The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
This DMO Is Targeting Former Residents In Their Summer Marketing Campaign
by Paige Fay
Kick Off Your Summer Season With These DMO Resources
As schools are beginning to let out for the summer and travel-hungry professionals are preparing for their vacations, experts predict a high volume of traveling this summer in the U.S. Polish up your destination know-how with these articles and stories picked just for you. Read about creative new marketing campaigns, how to overcome an underfunded marketing budget, why influencers might be the answer for your content conundrums and more.
‘Find Your Vibe’ in Connecticut This Summer
Connecticut launched their summer marketing campaign which gives visitors a holistic view of the state’s vibrant culture and offerings. Called “Find Your Vibe,” it highlights a variety of activities, ranging from outdoor recreation to downtown clubs and restaurants. Two videos are included with the campaign and show a diverse group of people enjoying more “adrenaline-pumping” and youthful activities. The state is also launching a new website redesign in conjunction with the new campaign, featuring an updated, cleaner look to their online branding. High-quality photography, eye-catching video and thoughtfully planned content make this website a sharp new addition to their marketing efforts.
“We are thrilled to unveil the new summer tourism campaign and CT Visit website, incorporating a new look, feel and energy,” Noelle Stevenson, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism, said. “The campaign and website showcase Connecticut’s tourism assets from a vibrant, edgier and inclusive angle, reflecting our various lifestyles and communities, attractions to adrenaline-pumping activities, unique places to stay to culinary experiences, cultural hotspots to LGBTQ+ celebrations, multicultural festivals to gaming and so much more.”
With so many Americans looking forward to traveling, experts are predicting travel spending to surpass pre-pandemic levels. DMOs and CVBs have many opportunities to set their sights on new audiences and put the spotlight on parts of their destination that may not have the same opportunity to shine. Quality content and user-generated content can give you the chance to present your destination in a whole new light. Take a look at the CT Visit website to gain inspiration for your next campaign.
New Brunswick Launched a Giveaway Encouraging ‘Gone-away’ Residents to Return Home
A new campaign from New Brunswick targeted residents with family or friends who have moved away from the region, encouraging them to return home and reconnect with their roots. The provincial government offered the winner of the giveaway a tourism package that allows them to invite three of their friends on a five-day, four-night vacation in New Brunswick. The package, worth around $10,000, includes three round-trip plane tickets from anywhere in Canada, a car rental, hotels, meals and the services of a travel agent.
“It’s creative. It’s different,” said Lorn Sheehan, a professor of strategy at the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie University in Halifax who teaches tourism destination management in the area. “It’s something that I haven’t heard or seen destinations do before.”
With most Canadians are still wary of traveling outside the country but eager to explore their own regions, New Brunswick knew they had to get creative with their domestic targeting. By re-engaging former New Brunswick residents, the province will gain more attention from domestic travelers as people share their experiences on social media and through word-of-mouth. The contest also allows New Brunswick to measure the success of their marketing efforts by analyzing the contest submissions.
If you’re looking to increase resident engagement in your area, then following campaigns like this can inspire you in your own creative marketing campaigns. We’ll be keeping an eye out for the results.
The Summer Season Is the Prime Time for Influencer Engagements
For many destinations, it’s tourism season! The warm weather is encouraging visitors from all over the country to enjoy a summer getaway. Because of this, it’s likely that your team is over capacity with content creation opportunities and responsibilities. If only there was someone who could create engaging content for you! Don’t worry, there is. You need a partnership with an influencer.
While some DMOs and CVBs hear the word “influencer” and roll their eyes, engaging an influencer to create content around your destination can benefit you immensely. Here are a few advantages:
- You can gain high-quality photography and video assets
- Some influencers can create long-form content such as blogs or longer videos
- Influencers often have access to niche audiences and loyal followers
- Influencers can highlight parts of your destination that may not get as much attention as other amenities
- You can experiment with new social media platforms and opportunities
By finding the right influencer for your destination and creating a detailed plan ahead of time, this partnership is a great opportunity to benefit from new marketing tactics. And it doesn’t have to come with a high price tag, either. Often, the best fit for rural destinations are micro- or nano-influencers with a smaller, more dedicated following, making it more likely for them to book their own vacations after seeing their favorite influencer enjoy your destination’s offerings.
Influencer marketing has become a huge industry, expanding the opportunities for success. Learn more about DMO influencer marketing here or read about the industry trends here.
Study Shows That PA Tourism Is Underfunded
A recent study from Tourism Economics shows that for each dollar taken away from Pennsylvania’s tourism budget, $5 is lost in state and local tax revenue. On the other hand, every $1 spent on tourism promotion can generate $65 in visitor spending. With such high stakes, Pennsylvania tourism is feeling frustrated at its underfunded marketing budget in 2022.
“Despite having one of the largest tourism economies in the U.S., Pennsylvania’s tourism marketing budget is substantially underfunded vs. our competitors, ranking 35th among 41 states in Fiscal Year 2020-21,” Linda Devlin, executive director of the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, said.
With proper funding, Pennsylvania could gain over $9 billion in visitor spending, around 9,300 jobs, $659.6 million in state and local taxes and over $4 billion of labor income.
As the data shows, tourism marketing can have an immense impact on a state or region’s economy, making funding for this sector vital for success. So, what can DMOs and CVBs in Pennsylvania, and in other underfunded states, do to combat this problem? By investing what funding they have available into actionable, results-oriented marketing strategies. Focusing on what really matters and what really works will make your marketing budget go a long way. To make your destination more competitive in tourism funding for your marketing efforts, check out this resource.
The Content Marketing Strategy Template You’ve Been Looking For
Creating a content marketing strategy for your destination can feel like overwhelming work — and it can be without the right plan in place. If you’re creating great content but think it could perform better, then you need a strategy. If you aren’t producing any content at all, but want to start improving your website and audience reach, then you need a strategy. No matter where your destination is at with your content, having a strategy allows you to make the most out of what you have without straining your team too thin. You can plan weeks or months ahead, allowing you to have a steady stream of content for your audience to consume. This builds your credibility as an organization and will make it more likely for potential visitors to book a trip.
This template from GatherContent can help you get started by giving you 12 easy steps to guide you along the way. From reviewing your audience to measuring your content’s performance, you can be on your way to stronger, more high-quality content that performs and converts. To learn more about how quality content can help build your website, check out this resource.
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