The DMO Download
A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.
Tourism’s Role in Workforce Attraction
by Paige Schamberg
Knowledge Is Power
After a brief hiatus, the DMO Download is back! This is a data-packed week with articles covering the state of America’s restaurant industry, how tourism is affecting workforce attraction, why people trust museums more than newspapers and more. Check it out.
2023 State of the American Restaurant
With almost every restaurant back to normal operation, 2023 promises to be an interesting year. According to the latest information from the National Restaurant Association, here are some of the latest findings and predictions for the new year:
- The restaurant industry is projected to earn $997 billion in sales this year, driven primarily by higher menu prices due to inflation.
- More than 500,000 jobs are expected to be created in 2023, adding to a total of 15.5 million jobs and surpassing 2019 levels. Help is wanted and there are jobs to be had.
- Rising costs are proving to be a significant issue for restaurant owners and managers. Inflation is driving up food costs and threatening already narrow profit margins.
- Competition is growing more intense as industry workers report more pressure to stand out.
- Creating memorable dining experiences in addition to good meals will mean success for restaurants. Patrons expect to be wowed by more than just the dish.
This is important information to share with your restaurant stakeholders as they project their earnings and strategies for the upcoming year. Keeping them informed about the latest data and industry findings will help them stay a step ahead from the competition and allow them to resonate with more visitors in your region.
Tourism’s Role in Workforce Attraction
Tourism is an important economic driver for many rural communities that have struggled with population loss over the past several decades. Tourism can help these communities attract workers to fill open jobs, boost local economies and revitalize downtown areas. According to the Ohio Travel Association, encouraging people to relocate to an area to work is very dependent on tourism professionals. After surveying over 1,000 people who had relocated to over 100 miles away, researchers discovered that seeking a better quality of life was the primary driver for 47% of respondents. This was gauged by an area’s schools, access to outdoor recreation and the availability of attractions and amenities.
According to the report, it was clear to researchers that “the best way for talent to learn about locations is to visit the community themselves, underscoring the importance of tourism. This finding reinforces the role that travel has during talent’s path to purchase. Travel and tourism stakeholders are, or should be, an important component of a community’s talent attraction strategy as they play a vital role in developing an area’s quality of place and understand how to market those assets. Talent is paying attention to this messaging. In fact, 52% of respondents reported that prior to their most recent move, they consulted the local or state tourism website.”
This is important information to note for DMOs and heritage areas that are also looking to increase the region’s workforce. These organizations can work with local chambers of commerce and key employers to continue promoting visitation and communicate messages about the area’s livability. While tourism is important for rural economies, having workers is the vital element in seeing these communities thrive.
More People Trust Museums Than Newspapers
Before the pandemic, people reported that they trusted information from museums more than their daily newspapers. Now, after the pandemic, the elevated trust perception of museums is even higher, increasing from 67.6% in 2019 to 73.3% in 2022. There are several reasons for this, including:
- Cultural institutions proved their relevance beyond four museum walls during the shutdown
- Clear communication on social media built trust and credibility with their audiences
- Museums published works to assist parents who were taking over schooling at home
- They provided opportunities for virtual education and entertainment during the pandemic
This data indicates that museums and cultural institutions have a large responsibility to be accurate, authentic and reliable. Despite living in a nation that has never been more ideologically fragmented, museums stand out as credible sources of information. This is not to be taken lightly, giving museums and cultural institutions an important voice in a noisy world. It’s also vital information for DMOs and heritage areas to be aware of because their cultural stakeholders have a connection to their audience that others may not. Encouraging your stakeholders to wield their voices wisely and mindfully will help them be an even more effective conduit for information.
Putting Your Destination On the Map
Google Business Profile is a powerful tool for DMOs who are looking to increase awareness about their destination and earn credibility with visitors. Without an optimized GMB listing, visitors won’t be able to easily find your destination’s amenities. Searchers can see a business’s hours, reviews, photos, location and more with GMB, making it a valuable asset in destination marketing. If visitors can’t find the information they need about a certain amenity, it significantly decreases the likelihood that they’ll visit it.
One misperception about Google Business Profile is that it’s only relevant for local searchers. While it is important for local searches, these profiles can be found from all over the country. Visitors who are planning a trip in the near future will be looking up potential locations to visit while at your destination. Don’t let your stakeholders pass up on an opportunity to catch a visitor’s eye with clear information and quality photos.
Encouraging your local amenities and businesses to create and develop their GMB listings boosts your area’s organic search results. Spread the word about the value of GMB for your local stakeholders and watch the online and in-person traffic increase.