The DMO Download

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

“Outhorse” Your Vacation Responder

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Post-Holiday Weekend Resources to Check Out

Dive back into the tourism world with these articles and stories! There’s a lot of interesting information this week. Read about opportunities from the labor shortage, a clever campaign from Visit Iceland, new trends in business travel and more.

Labor Shortages Could Help Build a Diverse, Dynamic Travel Industry

It’s no surprise that labor shortages have been a tough hit for the travel industry. But, despite the challenges this brings, it also opens up many opportunities to build back a better, more competitive industry. According to this article by the President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, Roger Dow, there are some things that travel-related businesses and organizations can do to bounce back. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • The travel industry generates good jobs with competitive wages, so it’s important to communicate this in HR language, especially with hiring.
  • Travel-related jobs need to have opportunities to climb the ladder and gain valuable, cross-industry skills such as communication, confidence, leadership and problem-solving.
  • Companies and organizations need to highlight the flexibility and accessibility of travel jobs — there are so many job opportunities available, each with varying schedules, responsibilities and circumstances.

DMOs and CVBs should be encouraging their stakeholders as they seek to attract a skilled workforce. Your stakeholders need to be as prepared and flexible as possible when adapting to post-pandemic job seekers who are looking for flexible and high-paying jobs.

Visit Iceland Gives Visitors the Opportunity to “Outhorse” Their Emails While on Vacation

Visit Iceland is back again with another memorable and creative marketing campaign! Their newest campaign, called “Outhorse Your Email,” allows users to let a horse of Iceland respond to their emails while they are on vacation. As the narrator says in the promotion video, “Nothing ruins your vacation like work.” But, using this very real software, visitors can let a real Icelandic horse write their out of office emails for them. Website users can select their own horse, type in their name, email and return date, and then their responder is set! And, yes, they really did teach horses how to type on a giant keyboard.

This is not only a quirky and clever way to engage with their audience but also allows them to highlight a huge part of Icelandic culture: their horses! Icelandic horses are one of the purest breeds in the world, making them an authentic part of the Iceland experience. Also, their landing page includes some elements we thought were worth noting. First, users who fill out their information have the choice to opt into newsletters and emails from Visit Iceland, allowing the DMO to organically grow their email list in a way that users want to engage with. For the second element, towards the bottom of the webpage, Visit Iceland includes some helpful content about traveling in Iceland, featuring blogs such as the timely “Why Iceland Is a Top Destination for Summer 2022” and a blog giving visitors an opportunity to learn more about Icelandic horses.

DMOs can gain a lot of inspiration for their own websites and content by checking out this page. Take a look!

Group Travel for Business Trends You Need to Know

Traveling to conferences and events with a large group of coworkers is a huge part of the travel industry, but the pandemic shook things up. After a string of cancellations, postponements and rescheduling for events, people are now thinking twice before getting the whole gang back together. Phocuswire highlights the latest updates on key forces shaping this segment and we discuss what it might mean for DMOs and CVBs. Check it out:

  • Unique destinations are becoming more popular amongst group travelers, such as Anchorage, Alaska and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
  • Groups are still booking trips, but often with fewer people than pre-pandemic levels.
  • Innovative partnerships are becoming more popular as hotels and businesses help each other to secure more bookings.
  • Labor shortages mean that hotels need to come up with new ideas on how to host events and meetings for business travelers.
  • Smaller group sizes also put pressure on hotels to deliver improved and personalized experiences when hosting group events and conferences.

These are important trends to know about, especially for destinations that host a lot of conventions and business-related events. Delivering the highest-quality service and fostering strong relationships between hotels and local businesses are more important now than ever before. Encouraging your stakeholders to be flexible and adaptable to a changing environment will set your destination apart from the rest. With businesses cautiously re-entering the travel space, it’s important that hotels and travel businesses are able to adapt to a variety of circumstances.

Answer These Questions Before Building Your Destination’s Website

We sat down with our lead web developer to get his advice on what DMOs should consider before building or redesigning their destination website. While building a destination website can feel like an overwhelming task, there are some steps you can take to ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible. In this expert interview, we cover important questions that DMOs should be asking before building their website or beginning a redesign process, including:

  • When do I know that it’s time to start building my website?
  • How long will it take?
  • What do I need?
  • What are visitors looking for?

As a DMO, you need a website that is easy to navigate, comprehensive and designed to target the kinds of travelers you want to visit your destination. By answering these questions, you can lay the groundwork for a reliable website that visitors can trust when planning their next trip, as well as help you nail down the purpose, mission and goals of your organization. If you’re interested in learning more about destination websites and why you might be losing traffic, check out this on-demand webinar.

6 Types of Social Media Content Your Website Really Needs

Social media marketing is critical to your content strategy. With so many users, types of platforms and opportunities to spread awareness, it goes hand-in-hand with any long-form content you may be producing. It’s a great opportunity to share quick ideas, stories and tips about your destination and there are so many ways you can do it! This article from Marketing Insider Group gives some insight on the social media tactics that perform the best:

  • Videos! While no surprise to many, this cannot be stressed enough. Video posts earn 48% more views than posts that don’t contain videos. Also, be sure to include captions for more engagement.
  • Stories. Now available across several platforms, these allow you to share quick videos, reshare posts and include interactive content such as polls, surveys and more.
  • Interactive Posts. This content includes live streams, polls, surveys, Q&As and more, allowing you to connect and engage more actively with your audience.
  • Infographics. If you have some more detailed information to share, then break it down into an infographic. This lets your readers get the information they need at a glance and in an organized way.
  • Links to external content. Make sure you’re sharing your longer-form content through social media. Catch readers’ attention with a quick blurb, then make sure they’re able to learn more.
  • Promotional content. Boosting successful posts or running social media ads helps you increase brand awareness and drive social media traffic back to your website. Well-planned social campaigns can provide organizations with high ROI.

DMOs and CVBs can use all of these tactics to their advantage. Mixing these into your content strategy means you’ll successfully attract the attention of new visitors and allow you to engage with loyal fans.

Paige Fay
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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