The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
The U.S. Announces a New National Travel and Tourism Strategy
Keep Up With the Latest Tourism and Economic Development News
This week, we have a lot of helpful destination marketing and economic development resources for you to catch up on. Read about the United States’ newest tourism marketing strategy, a high-speed train that could open up new opportunities for destinations, how one city is fostering creative growth and economic development and more. Keep reading!
U.S. Unveils New National Travel and Tourism Strategy
The United States Department of Commerce and Brand USA announced a new strategy targeted at international travelers and will also promote a more diverse tourism experience beyond just coastal states. The commerce department aims to attract 90 million visitors by 2027 who could spend around $279 billion annually. If they are successful, this number will surpass pre-pandemic levels. In addition to this goal, the department is also working to lift certain COVID restrictions, such as the pre-departure testing requirement, to make it easier for visitors to travel to and from the country.
In the announcement, Brand USA revealed the four pillars of this strategy:
- Promoting the U.S. as a travel destination
- Facilitating travel to and within the country
- Ensure diverse, inclusive and accessible travel experiences
- Foster resilient and sustainable tourism
This is great news for DMOs and CVBs across the country. With the focus on coastal states being shifted to a wider range of destinations, now more states will be able to benefit from this new strategy. Destinations that may be seeing an influx of international travelers, especially in areas close to places with larger attractions, such as New York City, Philadelphia, Boston and San Diego. This is a great opportunity for smaller destinations to use bigger destinations to promote their lesser-known amenities.
A New High-speed Train Offers Travel Opportunities in Virginia and North Carolina
In the next three to seven years, you could travel up to 110 mph between Richmond, Va. and Raleigh, N.C. on a high-speed train. The project, funded as part of the federal Consolidated Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant, will allow passengers to easily travel between the two cities and other locations along the way.
“Developing intercity passenger rail service along the “S-line” corridor will drastically improve economic mobility, bolster safety and reduce highway congestion between Raleigh and Richmond,” North Carolina Representative David Price said.
This offers DMOs and CVBs in the region unique opportunities to market to visitors. The current drive between the two cities ranges from two to three hours, but a high-speed train ride would cut down the travel time significantly. This will also make it easier for visitors to travel to other destinations between the two cities, opening up many marketing opportunities for lesser-known amenities and attractions.
Pittsburgh Is Transforming Its North Shore Into the ‘Pop District’
The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pa. is championing a major cultural and economic development project that will turn the North Shore into a new “Pop District,” featuring public art, digital media production, live museum performances and more. The project is estimated to have an economic and quantitative impact of $100 million and up to 70,000 new visitors each year. It’s also projected to create 25 annual jobs, as well as gigs and internships.
“The Pop District will demonstrate the role that museums can and must play in their communities by serving as centers of innovation and catalysts of economic development. The new district on the North Shore will also complement and amplify the vital role of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, to which it is directly joined by the Andy Warhol Bridge,” Steven Knapp, president and CEO of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, said.
Pittsburgh’s new Pop District is proof that creative communities can spur economic growth and offer opportunities for young people to grow. This is a great example of how cities can use art and culture to attract niche audiences and improve downtown revitalization. DMOs, CVBs and economic development authorities with thriving arts and culture scenes should think about how they work with these communities to build up their local economy and tourism.
5 Ways to Market To Value-based Tourists
Trends are showing that visitors aren’t as impressed with travel ads touting the lowest costs. Instead, travelers are looking for something deeper: they’re looking for meaningful experiences that are environmentally sustainable and community-minded. Enter value-based tourism.
Marketing to this type of traveler requires different tactics than traditional methods. Here are a few to keep in mind:
- Identify exactly what value-based travelers are looking for in your area. Is it music? Is it food? Once you nail this down, you’ll be able to create campaigns specifically targeted toward this niche.
- Make your content accessible by speaking their language. If there is more than one language spoken in your region, designing your website to have multiple languages can allow you to reach a whole new audience.
- Highlight what your destination is doing to create a sustainable environment for the economy, community and surrounding nature. When visitors see that you are dedicated to preserving your region, they will be more likely to book a visit.
It’s important that DMOs and CVBs are marketing to this type of visitor because the trend is only likely to increase. More travelers are prioritizing the quality of the destination and experience over the price, so take care to highlight what makes your destination unique.
Your Brand Needs a Style Guide to Be Successful
Once you have a winning brand, it’s time to finalize your brand style guide. It takes a long time and a lot of research to finalize your brand, so it’s important to preserve that hard work by making sure your organization and stakeholders follow that brand consistently. Visitors need destination brands to be consistent across all stakeholders and platforms. Once there’s discord around the brand, visitors will get confused and may not correlate certain amenities or roads with your destination.
Having a style guide allows others to know exactly what makes your brand, well, your brand. Fonts, colors, images, voice… all of these work together to create the brand’s big picture. This guide from Content Marketing Institute can give DMOs and CVBs important advice about what makes for an accessible and comprehensive branding style guide, such as how long it should be, what details need to be included and how to communicate your expectations. Learn more about branding and how it can increase trust with your visitors here.