The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
New Mobile App Helps Destinations Tell Their Stories
by Paige Fay
Read the Latest In This Week’s Download
We’re back with more information and resources to help you and your destination stay at the top of your game. This week, check out an innovative tourism ad campaign that’s making waves, a specialized travel app designed for storytelling, key elements your tourism website needs to attract visitors and more. Knowledge is power, so keep reading!
Report Reveals Top Three Investment Priorities for DMOs
Miles Partnership, Civitas, Tourism Economics and Destination Analysts released their latest report last week as an update to their 2020 report, according to Skift. After surveying 80 U.S. destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and state tourism boards, findings revealed three investment new priorities DMOs should implement into their marketing strategies:
- Closely engaging with businesses and industry partners
- Marketing to community residents and stakeholders
- Sustainability initiatives for destinations
Investing in these initiatives could be what separates the surviving DMOs from the thriving DMOs. Develop relationships with businesses and industry partners, market to your community and stakeholders as well as visitors and discover long-term solutions for your destination. By doing so, you set yourself and your region up for success. Strong relationships and resident/stakeholder buy-in are what create a sustainable future for your organization.
In a Post-Pandemic World, This Tourism Ad Hits All the Right Notes
Travel Oregon has found the tourism ad that pandemic-weary Americans needed. Working closely with diverse communities and focus groups, this DMO created an advertisement that is authentic, inclusive and very creative. The brief animated video shows different outdoor amenities visitors can experience in efforts to promote their outdoor assets.
According to Travel Oregon’s CEO, Todd Davidson, the ad is part of a campaign that “celebrates the spirit and diversity of Oregon’s people and shares the magical feeling of being in Oregon through the wonder and beauty of our state,” he said. The video is the third installment in their “Only Slightly Exaggerated” campaign series, with the first video resulting in $3.6 million in hotel revenue and over 17,800 bookings.
The animated nature of the video and depictions of outdoor activities lets stressed-out Americans take a step away from the world and explore Oregon’s diverse offerings. Travel Oregon noticed the importance that creative advertising has in the post-pandemic landscape. Americans want authenticity and representation in tourism advertisements— they want to see people like them doing things they want to do. Honesty, authenticity and new experiences will draw visitors from all walks of life to visit your destination.
Entrepreneur Creates Mobile App to Help Destinations Tell Their Stories
Entrepreneur Amanda Mercer was tired of disappointing visits to famous world heritage destinations. Throughout her own travels, she wasn’t blown away by audio guides and too often private tours were completely booked or too expensive. So, she set to work researching these destinations and finding interesting stories in order to create an accessible and refreshing experience, eventually launching BARDEUM. This mobile app gives users story-based history lessons about heritage destinations so that visitors view their explorations in a new light while on their own schedule and at an affordable price.
Visitors are craving authentic and immersive experiences – and this app is just one innovative way of fulfilling that desire. Your region has unique stories to share, so DMOs must start thinking about adopting new ways to create educational and engaging experiences for visitors.
Ask yourself, which stories are the most important to your destination? Think of memorable ways to package them. Maybe it’s through a special event, a new kind of tour, hosting speakers or something even more creative. It’s time to learn from wavemakers like Amanda Mercer by working accessibility, story-telling and innovation into your marketing strategy in order to continue making your destination’s experiences sustainable and profitable.
These 5 Heritage Tourism Website Elements Increase Your Digital Presence and Elevate Your Brand
With travelers visiting about 38 websites before booking a vacation, having an effective website is essential to attracting visitors to your destination. A good website lets you build credibility and showcase the unique aspects of your destination. There are five ways to make your heritage tourism website stand out from the crowd:
- Understand and communicate the unique selling points of your destination.
- Develop a clear brand for your heritage area.
- Work on creating a good user experience.
- Use high-quality photography to showcase your destination.
- Connect your heritage site to the community.
Having an informative website is a vital part of your marketing strategy to develop your destination’s brand. Implementing these five elements will help wow visitors long before they arrive at your destination.
Becoming an Expert Propels You Towards Success
Knowing enough to get by never made anyone successful in their industry. Although some professions may not require the highest levels of education to be qualified, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to grow. To become a valuable expert in your field, you need to constantly seek new training, classes or seminars that will help shape you professionally. The more you educate yourself, the more value you add to your organization and your work.
Whether you’re in the tourism, manufacturing or economic development industries, you should never be satisfied with what you know. Continue seeking creative solutions, new industry standards and expert training that will help grow your organization or business. Putting in the work to become an expert will earn you loyal visitors, customers and stakeholders who know they can rely on your knowledge to lead them to success right along with you. For every nugget of wisdom you learn, you’ll be able to offer more value to the services you’re providing. When others find out how much you’re investing in your professional development, they’ll see just how much you’re willing to invest in solving their problems.
Content Production Manager at Bull Moose Marketing. A lover of literature, a sunshine enthusiast and journalism junkie. Connect with me on LinkedIn @paigefay