The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
The Spring Travel Outlook Is Looking Bright
by Paige Fay
Hand-picked Resources From Us to You
With the busy season on the horizon for many destinations, it’s more important than ever for DMOs to get caught up with the latest resources. This week, get insight into traveler sentiment for the spring, read how Alaska is marketing to independent travelers, learn about Visit Pensacola’s clever new website and more!
The Spring Travel Outlook Looks As Lovely As Its Weather
Destination Analysts released its findings on spring travel sentiment, reporting that “it looks like Americans asked travel to be their Valentine!” Americans are more excited than ever for travel, with 80% expressing high levels of excitement for future travel and nearly 85% are in a ready-to-travel mindset. Here are some more takeaways:
- Over 20% of Americans already have a trip planned for April and May.
- For spring break travelers, less than 50% have already picked their destination.
- Of spring break travelers, 28% will head to rural towns and attractions, 37% will visit beach destinations and the remaining percentage will head to urban destinations.
- More than half of Americans surveyed said that visiting new locations will be a priority for them.
- Nearly half of travelers want to travel to destinations that open their minds to “new cultures and experiences.”
The future is looking bright for spring travel in 2022 and DMOs have many opportunities as a result. Americans are craving new experiences, so destinations with unique attractions and amenities have the advantage when it comes to standing out against the competition. This combined with creative and targeted marketing tactics will help them fall in love with your destination.
The Website Webinar Your Destination Needs
For destinations, an organized and informative website is vital in getting your website visitors to trust you. And people who trust you are more likely to book at your destination. Before committing to a new website project, it’s important to take the time to evaluate your website and ask yourself these questions:
- Does my website convey accurate and updated information?
- Is my website easy to navigate for potential visitors?
- How do I earn my visitors’ trust through my website?
- What are some must-haves a destination website needs?
Join us on March 23 at 1 p.m. as our website and branding experts answer these questions, helping pave the way for a strategy that allows you to build trust with your visitors. This webinar will answer your website questions while highlighting principles and functionality that make destination websites perform and stand out. Also, you’ll receive free materials with tactics that DMOs can implement into a savvy website strategy.
Check Out How Alaska Is Marketing to Independent Travelers
The Alaskan travel industry is using new marketing techniques to attract independent travelers. Since 2020, experts have seen more independent travelers visit the state, offering an alternative to Alaska tourism since the cruise ships will not be in operation until later in the season. According to Alaska Travel Industry Association President and CEO Sarah Leonard, this led the organization to switch to highlighting more of the state’s natural attractions.
“That encouraged residents to visit areas in Alaska that they might not have visited before. That’s how we shifted our messaging to attract in-state travelers and out-of-state travelers to visit Alaska last summer and into the fall and winter seasons,” Leonard said.
Despite losing a large part of their tourism industry to the pandemic, the Alaska Travel Industry Association focused on attracting a new audience. This shift in focus allowed them to preserve their tourism industry in a difficult time. Exercising creative thinking and flexibility helped them to adapt to the shifts in the market as well as allowed them to spotlight different amenities. DMOs in similar situations need to consider other audiences and make the necessary changes to attract them.
Discover “the Way to Beach” With Visit Pensacola’s New Website
Visit Pensacola launched a new website promoting the Florida gulf coast as the leading destination for leisure, business and event travel. The website enhances the trip-planning process for travelers by giving them a smooth and immersive user experience. Sharp imagery and video, simple navigation, user-centered information architecture and mobile-optimization allows the website to be easily accessible for anyone.
“This dynamic new website will dramatically improve Visit Pensacola’s ability to market our visitor experience to potential travelers around the globe,” Visit Pensacola President and CEO Darien Schaefer said. The DMO was able to work closely with their web developer to create a website that authentically represented their destination and was easy-to-manage post launch.
When building a website for your destination, it’s important to make sure that your website is not only an accurate hub of information for visitors, but also is easy to navigate and attractive. Read more about what important elements make a successful destination website here.
Repurpose Your Content for a More Sustainable Approach to Digital Marketing
Constantly creating new content for your destination can be draining and time-consuming. While content is king, that doesn’t mean you need to exhaust all your resources getting blogs and social media posts in front of your audience. There’s a better way — it’s called content repurposing.
By repurposing your content, you can capitalize on content you’ve already created, saving you time, energy and resources. By thinking of ways to share your existing content into new forms, you extend the life of your existing content and get more bang for your buck. This can look like turning your dining blog into a Story series on Instagram, interviews into weekly Facebook Lives, or even recycling one, big promotional video into a series of shorts to support your next big digital ad campaign.
If you’re not sure where to start, this downloadable guide from Parse.ly helps you look at your content in a whole new way. You’ll learn how to decide which content you can repurpose and how to measure the success of your efforts.
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