The DMO Download

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

Your Visitors Just Want to Feel Understood

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Dynamic Resources To Inspire You

There’s a lot to dive into this week! Learn about how dynamic websites contribute to your brand promise, how empathy builds stronger relationships with your guests, check out some successful adaptive reuse examples, get tips on building a strong blog strategy and more. Keep reading!

To Deliver on Your Authentic Brand Promise, You Need a Dynamic Website

The first interaction your visitors have with your destination is often through your website, meaning that a comprehensive, updated website is vital in turning visitors into enthusiastic advocates for your brand. The key element in this process is trust. Before becoming brand advocates, they need to know they can trust your destination to deliver on that brand promise. This blog from our branding expert highlights what DMOs need to know in order to build a robust destination website that converts. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Create a first impression that accurately reflects your destination.
  • Make sure the information you share is truthful, timely and complete.
  • Share content that brings your website – and your destination – to life.
  • Don’t be afraid to address niche travel audiences.

By setting the right expectations, you’re setting visitors up for an amazing getaway at your destination. They’ll understand your community, traditions and residents, giving them the opportunity to have unforgettable experiences and allowing your stakeholders to feel accurately represented. To learn more about how your website can reflect your destination’s brand, watch our webinar “Does Your Website Establish or Break Trust with Travelers?” here.

Empathy Is the Key To Understanding Your Guests

To build strong relationships with your guests, you need to have empathy. A personal and flexible approach to service provides peace of mind for your guests and lays the foundation for trust. PhocusWire offers tips for travel organizations and companies to learn how to better understand travelers and build positive experiences that will bring them back again and again.

  1. Open communication is key to a trusting relationship. Investing in technology that boosts communication allows you to more effectively and efficiently meet their needs. And when guests feel well looked after, they are more likely to return to your destination and leave a positive review.
  2. Establish cross-functional, collaborative guest relations. Taking the time to build confident and supportive teams lays the groundwork for internal relationships that will improve guest experiences. Good internal communication allows your team to quickly meet travelers’ needs and improve process flexibility.
  3. Artificial intelligence and automation offer round-the-clock guest support. Resolving simple questions and offering quick turnaround time on simple processes frees up your guest relations team to focus on more complex challenges and requests.

These tips apply to both DMOs in large urban areas and rural locations. By encouraging stakeholders to establish more empathetic approaches to customer service, you can create lifelong relationships with travelers. And this doesn’t just apply to stakeholders. It’s important to implement these tactics into your own visitor relations. Communicate openly, collaborate effectively with your stakeholders and streamline traveler experiences to establish trust between your visitors and destination as a whole.

Travelers Are Feeling the Financial Strain

Rising gas prices, inflation and economic strain from the pandemic are beginning to cast another shadow on American traveler sentiment. As a result, travelers are beginning to become more mindful of how much they spend on travel and may determine whether they travel at all. Here are the biggest takeaways from Destination Analysts’ latest report:

  • American travelers with planned leisure trips dropped 6 points in the last month.
  • The expected travel spend for American households dropped from $4,283 to $3,788.
  • Nearly 60% report that travel prices are too high right now and around 34% say it has kept them from traveling.
  • Expectations for both travel and travel spending have decreased in the past month.

Despite the overall negative trend in travel sentiment, there’s no reason for DMOs and CVBs to feel discouraged. Take time to understand your visitors’ financial concerns. Consider working with stakeholders to implement special discounts or contests that will keep visitors excited about travel. Being aware of these trends allows you to adjust your marketing efforts appropriately.

Be Inspired by These 10 Adaptive Reuse Examples

Historic buildings are symbols of the past, giving them an important role in telling your destination’s story. While maintaining and preserving them is hard work, it pays off by beautifying your town and creating sustainable alternatives to housing and commercial space. This method is called adaptive reuse to bring life into old buildings. There are lots of benefits to adaptive reuse, such as:

  • Adaptive reuse is more sustainable than traditional historic preservation and new construction.
  • It tends to have low acquisition costs and allows for financing incentives, as well as savings on new and original building materials and demolition.
  • Bringing historic buildings back to life revitalizes neighborhoods by creating affordable housing and new economic opportunities.
  • Allows city planners to achieve sustainability goals and gives them planning flexibility.

Adapting historic buildings offers many opportunities for communities, and it can look different based on each community’s needs. For destinations, it can look like affordable housing, unique dining locations, boutique hotel options or spaces for new business to settle, all while preserving the aesthetic and history of your area. If you have historic buildings worth preserving at your destination, take some inspiration from these real-life successful examples.

Execute a Blogging Strategy That Converts Your Audience Into Visitors

One or two successful blogs are great ways to pique visitors’ interest in your destination, but a well-planned blogging strategy is what actually brings them to your doorstep. It’s an important way to build trust, share information, offer new perspectives and help visitors engage with your website. So, how do DMOs develop an effective strategy? Marketing Insider Group shares six steps to building a successful blog.

  1. Understand your “why” for creating a blog. Make sure you clearly outline your goals and intentions for creating a blog. This will set the standard for content moving forward.
  2. Set up your blogging platform. When laying the groundwork for your blog, put an emphasis on user experience. Easy-to-navigate blogs will keep visitors on your site longer and establish trust.
  3. Create a plan for executing your strategy. Identify your writers, topics, publishing schedule and the performance metrics you’ll want to track.
  4. Write and publish your creative ideas! Whether you decide to create internally or outsource to a marketing agency, this is the fun part where you get to see your ideas come to life.
  5. Incorporate your blogs into your content plan. Start sharing on social media and repackaging them into new, engaging content to create a cohesive marketing strategy.
  6. Track your blog’s performance. Make sure you are taking note of how your content is performing and use this data to create even more engaging content.

Following these steps will help you build content for your DMO or CVB that will get visitors excited about visiting your destination. This is an opportunity to communicate with your audience and share exciting news, stories and events that are happening in your region. And a well-established strategy will amplify your efforts and reach a larger audience.

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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