The DMO Download

A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.

The Visitors Journey May Not Be What You Think


Some Helpful Resources to Jumpstart Your Week

Hello! This week we have some super interesting stories to share. Learn about what Airbnb’s CEO has to say about the visitor funnel, read about Visit Native California’s new marketing partnership, dive into destination branding and more. Keep reading!

Airbnb’s CEO Talks About the Visitor’s Journey

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said he believes that many in the tourism industry have the visitor’s journey all wrong. According to him, where most people believe that the inspiration stage begins with flight bookings, he believes that the inspirational stage of the journey begins with destinations and accommodations.

“A lot of people think that the way to be top of the funnel in travel is to sell flights because flights is the [ first ] purchase you make,” Chesky said during an interview at a Goldman Sachs technology conference. “I actually think the top of funnel isn’t flights, it’s inspiring people where to travel to. That’s the first decision you make. Where should I travel?”

Many travel professionals advise travelers to book their airplane tickets first due to the airline industry’s volatility, but Chesky claims that with the rise of remote work, travelers are placing more value on their destination than on their means to arrive. First, visitors need to be inspired about their destination, then they’ll find a way to get there that fits their budget.

For DMOs, this is great information to know when it comes to marketing your destination. Knowing that you are the first point of inspiration for potential visitors can place you ahead of the competition and also gives important you important insight into how visitors are settling on your destination. Learn more about the visitor’s journey here.

Visit Native California Encourages Visitors to Discover a Different Side of Their Destination

California state tourism officials and tribal leaders are partnering to launch an initiative that will showcase the state’s unique and vibrant Native communities.

Visit Native California will use its ARP grant funds to create and promote native stories on its website. These digital stories will “celebrate the spirit and diversity of California’s people and promote visitation to tribes’ cultural heritage tourism experiences.” Tribal leaders, state officials and native advocates will jointly promote the platform in order to share these stories across a wider audience.

“As the state with the highest population of Native Americans, and one of the nation’s leading tourism destinations, California is poised to drastically boost national Native tourism promotion and interest with this undertaking,” said Sherry Rupert, CEO of the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association. “We’ve seen the economic benefits that come from uniting under a common banner, but more importantly we see the power of cultural tourism to support preservation and perpetuation of our culture. This is a tremendous opportunity for California’s tribes.”

This is an excellent example of how a destination can use its ARP funds to promote the unique and valuable aspects of its region. DMOs who are looking for ways to utilize their funds and are seeking opportunities to showcase their region’s culture should look more into Visit Native California’s approach for more inspiration.

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. In this webinar, our experts 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.

Are These Things Affecting Your SEO?

Google’s search ranking algorithm has always been a mystery, leaving marketers with so many questions. One of the biggest questions are:

  • Is click-through rate (CTR) affecting my SEO?
  • What’s the deal with bounce rate and dwell time?

This article from Search Engine Land will help clear up a few things. According to the article, while some marketers do not believe these things affect a site’s SEO ranking, it’s not out of the question. There are several reasons to believe this:

  • Google has ranked clicks for a long time.
  • Google tracks ad link clicks.
  • Google shared that clicks affect search rankings under a personalized search.
  • Bing uses CTR and bounce rate as ranking factors on their search platform.
  • If Google is able to convince the world that CTR isn’t a factor, then this could reduce Google’s chance of being a target for artificial link activity.

It does still remain a mystery, but perhaps these insights from the SEO experts can help you as you decide the answer for yourself. Either way, it’s important to keep this in mind when producing and promoting your digital content.

  • Paige Schamberg

    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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