The DMO Download
A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.
These DMOs Are Joining Forces to Strengthen Their Tourism Efforts
by Paige Schamberg
The Latest Resources, From Us to You
Hi there! We’re back with more helpful resources to help you make your destination a better place. This week, we’re talking about how one city is teaching its visitors about its history, the increase in holiday airfare, a unique DMO partnership, destination branding and so much more. Keep reading!
This City Is Offering a Historical Architecture Tour
Architecture enthusiasts can get an in-depth tour of the unique architectural history of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus. The result of a partnership with the Myseum of Toronto and the Toronto Society of Architects, the Old Meets New tour seeks to bring 150 years of history to life for tour participants. The 90-minute walking tour is led by an architect and goes beyond just architectural characteristics. Instead, it dives into the history of the building, its modern-day uses and poses questions about the conservation of our heritage.
This is a great example of how DMOs can innovate unique ways to share their destination’s history without building another museum. Tours are a great way to give visitors helpful and authentic access to your region’s stories. They are also not very resource-heavy (although you will need to invest time and money into a good tour itinerary and a knowledgeable tour guide) and provide many opportunities to add more information or tweak it to cover new stories to make it a new experience every time. It’s also an engaging way for visitors to learn about your area’s unique history from someone who lives there, giving them the authentic experience they want.
Holiday Airfares Are Projected To Reach Record Highs
With inflation on the rise, airfare won’t be going down any time soon. And, as the holidays approach, this might prove to have an adverse effect on travel. While the demand for travel is consistently high, the supply is decreasing, making it more difficult. Staffing shortages among pilots, flight attendants, gate agents and others makes it difficult for airlines to meet the usual holiday travel demand.
It’s important for DMOs to keep this in mind when planning their marketing campaigns. For rural areas, it’s more likely that your visitors will be coming from shorter distances and your long distance travelers might be in town for more family-oriented vacations. As the holidays approach, prepare to give your visitors helpful information about accommodation and transportation. Any opportunities to save costs will be highly appreciated by your visitors, especially when they are traveling from long distances.
These DMOs Are Partnering to Strengthen Cultural Tourism
Though they are miles apart, New Brunswick and Louisiana signed an MOU that will help both destinations strengthen their cultural, artistic and heritage links. Both regions share many similarities and their union could offer many opportunities for travel and tourism. The agreement will encourage initiatives that will:
- Promote the regions’ cultural and heritage links
- Share best practices from the creative field, heritage and museum spaces that could foster new partnerships and cross-border activities
- Identify the professional development needs in both areas and support them with the right education and training.
“We have share many historical, cultural and economic ties for a very long time. Artists and cultural businesses are important to our communities and economy in New Brunswick. Strengthening connections with Louisiana will create many opportunities that will benefit both regions,” New Brunswick’s Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister, Tammy Scott-Wallace, said.
Partnering with other DMOs and heritage areas is a great way to expand your resources. Maintaining positive relationships with your coopetition opens up new marketing opportunities and allows you to work together for the good of your whole region, not just specific areas of your community. Consider how you can work with your neighbors in the best interest of your travelers and residents.
Are You Taking These 5 Opportunities to Market Sustainable Tourism in Your Destination?
Value-based and sustainable tourism is a post-pandemic trend that doesn’t seem to be going away in the near future. With so many people considering sustainability when making their travel decisions, you might be wondering how to reach this increasing demographic. Well, we’ve put together a list of five tactics to include in your marketing strategy if you want to attract more value-based visitors to your destination.
- Understand their preferred activities. For example, if your value-based travelers enjoy music experiences, then consider promoting your summer music festival or your local brewery’s spring concert series.
- Speak the language of your tourists. Your travelers might be coming from a variety of backgrounds — perhaps your region has a significant Hispanic population. If so, then it’s important to have your marketing materials available in their language.
- Focus on inclusivity. Your tourists want to go somewhere where they feel welcomed and comfortable. Emphasizing that your destination is open to a variety of people is more likely to get your visitors’ attention.
- Highlight your sustainability efforts. Travelers are caring more about sustainability, both economically and environmentally. Be sure to communicate how you are making efforts to be more sustainable.
- Feature the local culture and heritage. Your visitors want to know more about your community and your heritage. Don’t hesitate to share what makes your region unique!
It’s vital to consider these tactics when strategizing and planning your campaigns. Value-based tourists are a key demographic. When creating strategies to attract these types of travelers, be sure you’re listening to their preferences to win over loyal travelers that will visit your destination time and time again.
Branding vs. Brand Identity: What’s the Difference?
They might sound similar, but they are not the same. Even so, both work together to enhance your destination. So, what’s the difference? There are three aspects to branding your destination, so let’s break it down.
- A brand is intangible. It’s the meaning that people attach to your destination and, more importantly, the perception that people have when they think of your region. This can include what you want to communicate with your audience, your brand voice and, overall, defines the “who” of your destination. Establishing who you are is the most important step in solidifying your brand.
- Branding is a verb, outlining the “how” behind your branding efforts. In this step, your destination is deciding how you will communicate who you are to your audience. This can look like clear wayfinding, good customer service and so much more. If this is done well, this will play a vital role in getting visitors to return again and again.
- After this, you can establish your brand identity. These are tangible assets that can be seen, touched or heard and can look like a website, logo, tagline, etc. When visitors see these assets, you want them to immediately think of your destination. For example, when you see the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll think of San Francisco. This famous bridge is part of the city’s brand identity.
Having a solid brand is vital for the success of any destination. It improves brand recognition, creates loyal visitors and makes your destination stand out from the crowd. Once people know who your destination is, they’ll visit! But if they can’t tell what makes your destination different, your destination could get lost in tourism marketing noise.
To learn more about destination branding, check out this resource or read this blog.