The DMO Download

A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.

This Destination Is Offering a Huge Value-add With Their Stakeholder Memberships

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Build Your Destination Knowledge With the Latest Resources

From economic development to destination insights, there’s a lot of good stuff to unpack this week. Read about innovation districts, learn how NYC is building strong stakeholder relationships, get the inside scoop on what Brand USA’s latest funding means for DMOs and more. Check it out!

ICYMI: Does Your Website Establish or Break Trust With Travelers?

If you weren’t able to make it to our webinar last week, we missed you! But, whether you couldn’t attend or just want to watch it again, now you can access this free webinar on-demand here.

Our branding and website experts, Megan McDonnell and Nuno Faustino, engaged in some great conversation about how your website can affect a user’s perception of your destination, as well as highlighting features that separate the “okay” websites from the ones that convert website users into real-life visitors. Here are some other major takeaways from the webinar:

  • Why you need to develop trust with visitors and how you can earn it
  • How your website can be a branding hub for your destination
  • How a trustworthy website can reach users at every stage of the visitor’s journey
  • Some website must-haves and best practices
  • Free materials to help you implement what you learned into your own strategy

For DMOs and CVBs who are interested in developing their brand and want to impress visitors from the moment they land on their site until their first visit, this on-demand webinar is for you.

Innovation Districts: A ‘New’ Way to Foster Community and Collaboration

A new innovation district, called “The Pearl,” opened this month in Charlotte, North Carolina. The district is being constructed in the former Brooklyn area of the city which had historically been a thriving Black community with churches, businesses and residential areas. After urban renewal in the 50s and 60s, much of the community was destroyed and many families were displaced. The Pearl innovation district will be a new chapter in the area’s history rooted in inclusivity and diversity, welcoming economic vitality, new technology and over 11,000 new jobs.

Researchers coined the term over a decade ago, but recent trends and post-pandemic funding are creating the perfect storm for building innovation districts in communities all around the United States. These districts, according to the original report, “are geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators, and accelerators” with the intention of revitalizing depressed areas.

As more Americans desire environmentally-friendly lifestyles and look to integrate their work, housing and recreation, these districts could be effective solutions to attracting businesses and residents to your area. Innovation districts are:

  • Physically compact
  • Easily accessible by local transportation
  • Technically wired with strong internet connection
  • Offer mixed-use housing, office and retail spaces, often using the adaptive reuse approach

Urban DMOs with active economic development organizations should explore these opportunities to revitalize their communities and boost economic growth in their regions.

NYC Is Building Stakeholder Relationships Through Data

NYC & Company, the official tourism agency for New York City, is paying attention to the travel habits of its visitors and residents. Using a global people-and-places intelligence platform, the agency is able to provide quality research and insights to its stakeholders in exchange for membership fees, positioning NYC & Company as the go-to source of information for tourism and intelligence. The platform, called “Near,” offers anonymous real-time data and insights on where visitors are going and what they’re doing, giving the agency an inside look at local travel trends.

“It gives you intelligence about the movement of aggregate groups of people so that you can better reach them while they’re here and talk to them at the places where they are at a microscopic level,” former VP of Research and Insights at NYC & Company Jon Tesser said. The research allowed the agency to make smart marketing decisions and equip its stakeholders with information to make decisions that will grow their business.

This is a real-life example of how DMOs and CVBs can position themselves as the tourism authority for stakeholders in their region. Being able to offer quality insights and the latest data builds trust with your stakeholders, prepares you to make educated marketing decisions and allows your region to create tailored experiences for your visitors.

New Heritage Tourism Podcast Launches in Chattanooga

A new podcast, Travel Embers, launched its first episode last month in Chattanooga, TN. The writers of the podcast hope to spotlight the history and stories of less mainstream destinations.

“Visitors are seeking off-the-beaten-path locations and authentic experiences more than ever before,” Travel Embers’s creator and host Jenni Veal said. “We want to bring stories to light that have been hidden away for centuries to engage audiences and inspire them to visit these places.

Getting featured on a podcast geared towards heritage tourists is an excellent way to spread awareness about your destination to a highly targeted audience. As heritage tourism continues to take hold of American travelers, more podcasts, videos and other content are springing up to inform audiences about these unique destinations. DMOs need to keep an eye out for these kinds of influencer marketing opportunities.

Engaging influencers, especially micro and nano influencers, to visit and talk about your destination allows you to share information about your destination to an audience that is very likely to turn into real-life visitors. This also will help your organization establish authority and awareness amongst stakeholders. Learn more about influencer marketing and how rural destinations can incorporate it into their strategy here.

Evergreen Content Marketing Tips for a Year-round Strategy

Creating and promoting seasonal content can be exhausting, leaving your team constantly on the hunt for the latest trends and subjecting them to quick turnaround times and short-term plans. But implementing evergreen content into your strategy can give your team room to plan far into the future and gives them content to promote and repackage when seasonal topics are hard to come by. These topics could feature anything from restaurants to year-round amenities like bowling alleys or coffee shops. Whatever your destination has to offer in every season could be a great topic.

Content Marketing Institute offers five helpful tips for creating evergreen content:

  1. Choose a topic that is evergreen and will attract an audience in all seasons.
  2. Create evergreen content about timely topics. If your area has several arts and culture events in a year, you can include this in a blog about your region’s overall arts and culture scene.
  3. Take existing content and make it evergreen. If you have published content about the pandemic, for example, think of ways you can edit the piece so the content is applicable for years to come.
  4. You can link timely information in your evergreen pieces. If you have an article about your destination’s restaurants, consider linking to another blog about your dining options with outdoor seating.
  5. Continue creating more evergreen content.

Thinking outside the box gives you the opportunity to attract visitors’ attention in all seasons. For more ideas on how to create evergreen content for your destination, click here.

Paige Fay
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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