The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
Travelers Are Changing Their Summer Plans
by Paige Fay
Stay Ahead of the Curve With This Week’s Download
As DMOs and CVBs gear up for summertime, it’s important to stay informed with the latest resources. Check out how Boston is implementing influencer tourism to boost local businesses, how Pennsylvania is promoting Juneteenth celebrations, why travelers are changing their summer plans and more. Keep reading!
Boston Is Using Influencers to Boost Local Businesses and Diversify Tourism
While Boston is widely known for the Red Sox, Freedom Trail and its annual marathon, the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) wants to change the world’s perception of the city to include more local businesses and lesser-known amenities. According to Dave O’Donnell, GBCVB’s VP of Strategic Communications, the bureau’s goal is to tell a “bigger, better, broader Boston story” than what’s out there.
“Boston historically has an issue with a stereotype of not being a welcoming destination, especially to Black and brown visitors,” O’Donnell said. New marketing efforts from the bureau shows that they’re on their way to break this stereotype and encourage more people of color to visit the area for its cultural and experiential opportunities.
The bureau’s marketing campaign, “All Inclusive Boston” is being re-launched this year and will include partnerships with a diverse group of influencers to promote new amenities and experiences within the city. This is a great example of how DMOs can use social media and influencer marketing to not only reach new audiences, but also solidify rebranding efforts in their community. Keep following this campaign to check out the results — we will be, too.
PA Tourism Partners With Black Culture Advocacy Group to Promote Juneteenth Celebrations
The Pennsylvania Tourism Office has partnered with Voices Underground and the state government in administering grants to regional tourism organizations to support this year’s Juneteenth celebrations across the commonwealth. Seven grants worth $15,000 were announced as part of Pennsylvania’s “Journeying Towards Freedom” Grant Program, an initiative that will seek to position the state as a leader in African American Cultural Heritage Tourism.
DMOs in regions with concentrated Black heritage and culture sites should consider applying for this grant in an effort to recognize these members of their community and to help educate others about their unique history. As cultural and heritage tourism continues to gain popularity across all people groups, this is an excellent opportunity for these DMOs to set themselves apart as key destinations for education and celebration of Black culture and history.
Increasing Prices Cause Many Travelers to Change Their Summer Plans
A new survey shows that Americans are adjusting their summer travel plans based on recent inflation, according to Skift. With rising gas and food prices, travelers will be more likely to plan fewer vacations and more vacations closer to home. Here’s some more data from that survey:
- 25% are taking fewer trips
- 25% are staying closer to home
- 23% will be engaging in less expensive activities
- 22% will be seeking less expensive lodging
- 19% are shortening their trips
Gen X was the generation most likely to report increasing prices as a deterrent to planning summer vacations altogether. Despite some abandoning travel plans and an increased interest in staycations, there are still many Americans making summer plans to stay at beaches and cities, giving these DMOs some hope this season.
It’s important for DMOs and CVBs to pay attention to this trend when planning their marketing campaigns. Investing in more campaigns geared towards residents and locals could make up for potential decreases in revenue from out-of-town visitors, although offering incentives to out-of-towners could keep this market coming back.
Welcome to the First Net-zero Hotel in the U.S.
Starting May 19, 2022, you can now book a room at the first net-zero hotel in the United States, Hotel Marcel New Haven in New Haven, Connecticut. A fossil-fuel-free, all-electric and eco-friendly building, the hotel is anticipated to be the country’s first Passive House-certified hotel and one of only a few LEED Platinum-certified hotels, as well as being a building on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Featuring Tesla Superchargers, double insulated windows, improved temperature control and air quality, sustainable dining options and more. Rooms are priced at around $200 per night.
“We are all responsible for confronting the climate crisis, and that sense of obligation factored into every decision we made in creating Hotel Marcel New Haven. “The opening of this revolutionary hotel, which is giving new life to a New Haven landmark, is a momentous occasion for travelers, the industry and the planet. Guests will be ensured a terrific hotel experience and can relax knowing that both they, and the environment, are being cared for during their stay,” Becker + Becker lead architect and owner, Bruce Redman Becker said. Hotel Marcel New Haven is the result of Becker + Becker’s sustainable vision.
Not only is this a unique instance where a hotel is making big moves to become sustainable but is also an excellent example of adaptive reuse. While this doesn’t mean that DMOs need to encourage their stakeholders to make massive changes to adopt sustainable initiatives, it does show that efforts can be made to make historic buildings more eco-friendly and that hotels can become attractions, not just accommodations. Read more about the hotel here.
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.
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