The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
Your Visitors Want Personalized Experiences
by Paige Fay
The Top Resources You Need This Week
As you’re getting started in the new year, we’ve compiled a list of the top articles and resources you need to keep your destination at its best. Read about 2022 travel projections and technology trends, RSVP for a webinar that’ll teach you how to develop a trustworthy DMO website, study up on conversational marketing and more in this week’s DMO Download. Keep reading!
Despite Omicron, 2022 Could Be a Positive Year for Travel
A report from Destination Analysts gives DMOs a look at the year ahead. After surveying over 1200 Americans, data reveals that travel sentiment is on the rise despite an increase in the Omicron variant. Here are some of the report’s key findings that will be of special note for DMOs in 2022:
- Omicron has affected travel plans with over half of Americans saying they’ve postponed trips and over 43% report they’ve canceled their plans altogether.
- Nearly half of Americans think that Covid will get “worse” or “much worse” in the coming year. Over 60% are not confident that they can travel safely.
- Despite these findings, travel readiness rose to 77% — one of the highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic.
57% report that they will prioritize travel spending in the next three months.
- Leisure travel is poised to boom in 2022 with the top travel motives being fun, relaxation, happiness and stress relief.
It’s important that DMOs stay on top of the latest travel sentiment data. Knowing what travelers are looking for, as well as their travel concerns, will help guide effective marketing strategies and campaigns in the new year.
Is Your Website Giving Visitors Trust Issues?
For destinations, an easy-to-navigate and informative website is vital in getting your website visitors to trust you. And people who trust you are more likely to book at your destination. As a DMO, take time to evaluate your website and ask yourself these questions:
- Does my website convey accurate and updated information?
- Is my website easy to navigate for potential visitors?
- How do I earn my visitors’ trust through my website?
- What are some must-haves a destination website needs?
Answering these questions paves the way for a strategy that will build trust with your visitors. This webinar will answer your website questions while highlighting principles and functionality that make destination websites perform and stand out. Also, you’ll receive free materials that offer tactics that DMOs can implement into a savvy website strategy.
Netflix and UNWTO Release Report on Screen Tourism Trend and Cultural Affinity
When people see a location in their favorite movie or TV show, often it gives them the desire to visit that location. This is what is called screen tourism and it was a rising trend before the pandemic. Now, with tourism gradually reopening, screen tourism is regaining popularity.
A report from Netflix and United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) explores the trend of screen tourism and how destinations can benefit from it. According to the report, screen tourism can “contribute to building bridges between communities across cultures while fostering tourism” through increasing cultural affinity. It also highlights the economic, social and cultural benefits that DMOs can glean from this tourism trend.
This report is an informative read for destinations that have been featured on TV or in theaters. Not only does capitalizing on this unique feature of their destination allow them to benefit financially, but also opens the way for visitors to learn more about a location’s history, culture and traditions.
5 Key Technology Trends You Need to Know
These top five technology trends are changing the travel industry in 2022 according to an article from The Future of Things. These trends offer insight into what visitors are looking for in their travel experiences, which is key information for DMOs to consider when planning new campaigns. Check it out:
- Personalized travel — Data collection from smartphones makes it easier to create personalized experiences for audiences on travel-based apps and platforms. More visitors are craving personalized experiences, so using this information can be helpful to DMOs who are able to invest in data collection.
- Contactless payments — An increase in contactless payment platforms, like Venmo and Apple Pay, is making its way into travel, meaning that travelers are opting to not carry cash or cards on their travels. Consider how you can work with stakeholders to create more contactless payment options for visitors.
- Voice Search — More and more people are using voice search to get information on destinations. This means its vital that destinations are investing in keyword research and Google ranking to ensure their content is showing up.
- Virtual Reality — Virtual reality technology is becoming more and more popular. VR allows visitors to see a destination without leaving the comfort of their homes. See how you can utilize this technology to increase engagement with visitors.
- Internet of Things (IoT) — This trend allows for more communication between devices and the internet. IoT allows travelers to use their devices to control their environment or engage with it in a new way. Thinking of creative ways that visitors can interact with their destination through IoT will help DMOs get a step ahead of the competition.
Technology trends should be on the radar of DMOs who want to stay on top of a constantly changing industry. Make sure your destination reflects and acts on these trends by finding ways to implement them into your marketing strategy.
Conversational Marketing Creates Personal Experiences for Your Visitors
We’ve all seen it — from pushy advertisements trying to force product sales to silly jingles and cheesy slogans. If this marketing approach is a big turn-off for you, just imagine how your destination’s visitors would feel!
Potential visitors want personal experiences and conversational marketing is a great way to give it to them. This approach uses one-on-one conversations and personalized messaging through chatbots that people, especially your visitors, want to engage with. Check out these examples:
- Increase audience engagement with conversations. Keep your comments section active and utilize chatbots to answer your followers’ questions. By keeping the conversation going on social media, you can turn followers into real-life visitors.
- Build an SMS messaging network. Sending occasional texts to potential visitors will keep them updated on the latest happenings and events at your destination, increasing the likelihood they’ll visit.
- Install a chatbot to answer your audience immediately. People today want instant answers to their questions.
- Installing a chatbot allows you to have answers to the frequently asked questions right away — day or night.
These examples of conversational marketing offer chatbot tactics you can use to engage with visitors without spending too much of your own time. Conversational marketing works but doesn’t need to be overly time-consuming. Giving your visitors personalized messages and quick responses are effective ways to attract visitors to your destination.
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