The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
TikTok Is the Ticket To Destination Awareness
by Paige Fay
Check Out the Latest In This Week’s DMO Download
We’re already into the second week of February! As you’re preparing your spring campaigns, we’ve compiled the latest resources and headlines for you to reference. Check out how Louisville is sharing their region’s heritage, learn how the Metaverse will affect leisure travel, see how TikTok is shaping destination marketing and more in this week’s download. Keep reading to learn more!
Louisville Tourism Celebrates Black History Month With Special Destination Offerings
In honor of Black History Month, key attractions in Louisville will be offering free tours and experiences to help educate Kentucky and Indiana tourists about the region’s Black heritage and culture. Participating attractions include the Kentucky Derby Museum, Roots 101 and the Frazier History Museum.
The tours and experiences are a part of Louisville Tourism’s Unfiltered Truth Collection, which launched in March 2021 and features immersive experiences exploring Black history and heritage in the area. Tours are offered in addition to general museum exhibits and visitors must book tour times in advance to secure their spot.
The program is an excellent example of how DMOs can creatively share their region’s heritage. With heritage tourism on the rise, more and more visitors are planning educational travel. Offering limited free admission to key attractions in the area will attract many budget-focused visitors who may not otherwise travel to Louisville, such as younger travelers and families. This will also increase the likelihood that visitors will spend more at local restaurants, shops and amenities, allowing other stakeholders to benefit from the increase in tourism. If your destination is a heritage and culture location for marginalized groups, reviewing Louisville’s approach may be a great place to find inspiration.
3 Ways the Metaverse Will Impact Leisure Travel
With an expected $800 billion market by 2024, the Metaverse is a very real future for the travel and tourism industry. DMOs, visitor bureaus and other tourism-related businesses will need to find creative ways to leverage the Metaverse in their marketing strategies and approach to development. While there remains much to be seen about the Metaverse, this article highlights three trends that are sure to shape the industry moving forward:
- Virtual sales and bookings will come with a “try before you buy” experience. Large airlines and hotels have started using Metaverse technology to give virtual tours of their cabins and resorts so customers can get an idea of the kind of experience they’re getting. Visitor bureaus and DMOs will need to find ways to implement similar tactics into their strategies in order to stay ahead of competitors.
- Destinations will be able to better their reputation and offer improved customer service. There are so many ways to interact with visitors, stakeholders and residents with Metaverse technology. This allows for DMOs and visitor bureaus to provide personal and preventative services to enhance experiences for everyone involved.
- Offering detailed navigation allows visitors to easily locate attractions and amenities. Using interactive maps, route-finding and providing detailed information will improve visitor experience and will likely increase the likelihood that visitors will extend their stay.
TikTok Could Be the Key To Successful Destination Marketing
With a billion monthly users, TikTok’s creative video-making platform has made it a huge success… and also a cost-efficient way for destinations to raise brand awareness. Many travel companies are seeing the value of using TikTok as a marketing method to drive transactions and increase brand engagement.
According to Hopper’s head of user acquisition Makoto Rheault-Kihara, the platform is one of the only social media platforms left with organic reach. “Social media is great for discovery,” while search ads rely heavily on user intent, he said.
Despite the perception that TikTok is primarily for Gen Z and Millennial users, an increasing number of them are introducing the platform to older generations. Now, 67% of TikTok’s audience is over 25 and companies are getting a wider reach, making it important to create content that’s engaging and creative.
“If you want content to perform well from a commercial standpoint, it needs to look like it’s social and native to the platform. The content that performs best commercially is the content that feels most natural to the platform,” Rheault-Kihara advises.
DMOs need to consider how this platform can further their marketing efforts. For destinations with low advertising budgets, TikTok could be a great opportunity to organically reach new audiences and engage with current ones. TikTok also released its Creative Center with tips and solutions to help brands get started.
NEW TIME: Is Your Website Giving Visitors Trust Issues?
If you couldn’t make it to our webinar originally scheduled on February 16, then we have great news for you! Our webinar is now scheduled for March 23 at 1 p.m EST. For destinations, an organized and informative website is vital in getting your website visitors to trust you. And people who trust you are more likely to book at your destination. Before committing to a new website project, take time to evaluate your website and ask yourself these questions:
- Does my website convey accurate and updated information?
- Is my website easy to navigate for potential visitors?
- How do I earn my visitors’ trust through my website?
- What are some must-haves a destination website needs?
Answering these questions paves the way for a strategy that will build trust with your visitors. This webinar will answer your website questions while highlighting principles and functionality that makes destination websites perform and stand out. Also, you’ll receive free materials with tactics that DMOs can implement into a savvy website strategy.
What Is a Marketing Strategy and Why Do You Need One?
We talk a lot about marketing strategies at Bull Moose Marketing. Why? Because clear and actionable marketing strategies define measurable goals that, if achieved, will help your destination grow its reputation, reach new audiences and allow for sustainable marketing efforts. While your destination might have an immediate need for a website or a social media presence, folding these into a big picture strategy gives you a comprehensive plan on how you can achieve your destination’s goals.
This article from Marketing Insider Group offers some insight into how a marketing strategy works, what’s involved and offers some helpful videos, platforms and diagrams to reference. Remember that a strategy is more in-depth and comprehensive than a marketing plan or campaign. While these meet immediate marketing needs, an effective marketing strategy will help guide your destination on the path to long-term success.
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