The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
September 7, 2021
by Paige Fay
Start Using Visual Stories to Increase Visitor Traffic
Visit California is using visual stories to increase trust, confidence and awareness amongst visitors and stakeholders – and you should, too. Visit California is using stories to highlight everything from local wildflowers to the best wineries or culinary gardens to reach a wide range of potential visitors. By encouraging their industry partners to share local stories and insider perspectives on their region, they’ve been able to see interaction rates increase by 74% and have grown in-state traffic to account for 50% of all website visits. Here are some key takeaways from Visit California’s initiative to implement in your own strategy:
- Share user-generated content
- Tell a story with each frame
- Use the map functionality to allow consumers access to more details
Tips for DMOs to Build an Ambassador Network
Ambassadors have long been used to market products and services, but they’re also a valuable tool for promoting places. But this doesn’t mean you need to enlist an A-list actor to visit and promote your destination. Sometimes, the most successful ambassadors are locals who share your mission for sharing your destination’s unique experience for visitors. (It’s important to note that ambassadors are different from influencers. You can learn more about the benefits of influencers for your destination here.) These are some key tips on building a network of these ambassadors to share your destination with more people:
- Identify passionate locals
- Create and establish connections with them
- Think of ways to incentivize ambassadors
- Align with them on content, messaging and deliverables
Ecotourism Is an Opportunity for Rural Communities
More often than not, rural communities struggle with attracting tourists to their amenities. While some destinations, like Alabama, may not be the hottest spots for built attractions, they have an excellent opportunity in the ecotourism industry. One family farm in Alabama, the Joe Farm, found ways to support their community and their business by developing ecotourism efforts on their 200-acre property. The farm, located in a rich ecological and cultural region, became a location in the state’s first annual Black Belt Birding Festival, organized by the Alabama Audubon Society. About 170 people attended the festival and local business owners reported great success in sales.
DMOs in rural regions should assess their natural and cultural resources in efforts to put their amenities on the map. With a rise in ecotourism, rural regions have an opportunity to utilize this trend to market what their destination has to offer for tourists. Taking advantage of these opportunities can go a long way to boosting their economy and revitalizing their community.
Put Your Destination on the Map with Google My Business
It’s important to use every tool you can to attract more visitors to your area, and Google My Business offers many opportunities to share what your destination has to offer. A well-developed, optimized GMB listing can help your destination rank higher in search results and give your area a competitive advantage using listing geography. Encouraging your local businesses and amenities to build or enhance their listing will help you promote your whole region. Click here to learn more about why GMB is essential for marketing your destination and access some helpful tips for stakeholders on creating a listing.
Content Production Manager at Bull Moose Marketing. A lover of literature, a sunshine enthusiast and journalism junkie. Connect with me on LinkedIn @paigefay