trends suggest that destinations need to focus on providing unique and personalized experiences that meet the needs and preferences of travelers. This may involve partnering with local operators and service providers to develop and promote authentic and immersive experiences that showcase the destination’s natural, cultural, and historical attractions.
Additionally, destinations may need to invest in technology that enhances the booking and delivery of in-destination experiences, such as mobile apps and online booking platforms. This can help to improve the traveler experience and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of tourism marketing and management. Destinations also need to prioritize sustainability and responsible tourism practices to ensure that in-destination experiences are developed and delivered in a way that minimizes negative impacts on the environment and local communities. This may involve working with local stakeholders to promote sustainable tourism practices, such as responsible waste management, conservation of natural resources, and support for local businesses and communities.
Destinations that prioritize unique and personalized experiences, leverage technology, and embrace sustainable tourism practices can position themselves to attract and retain travelers and support sustainable economic development.
Six Steps for Effective Destination Marketing in 2023
This white paper from ForwardKeys provides insights and recommendations for DMOs on how to attract visitors and build long-term relationships with them. Here are four takeaways that DMOs can learn from this white paper:
- Build a strong digital presence: In today’s digital age, it is essential for DMOs to have a strong online presence that includes a user-friendly website, active social media accounts, and engaging digital content that showcases the destination’s unique attractions and experiences.
- Leverage data to inform marketing strategies: DMOs should use data analytics to understand visitor behaviour, preferences, and trends to inform their marketing strategies. This includes analyzing website traffic, social media engagement, and booking data to identify target audiences and tailor marketing messages to their interests.
- Engage with local communities and stakeholders: DMOs should involve local communities and stakeholders in their marketing efforts to ensure that the destination’s culture, heritage, and natural resources are preserved and celebrated. This includes collaborating with local businesses and organizations to develop authentic and immersive visitor experiences that showcase the destination’s unique identity.
- Monitor and adapt to changing trends: The tourism industry is constantly evolving, and DMOs need to stay up-to-date on emerging trends and adapt their marketing strategies accordingly. This includes monitoring visitor feedback and online reviews, tracking travel restrictions and regulations, and adjusting marketing messages to align with changing visitor needs and preferences.
Although traveller behaviours are in constant flux and everything from geography to generational differences can influence travellers’ choices and decisions, it’s vital to understand how they are changing, connect with travellers actively searching for their next trip and convince them to return.
What Funding Arts and Culture Can Do for Rural Communities
Having a strong infrastructure in your community means more than just roads and bridges – it means having a strong civic infrastructure, too. This article from The Daily Yonder argues that investing in rural arts and culture can have a significant impact on economic development in rural communities. Funding arts and culture in your community can:
- Drive economic growth: Investing in rural arts and culture can help stimulate economic growth by attracting tourists, creating jobs, and supporting local businesses. Rural communities with thriving arts scenes can benefit from increased foot traffic, higher spending by visitors, and a more vibrant and diverse local economy.
- Build community identity and pride: Rural arts and culture can also play a crucial role in building community identity and pride. By celebrating local heritage, traditions, and stories, rural communities can develop a strong sense of identity and belonging that can help attract new residents, businesses, and investment.
- Promote social cohesion and wellbeing: Engaging in arts and cultural activities can have positive effects on mental health, social cohesion, and community wellbeing. Rural communities that invest in arts and culture can provide opportunities for residents to connect with each other, express themselves creatively, and build a sense of social support and belonging.
- Leverage other forms of funding: Rural arts and culture organizations can leverage other forms of funding, such as grants, sponsorships, and crowdfunding, to support their programs and initiatives. By partnering with local businesses, government agencies, and other organizations, rural arts and culture groups can tap into additional sources of funding and build strong networks of support.
Investing in rural arts and culture can have far-reaching benefits for rural communities, including economic growth, community identity and pride, social cohesion and wellbeing, and increased access to other forms of funding. By supporting local arts and culture organizations and initiatives, rural communities can build vibrant, resilient, and sustainable economies that celebrate and preserve their unique identity and heritage.
Welcome to the Brandlands
Branding is one of those marketing buzzwords that means different things to different people.
Often, it’s dismissed as nothing more than a logo and clever slogan. Regardless, branding is still a marketing fundamental, one that’s arguably the most difficult and complex to pull off. Nowhere is this truer than for destinations, because while DMOs are responsible for the branding strategy, the effectiveness of that strategy is determined by the people. So, how do you build a community brand that gets everyone on board?
Our branding experts took a deep dive into destination branding to give you a stronger understanding of how these elements come together to create a powerful and memorable brand. This webinar discusses 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.