The DMO Download
A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.
What Will ChatGPT Mean For the Travel Industry?
by Paige Schamberg
News And Stories You Won't Want To Miss
This week’s DMO Download features inspiration for your next social media or video marketing campaign, a look into the popular new AI program ChatGPT and how you can optimize your Google Business Profile to promote your amenities. Check it out!
The National Park Service Is Taking Social Media By Laughter
The National Park Service found its voice on social media and it’s gained a LOT of attention. With witty memes to silly photos, the NPS is using social media as a platform to share important news and information in an attention-grabbing way. The success of the new approach is especially evident on Instagram, where the account grew from one million followers in 2019 to 4.4 million in 2023. You can see some examples of the NPS’s posts here.
The quirky and funny posts are the work of Matthew Turner, the park’s social media manager who came from an unlikely place. With a background in history and anthropology, Turner worked as a guide and front-line interpreter in the National Park system. While becoming a social media manager was unexpected for Turner, his experience working with people prepared him well for creating engaging content that people enjoy.
“Social media really keeps you on your toes. It’s changing all the time which can be exciting to navigate your way through the challenges of sustaining an audience, looking to expand your offerings, and staying on brand and message,” Turner said.
DMOs can take inspiration from this social media approach. Inserting humor and tongue-in-cheek language can make your content even more engaging and entertaining for your audience. It’s also important to note that your best social media manager might not be found in your marketing department, but instead in the most unexpected places. Good social media management comes from a deep understanding of how your audience engages with information.
Travel Campaign Videos That Are Worth Booking a Trip For
It’s no simple task to create a successful tourism campaign video. Bad ones can be either laughable or leave your community feeling very misrepresented. Doing this tastefully and creatively is an accomplishment and these countries executed it perfectly. From unique perspectives to quirky humor, these countries captured the essence of their brand in entertaining ways. Here are two of our favorites:
- Visit Iceland: Explore Martian Lands – Iceland is famous for its clever and comical campaigns and this video did not disappoint. The narrator, wearing a space suit, compares visiting Iceland to space travel… and highlights all the reasons why Iceland is better. One of the biggest reasons? Oxygen.
- Morocco: Kingdom of Light – Offering a more serious perspective, Morocco features its unique sand dunes, bright skies and more in this captivating rush of Moroccan scenery. Beautiful music and bright colors are the cherries on top of this rich view of what the country has to offer visitors in search of natural wonder.
While these videos are produced by country-wide DMOs with a variety of resources, they still serve as important examples for rural DMOs to note. The biggest takeaway? These videos were created with visitor preference in mind. Each DMO embraced its unique brand to craft these videos, utilizing brand voice and sharp imagery to captivate the audience. When planning your campaign video, it’s worth it to take time and find the perfect combination of high-quality imagery and script writing that will set you ahead of your competition.
What Will ChatGPT Mean For the Travel Industry?
Ah, ChatGPT. Everyone is talking about it, from TikTok to the experts. This free, AI chatbot from OpenAi became an internet sensation almost overnight with its incredibly realistic human-like communication skills. So, what kind of opportunities will this technology offer the travel industry?
According to this article from Phocuswire, travel industry experts have varying opinions on how this will influence digital visitor experiences. Here are a few quotes:
- Arjan Dijk, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Booking.com: “ChatGPT really captured everyone’s attention when it launched, but the technology is still in a relative state of infancy – it’s already dividing opinion with responses that can range from entertaining and creative to glaringly inaccurate. There are some interesting potential use cases should its efficacy evolve and, as with all emerging and fast-growing technologies, it’s certainly something we’ll potentially look to explore, especially if we see that it’s adding value to our customers’ experience.”
- Patrick Surry, chief data scientist at Hopper: “There’s some interesting use cases that we hope to explore such as improving automation and responses for common customer service requests through chat (and eventually even speech and video), as well as concierge-like services to recommend travel destinations, create personalized itineraries and the like.”
- Max Starkov, hospitality and online travel tech consultant and strategist: “Travel is a super dynamic category where this morning’s information is no longer relevant a few hours even minutes later. Inventory availability, prices, category of rooms/seats/cars change by the minute. You need good old-fashioned technology like CRS, WBE, RMS, etc. to handle these dynamics, not ChatGPT.”
There’s still a lot that remains to be seen with this technology, but it’s vital for DMOs to keep an eye on how this tech could evolve. We encourage you to read more expert opinions on this topic, as well as try it out for yourself.
Google Business Profile Showcases Your Destination’s Amenities
It’s important to use every tool you can to attract more visitors to your area, and Google Business Profile offers many opportunities to share what your destination has to offer. A well-developed, optimized Google Business Profile listing can help your destination rank higher in search results and give your area a competitive advantage using listing geography. This includes sharing detailed and clear information about each location including hours, address, descriptions, high-quality images and more. Also, with Google acting as one of the top review platforms out there, it’s vital for businesses and amenities to encourage more people to leave positive reviews and engaging with posted comments to build an active brand presence. With around 63% of visitors consulting reviews before making a decision, it’s more important than ever for businesses to make their listing a space for positive engagement.
Encouraging your local businesses and amenities to build or enhance their listing will help you promote your whole region. While someone may not check out a business listing for your DMO, it’s important for your stakeholders to be actively engaging with reviews and updating it with the latest information to prove their credibility. Once visitors see eye-catching images, positive reviews and an updated profile, it makes them more likely to visit. Read this blog to learn more about how DMOs can leverage Google Business Profile in their marketing strategy.