The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
Omicron Puts New Restrictions on Travel Industry
by Paige Fay
Catch Up With This Week’s Industry News for DMOs
There’s a lot going on in your world. That’s why Bull Moose Marketing gathers the top headlines and resources so you can focus on making your destination a great place to live and visit. This week, you can read about getting stakeholder buy-in for destination branding efforts, learn how the Omicron variant is affecting travel and how developing a good relationship with the media can help your brand. Also, don’t forget to RSVP for our branding webinar that airs tomorrow at 1 p.m. There’s lots of good stuff this week, so keep reading!
Omicron Throws a Wrench in U.S. Travel Plans
The travel industry is hit with another obstacle as South Africa identified a new variant of Covid-19 called Omicron. In efforts to prevent the spread, the United States has placed travel bans on several countries in southern Africa and plans to institute new travel regulations. Starting Dec. 6, all international travelers must test negative for the virus within one day of departure to the U.S or have proof they recovered from the virus within 90 days. The federal mask mandate has also been extended through March 18.
No doubt this new blow to the industry leaves many DMOs— and travelers— wondering what the holidays will look like. At the moment, domestic travel remains relatively untouched by the new regulations, leaving holiday travel trends at the mercy of traveler confidence. But, it’s important to make sure you’re doing all you can to make sure your visitors feel safe at your destination. Keep them informed on any travel updates they need to know to be prepared.
Wabanaki Tribes Look to Boost Tourism in Maine
A group of Native Americans, the Wabanaki tribes, is developing a plan that will increase tourism in Maine in the coming years. This effort, called the Wabanaki Cultural Tourism Initiative, received $150,000 in funding from the Maine Office of Tourism and hopes to create a tourism economy around Wabanaki heritage and culture by 2030.
DMOs need to be on the lookout for funding that supports heritage tourism in their region, especially for indigenous tourism efforts. Supporting these kinds of projects not only supports your area’s indigenous culture and people, but will also help attract a new demographic of visitors to your area and preserve your destination’s history.
Welcome to the Brandlands
Slogans, taglines, logos… Many of us associate these terms with branding, but that actually isn’t wholly accurate. Branding is more complex than the colors you’ll use on your destination’s website. Branding is a promise to your visitors— and good brands deliver on that promise.
For destination branding to work, you need to think about what makes your destination unique. Consider why visitors will benefit from visiting and get your stakeholders and community on board. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How do people perceive your destination?
- Do you deliver on the experience you promise visitors?
- Does your current branding authentically represent your community?
- Which branding elements do you currently have in place? Are they enough to accomplish your goals?
Branding your destination requires having a strong strategy and understanding of why people should visit. That’s where we come in. RSVP for our webinar “Welcome to the Brandlands: Branding Your Destination” tomorrow at 1 p.m. Experts Ron Mattocks and Camila Gomez will be your guides and offer advice on how to build a successful brand that will get community and stakeholder buy-in, attract visitors and enhance your marketing efforts.
Getting Stakeholder Buy-in for Your Destination’s Branding Efforts
A marketing strategy alone will not define your destination’s brand, though having one is still vital to your success. Instead, what truly defines your brand is the stakeholders and community that make up your destination. This means that getting their input on the destination brand development process is crucial in creating one that is not only accurate but gets everyone on board.
Getting everyone on board is not an easy task, however. But there are many tactics you can use to help foster an environment of collaboration. Our biggest suggestion? Listen to your stakeholders and community members. As the residents and businesses in your community, they are the feet on the ground when it comes to interacting with visitors, giving them a valuable perspective on what visitors are looking for and how they are perceiving your area. Read more of our tips here.
These Branding Tips Will Help Your Destination Stand Out
It’s easy for visitors to get lost in the information overflow. So how do you get your brand out to visitors so they’ll see it? One big way DMOs can do this is by developing relationships with the media, according to this article. Writing and publishing news releases lets your audience know that there’s a big event on the horizon, notifies stakeholders of a new grant win and keeps visitors in the loop on what’s happening at their favorite destination.
A good relationship with the media allows for a smooth information exchange, keeping your destination at the forefront of the news online, on paper and on social media. These are great opportunities to share what your destination is all about and communicate to visitors what’s happening in your community. Read more about this tip and others here.
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