The DMO Download
A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.
The Wild Side of Heritage Tourism
by Megan McDonnell
Proposed Meetings & Events Incentive Program to Boost Colorado Tourism
After a difficult 2020, Colorado lawmakers hope to give the tourism industry a boost by creating the Colorado Meeting and Events Incentive Program under the Colorado Tourism Office.
This program will offer rebates of up to 10% for event hosts and a rebate for up to 25% for any COVID-related costs. This applies to events such as meetings, conferences, weddings, festivals and even family reunions.
“This will go a long way to help bring events here. The biggest thing that happened last fall was the addition of Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines is both a business and leisure carrier so for them to invest in Colorado Springs, we now are in the position where meetings and events planners are looking at us like they never have before,” President and CEO of Visit Colorado Springs Doug Price said. The temporary program is expected to not just help tourism, but the whole state economy.
The Wild Side of Heritage Tourism
Even in a country with a healthy tourism industry and heritage tourism culture,* Ireland is expanding its story and offering something more, something different. Tapping into the desire for two types of experiences – authentic and off-the-beaten path – the Wild Atlantic Way answers that call. At its core, the Wild Atlantic Way is 1,500 miles of coastal pathways for walkers, hikers, cyclists, and motorized vehicles, too.
Interested in learning how to leverage influencers in your destination or heritage tourism marketing strategy? Sign up for our webinar, “Influencers” Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word to DMOs, on May 25 at 3:30 PM EST.
Whether your community is well known to visitors with robust and established tourist offerings like in Ireland or you are still working on your tourism strategy, this is the time to look at your community through the lens of authenticity, experiences, and maybe even something a little wild.
More Elements Added to UNESCO World Heritage List
UNESCO is known for establishing World Heritage sites, places carefully selected for their historic and cultural value. To date, there are 1,121 World Heritage sites boasting stories of culture and nature dating back to thousands of years.
But not all heritage can be captured in a physical location. UNESCO and the Smithsonian Institution established a List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, an effort to preserve traditions and lifestyles that give life to a nation’s culture.
“We must join forces to avoid losing a wealth of knowledge and skills that are vital for dignity, social cohesion, but also to tackle modern challenges of climate change and social transformation,” Ernesto Ottone, UNESCO Assistant Director General said.
In order to be selected, a cultural element must be nominated by its own country and go through a thorough application process where the country’s cultural experts demonstrate its value in relation to their communities. Notable examples include Finland’s sauna culture and the practice of conserving wooden architecture in Japan.
Alaska Tourism Industry Expects More Independent Travelers
More vaccination availability has improved Alaska’s travel outlook for summer 2021, though there is still some uncertainty surrounding the season.
The state anticipates more independent travelers as the cruise ship industry still recovers from a difficult 2020. While state and federal leaders work to bring cruise ships back to Alaska, the state’s time window closes soon with summer just several weeks away.
“We are shifting toward a hopeful summer of independent visitors as the larger ship season becomes more and more uncertain,” President and CEO of the Alaska Travel Industry Association Sarah Leonard said. She believes if the state’s small businesses continue to recover it will be a successful summer travel season.