The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
Top Travel Trends To Know To Finish 2022
by Paige Fay
This Week’s Best Resources
In this DMO Download, we cover the top travel trends for the rest of this year, insight into travelers’ desire for flexibility, advice on interpreting digital analytics and more. Keep reading!
Top 5 Travel Trends DMOs Need To Know To Finish 2022
Despite multiple factors threatening the industry, tourism is still going strong. Travel demand hasn’t decreased, even experiencing moderate increases throughout the year. On top of this, travelers also went farther this quarter compared to previous quarters. With travel’s future still looking bright, it places destinations in a unique position to recover from the pandemic by capitalizing on pent-up demand and providing a sustainable and inclusive experience for travelers. This article from Hospitality Net highlights the top five key trends destination marketers need to know for the rest of 2022:
- Travel demand stays strong despite rising costs. Increasing gas prices and inflation are not discouraging travelers from booking trips, even in the short- to mid-term.
- Family travel continues to increase. Families are still traveling and they’re looking for vacation rentals. Encouraging Airbnbs and Vrbo rentals in your area will help you meet this demand and bring more families to your area.
- Long-haul destinations are making a comeback. More travelers are booking air travel for long flights at four or more hours. Demand has increased by 50%, meaning that destinations don’t need to keep their marketing close to home anymore.
- Consumers are looking for inclusive representation and local community engagement. Travelers want to see themselves represented in travel promotions, so destinations need to include a wide range of representation across factors including gender, race and ability.
- Travelers want sustainable travel options (and are willing to pay for them). Highlighting your area’s sustainable options will attract a new and devoted audience. People care about the environmental impact that their travel leaves on the environment and are willing to pay to ensure they’re taking care of it.
These are important for destination marketers to keep in mind as they plan their advertising and marketing campaigns through the holidays and into the new year.
Travelers Want Fewer Services and More Flexibility
Travelers are looking for more “self-directed” experiences, leading them to make choices that allow them to control more of their vacation. This is especially evident when it comes to lodging. Many travelers are opting for virtual check-ins and are continually booking through travel apps rather than in-person or over the phone. The desire for digital also extends into other aspects of the travel experience and resonates with over 60% of Millennial and Gen Z travelers.
Over 61% report that traditional lodging services carry limited appeal, preferring privacy and peace and quiet over front desk service, room service or bellhops. Travelers are also looking for more versatile destinations that can meet a variety of needs, especially when it comes to families.
It’s important to keep this in mind when working with your accommodation stakeholders. Encourage them to think outside the box when it comes to offering flexible experiences. Providing virtual check-ins, offering access to amenities that are included in the overnight fee and featuring a variety of rooms and other creative ways to meet visitors’ needs will help them stand out from the crowd.
Digital Analytics Aren’t Boring, They’re a Powerful Marketing Tool
When it comes to using analytics, it’s normal for DMOs and CVBs to focus on membership growth and hotel bed tax numbers because that’s the data that stakeholders and board members want to see. But what about data that encompasses the entire visitor journey? This is just as important as that “bottom-of-the-funnel” data because it gives you a more holistic view of your marketing efforts. And when you see the big picture, it makes your future marketing tactics more effective and reassures your stakeholders that you’re headed in the right direction.
By treating your destination website as an e-Commerce platform, DMOS and CVBs can use this data to make data-driven decisions that convert users into visitors. This doesn’t mean literally selling. Instead, you want to inspire feelings of excitement about visiting your destination, giving your website users the wanderlust that will convince them to book a trip. This blog offers tactical tips that DMOs can take to “seal the deal” with their website users. Check out how these steps and insights can help inspire you to create future programs and build a sustainable calendar of experiences to keep your visitors coming back again and again.
6 Tips for Being a More Effective Leader
Leading your team, your stakeholders and the tourism vision for your community is a lot of work. But to be the inspiring leader that will encourage people to follow you takes more than a title and an air of authority to accomplish. Instead, you need to implement these tactics to help you lead your team to success:
- Create your own path. Having and believing in your vision for the future is the first step in leading your team and community to believe in it, too. Don’t be afraid to come up with unique ways to achieve a positive future for your region, inspiring others along the way to think outside the box and grasp that vision of success, too.
- Persevere against the odds. Just because the community naysayers tell you it can’t be done doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Work hard to prove them wrong and when you do succeed, it makes the victory all that much more enjoyable.
- Don’t hesitate to accept change. Be willing to go with the flow, even if it’s not exactly what you want. Sometimes changes will push you farther into the future instead of keeping your community in the past.
- Be empathetic. Taking time to listen to your team, stakeholders and residents will lay the foundation for trust that moves your region forward. Your vision for an improved tourism economy or downtown revitalization might make some people wary, but listening to them and taking their concerns into account will help them trust you and maybe even help them get on board with your mission.
- Share your passion. Others will find their leaders’ passion for their mission contagious. Also, make sure you surround yourself with others who are also passionate about the mission. It’s important to pour into others, but it’s even more important to have others who can encourage you when times are difficult.
- Copy other great leaders. Imitating other effective leaders will help you build habits that will keep you on the right path. If others notice these great leaders, then they’ll notice you. Take time to study them and note their tactics.
Putting aside time to shape yourself into a more effective leader will help your team respect you, earn your credibility in the community and help your stakeholders trust you. We hope these tips help encourage you and achieve your leadership goals.
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