The DMO Download

A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.

Solo Female Travelers Seek Cultural Immersion

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What You Need to Know This Week

You are passionate about your community, and we’re passionate about keeping you informed. So, to help you keep up on the latest trends, news and updates, we’ve compiled the top headlines and resources for you to check out. Read about travel trends, the importance of creative tourism ads, a growing traveler demographic and more. Staying updated on the top industry information will prepare you and your destination for a successful future.

Traveler Spending, Advertising and Other American Travel Trends

Destination Analysts released their most recent survey findings this week, revealing some interesting trends for DMOs to consider when planning marketing campaigns or researching new audiences. The data explores various topics concerning American travel, gathered from over 1,200 travelers from October 27-29. Some key findings to know are:

  • Americans are ready to implement lifestyle changes, with the most important differences concerning wellness, time spent with loved ones and better work-life balances.
  • With over 83% of Americans reporting travel plans in the next three months, travel optimism is on the rise. Americans are excited to get back on the road and explore new getaways.
  • Despite travel excitement, travelers are staying conscious of their budgets. Three-in-five say prices are too high for them, which has prevented them from traveling.
  • The current landscape offers great opportunities for travel advertising to become more inclusive. Around 38% of travelers don’t believe travel advertising gets designed with them in mind, and 19% say the ads they’ve seen are inauthentic.

It’s essential to listen to travelers’ preferences and perceptions when planning your next marketing campaign. To attract visitors to your destination, you need to ensure your audience can connect with your marketing messages.

An Autism Nature Trail Opens Up New Opportunities for Travelers with Disabilities

In Castile, New York, Letchworth State Park opened up a new trail specially designed for hikers and nature enthusiasts with autism. There are eight sensory stations on the one-mile loop trail that offer ways for children with autism and other developmental disabilities to engage with nature in a relaxing way. On this trail, hikers can create forts with sticks, play with natural-inspired instruments and take in the views while sitting on wooden gliders.

After speaking with families who hike with their autistic children, trail co-founders Loren Penman, Gail Serventi and Susan Herrnstein went to work creating a unique trail. After researching and fundraising their project, they created a calming and inspiring trail where children and adults with autism can enjoy the scents and sounds of nature. So far, it appears to be a hit.

With Americans seeking new travel experiences, it’s important to create offerings that make your destination accessible for travelers with special needs. Consider providing disability-friendly tours and experiences so all of your visitors can enjoy what your destination has to offer.

Female Solo Travelers Seek Cultural Immersion

More and more women are booking solo travel experiences. In the past, women often dismissed solo travel plans due to concerns about personal safety. However, this trend is changing as women put in more time to research destinations that are safe for solo travelers. Whether domestic or international, being able to experience the local culture is the number one thing solo female travelers said they looked for when planning their trips. According to the survey results found in this article, 82% of the surveyed women said the local culture was a key factor in their decision to travel.

When it comes to marketing their natural and local amenities, DMOs and heritage regions should keep solo travelers in mind. Solo travelers want authentic experiences and to be immersed in the culture of the destination. To connect with solo female travelers, showcase the unique features of your community while also including safety information to increase their
confidence before booking.

Your Destination Needs a Brand Identity

Branding is the gateway to attracting visitors to your destination. Visitors want to know where they’re going, what kind of place they’re visiting and what kind of experiences they’ll have. Although the most successful rural areas have relied on branding to help them achieve their success, it is still the least understood aspect of marketing.

Logos, taglines, websites and color schemes are all important to forming a brand identity, but they aren’t branding. Real branding is a perception – how people view your destination and the experiences you promise them.

Fortunately, people’s perceptions can be altered through good branding. If you want to manage how your destination gets perceived, you can make efforts to align your brand with your messaging. The key to community branding is to deliver on the perception you are trying to promote. Check out this resource for more information, and join us for some Facebook Live trivia on November 5 at 1:30 p.m. EST to test your destination branding knowledge.

The Publishing Process That Lets Your Content Shine

Your visitors want to know more about your destination. But, they won’t be able to do that if there’s no content to explore. By having an organized, consistent publishing method for your content, travelers can stay up to date with what’s happening at your destination. Having a solid process and team will enable you to publish fresh content for your audience to enjoy consistently.

According to Content Marketing Institute, there are several steps you can take to ensure a productive publishing process:

  1. Create and maintain a publication schedule for your content.
  2. Record the status of each piece of content. Be sure to include the content creator, due date, status and any additional notes that might be necessary.
  3. Coordinate content from multiple sources. Make sure you’re storing these types of content in a central location where it’s accessible for everyone involved in the project.
  4. Make sure the content goes through a thorough revision process before it’s published.

Stay organized and stick to your publishing process. By doing so, potential visitors will learn everything they need to know about your destination in order to make a booking decision. Take time to standardize your content publishing process – your visitors and stakeholders will thank you.

Paige Fay
Content Production Manager at Bull Moose Marketing. A lover of literature, a sunshine enthusiast and journalism junkie. Connect with me on LinkedIn @paigefay

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