The DMO Download

A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.

New Wildlife Heritage Areas Help Travelers Find Responsible Animal Experiences


Check Out This Month’s DMO Resources

This month’s DMO Download is packed with interesting stories. Learn about the significance of investment in the tourism industry, the opportunities that travel branded entertainment can offer DMOs, why Wildlife Heritage Areas are promoting ethical wildlife encounters, and so much more. Keep reading!

Forget AI – Should We Care More About Investments in New Tourism Destinations?

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are making significant investments in their tourism industries. These nations have made massive financial moves to develop their tourism infrastructure and compete on a global scale. The tourism industry, even in the rural United States, needs to pay more attention to these cash injections and their potential impact, comparing them to the discussions often held around technological disruptions like AI. This article highlights the implications of such investments for global competition, job creation, and market dynamics, stressing that the influx of capital will not only enhance infrastructure but also lead to substantial marketing investments and business incentives. The piece underlines the need for a broader conversation about the consequences of these significant financial investments in the context of the tourism industry, asserting that it is a topic that deserves more attention and consideration.

While this article mostly highlights the global tourism industry, there are several key insights that can be gleaned by rural U.S. DMOs:

  • Emphasis on Investment: The article underscores the importance of substantial financial investments in tourism development. DMOs in rural areas should recognize the significance of capital investment in enhancing local tourism infrastructure, marketing initiatives, and overall destination appeal.
  • Competitive Landscape Awareness: Understanding the global competitive landscape is essential. Rural DMOs need to be cognizant of the significant investments made by other regions and countries, as this could potentially impact their own tourism industry.
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: The article highlights the collaborations between various nations and business entities to promote tourism. Rural DMOs can explore partnerships with regional stakeholders, businesses, and other organizations to collectively promote their destinations and amplify their appeal to a broader audience.
  • Marketing Strategies and Innovation: Rural DMOs can draw inspiration from the emphasis on marketing and innovative tourism experiences showcased in the article. Investing in advanced marketing techniques, immersive experiences, and technology-driven initiatives can help rural destinations stand out and attract more visitors.
  • Long-term Planning and Vision: Understanding the long-term implications of significant financial investments in tourism is crucial. Rural DMOs can focus on creating sustainable tourism plans, fostering local economic development, and fostering a sense of pride and ownership in their communities.

By incorporating these takeaways into their strategies, rural DMOs can enhance their competitiveness, attract more tourists, and contribute to the overall growth and development of their local economies.

Travel Branded Entertainment Offers Opportunities for DMOs

This article discusses a new approach to travel advertising that involves experience-driven branded content, exemplified by Tripadvisor’s ‘The Wanderer’ series on Amazon Prime Video. This series is a travel show produced by Tripadvisor’s in-house content studio, Wanderlab. The series follows travelers exploring various destinations worldwide and aims to provide an authentic and unique perspective on different cultures and experiences. The show features hand-picked experience seekers sharing their personal narratives, offering insights into lesser-known aspects of popular travel destinations. Through immersive storytelling and high-quality production, “The Wanderer” seeks to showcase the genuine essence of each location, moving away from traditional travel brochure-style content to deliver a more engaging and experiential portrayal of global travel destinations. The series has gained significant traction and engagement, showcasing authentic travel experiences in various destinations.

According to the article, this shift in travel marketing, from traditional advertising to immersive storytelling, provides an opportunity for brands to connect with consumers on a more personal level. Travel branded entertainment presents a unique opportunity for rural DMOs to showcase their destinations in an engaging and authentic light. By participating in or creating travel branded entertainment content, rural DMOs can enhance visibility, offer authentic representations of their destinations, diversify marketing approaches, engage new audiences, and showcase local businesses. This form of content allows them to draw attention to lesser-known rural areas, dispel misconceptions, and appeal to travelers seeking immersive and off-the-beaten-path experiences. Overall, it provides a compelling way to promote rural destinations, attract new visitors, and contribute to local economic development. By focusing on storytelling and showcasing the distinctive aspects of their regions, rural destinations can create a compelling narrative that resonates with travelers and encourages them to explore beyond mainstream attractions.

New Wildlife Heritage Areas Help Travelers Find Responsible Animal Experiences

A global initiative that designates Wildlife Heritage Areas aims to promote responsible and ethical wildlife encounters in the wild. It emphasizes the challenges of maintaining sustainable interactions with wildlife while meeting the growing demand for up-close experiences. The Wildlife Heritage Areas program, inspired by the success of the Whale Heritage Sites initiative, focuses on recognizing destinations with sustainable wildlife practices and strong connections to local heritage and culture. The article underscores the importance of responsible wildlife tourism, highlighting the potential impact on both animal welfare and local communities. It also provides guidance for travelers on choosing responsible wildlife experiences, emphasizing the significance of respecting animal habitats and setting realistic expectations for encounters.

Rural DMOs can benefit greatly from this news. By understanding the principles of responsible wildlife tourism and the importance of promoting ethical interactions with animals, rural DMOs can align their promotional efforts with sustainable practices. This approach can help rural destinations attract conscious travelers who prioritize responsible wildlife encounters, thereby fostering positive relationships with both local communities and the natural environment. Moreover, by adhering to the guidelines outlined in this article, rural DMOs can enhance the appeal of their destinations, showcasing their commitment to preserving wildlife and promoting sustainable tourism practices.

Getting Stakeholder and Community Buy-in to Build Your Brand

It can be overwhelming to think about getting all of your stakeholders in agreement, but it’s vital for delivering on your destination’s brand promise. There are some strategies DMOs and heritage areas can use to get everyone on the same page. Here are some ways you can earn their buy-in:

  • Listen to your stakeholders’ needs and really consider their opinions when making decisions.
  • Educate your stakeholders with the knowledge they need to succeed.
  • Communicate your progress clearly throughout the life of the branding project.
  • Demonstrate the value of stakeholder support in your projects and consistently be available for them.
  • Outline the stakeholders’ investment and involvement in the project and final product.

Following these tips will encourage your stakeholders to invest in your community’s branding as well as the overall efforts of your organization. It will also serve as the foundation for trust between you and your community and encourage the healthy sharing of ideas and content. This kind of environment fosters a powerful and supportive strategy and energy to develop your brand.

To learn more about county and community branding, check out this webinar and this resource.

  • Paige Schamberg

    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

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