The DMO Download

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

Travelers Are Booking Rural Destinations for 2022

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Check Out This Week’s Industry News for DMOs

Holiday spirit is in the air… As you begin preparing your destination for the winter season, you’ll need to keep up on the latest news. This week, read about how New Jersey is highlighting their cultural heritage, take a look at the latest travel data for American travelers, learn about important elements for a successful destination website and check out the newest content trends for 2022. There’s a lot of helpful information to read, so check it out!

A Look Into the Latest Travel Data

Destination Analysts released their most recent travel sentiment report for the week of November 24, pulling results from over 1,200 surveyed Americans. These findings reveal that Americans are excited and hopeful about travel in 2022. Over 30% report that they will be spending more on leisure travel in the coming year than they did in 2021, with the average projected leisure budget landing around $3,797. Some other key findings include:

  • Over 70 % of Americans plan on traveling to rural towns, beaches and national parks and around 30% have plans to visit urban areas.
  • Americans’ desire to travel is strong but financial and Covid concerns are increasing.
  • Nearly 65% of Americans say they would be “happy” or “very happy” to receive a travel-related gift this holiday season.
  • 80.3% say they currently have plans to travel.

This is good news for DMOs who are planning their budgets and campaigns, especially in rural areas. As Americans are looking forward to traveling and DMOs prepare for the new year, keep in mind that they’ll be on the lookout for more rural and inexpensive destinations.

New Jersey Looks to Institute Cultural and Historical Markers for Black Heritage

The New Jersey state Senate reported favorably on a bipartisan-backed bill that would establish cultural and historical markers for a Black heritage trail. The trail would be a resource for scholars and an educational opportunity for visitors looking to learn more about Black culture within the state.
“I think this is the best opportunity for people to go and visit these places and learn more about African-American history in New Jersey,” bill sponsor Antwan McClellan said. Some proposed sites include the Harriet Tubman Museum and Timbuctoo in Burlington County. If passed, all the heritage locations will be linked on a comprehensive map.
Highlighting your destination’s cultural and historical areas is important in making sure your visitors can learn about all of your area’s history. Be sure to include offerings for travelers to learn about their own heritage as a way to more fully and accurately represent your destination’s history.

These 5 Heritage Tourism Website Elements Increase Your Digital Presence and Elevate Your Brand

Having a digital presence with an effective website is essential to attracting visitors to your destination. A good website lets you build credibility and showcase the unique aspects of your destination. There are five ways to make your heritage tourism website stand out from the crowd:

  1. Understand and communicate the unique selling points of your destination.
  2. Develop a clear brand for your heritage area.
  3. Work on creating a good user experience.
  4. Use high-quality photography to showcase your destination.
  5. Connect your heritage site to the community.

Having an informative website is a vital part of your marketing strategy to communicate your destination’s brand. This is where curious visitors will first be introduced to your community and what it has to offer, so it’s important your website hits all the right notes. Implementing these five elements will help wow visitors long before they arrive at your destination. If you’re interested in learning more about branding and why it’s important for your destination, check out our webinar “Welcome to the Brandlands” live on Dec. 8 at 1 p.m.

Content Trends You Should Consider for 2022

Marketing is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay one step ahead of the game. This article from Content Marketing Institute shows you 8 new content types to get you ahead in the coming year and freshen up your digital presence. These are some of our favorite examples for DMOs to consider for their strategy:

  • Instructographic: This type of graphic teaches your audience how to do something in an engaging way. DMOs can create these to teach their visitors about processes relevant to their destination. Perhaps you want to teach guests how to launch their kayak, or how to book a ticket to the local theater or even how visitors can get the most out of their day trip at your destination.
  • Carousel posts: Publishing posts on social media with more than one image are proven to earn more engagement than posts with a single image or video. When it comes to giveaways, event announcements or campaigns, consider how you can split up your content to be spread across multiple images or graphics for your audience.
  • Using stories: Stories on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat are great ways to engage your audience. The short lifespan of the content taps into your visitors’ fear of missing something interesting or important, prompting them to engage more quickly. Consider posting short videos or images tagging local attractions or businesses to gain even more digital traction.

Staying on top of these trends will get your visitors engaging with your content and attract them to your destination. Showing that you’re relevant and interesting is the most powerful way to convert your audience from viewers into visitors.

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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