The DMO Download

A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.

Younger Travelers Want More Action in Sustainable Tourism


This Download Is Full of Good Stuff

Spring is in the air!

With stories covering sustainability and Gen Z travelers, the top women in the tourism industry, how civil rights tourism could preserve history and the power of destination branding, this week’s DMO Download is packed with helpful insights and information. Check it out.

Gen Z Wants Less Say and More Do in Sustainability Tourism

While sustainability is a huge factor for many Millennials, Gen Z is proving to be a different type of audience. Companies that spend time talking about how sustainable they are likely to drive Gen Z away rather than reel them in. Young travelers look at even the smallest things that businesses do to gauge their sustainability, rather than listening to marketing.

According to Etienne Matichard, the director of sales at Ennismore, younger travelers are likely to scrutinize a company’s sustainability efforts during their experience. At a panel this week at ITB Berlin titled “GenZ and the Transformation of Travel,” Matichard told a story of young German travelers who were dissatisfied with a hotel’s use of plastic cups at breakfast time. Now, Ennismore is attempting to remove all plastic from its hostels. What Gen Z travelers want is being taken very seriously.

Think about your destination – are your travelers getting an authentically sustainable experience? For DMOs and heritage areas, this is a notable trend that is worth sharing with your stakeholders, especially those who are sharing planet-conscious messaging. Ensuring that your marketing is matching up with your delivery is key to delivering on your promises to visitors.

These Are the Women Leading the Top Three U.S. Destinations

International Women’s Day may have passed, but there’s no reason we can’t celebrate the women in travel and tourism year-round. Here are the ladies leading the top destinations in the United States:

  • Julie Coker, President and CEO of San Diego Tourism Authority – After a successful career with the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Coker joined the San Diego Tourism Authority right at the start of the 2020 pandemic. Instead of letting this challenging time get the best of her, she hit the ground running and, under her leadership, San Diego to become fourth in the nation for hotel occupancy levels and returned tourism jobs in the city to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Liz Bittner, President and CEO for Travel South USA – Travel South USA is a 12-state organization owned by the state tourism offices of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Her work has earned her many awards including the 2019 US Travel Industry’s Mercury Award for Best International Marketing Communicator Award from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts and in 2018 Travel South received Most Improved Overseas Destination Marketing Organization by National Tourism Awards in China under her leadership.
  • Rachel Sacco, President & CEO of Experience Scottsdale – Sacco has been a key part of Scottsdale’s success since 1986 and when Experience Scottsdale separated from the Chamber of Commerce in 2001, she was appointed its first president & CEO. Highlights of her awards and honors include being inducted into Scottsdale’s History Hall of Fame, the Arizona State University College of Public Programs Alumni Chapter Hall of Fame, and the Arizona Governor’s Tourism Hall of Fame.

Check out Travel Pulse’s interviews with these amazing ladies to learn more about their rise to success, achievements within their destinations and much more.

Civil Rights Tourism Could Save These Significant Landmarks

A rise in civil rights tourism could save some key landmarks in regions all over the country. This article from NPR highlights where forgotten history was discovered in some surprising places, especially Mississippi. In Money, MS, plants cover Bryant’s Grocery where Emmett Till broke the Jim Crow segregation code by allegedly flirting with a white, female store clerk. In Indianola, MS, a woman inherited her grandfather’s dilapidated clapboard home, only to uncover that it had been the local headquarters of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during its Freedom Summer Campaign in the mid-1960s. Now, the home has been listed as one of the most endangered places in the state because so many of these homes were burned or destroyed during that time.

According to preservationists, time is running out for civil rights history. As landmarks fade away and the opportunities to record firsthand accounts dwindle, it’s more important now than ever to preserve this part of American history. Interest in this era of history is thriving as more people are looking to the past to understand the present. If your region has an important history like this, it’s a valuable opportunity to partner with your local historical societies and cultural groups to begin the preservation process and seek out grant opportunities.

Welcome to the Brandlands

Slogans, taglines, logos… Many of us associate these terms with branding, but that actually isn’t accurate. Branding is more complex than the colors you’ll use on your destination’s website. Branding is a promise to your visitors— and good brands deliver on that promise.

For destination branding to work, you need to think about what makes your destination unique. Consider why visitors will benefit from visiting and get your stakeholders and community on board. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • How do people perceive your destination?
  • Do you deliver on the experience you promise visitors?
  • Does your current branding authentically represent your community?
  • Which branding elements do you currently have in place? Are they enough to accomplish your goals?

Branding your destination requires having a strong strategy and an understanding of why people should visit. That’s where we come in. Check out our webinar “Welcome to the Brandlands: Branding Your Destination” where our agency experts will be your guides and offer advice on how to build a successful brand that will get community and stakeholder buy-in, attract visitors and enhance your marketing efforts.

  • Paige Schamberg

    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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