Tourism

Study Shows Lots of Americans Aren’t Using Their Vacation Days

Everybody loves vacation, right? It’s a given that we’re all yearning to travel, to get away, to cast off the shackles of responsibility for at least two weeks a year.

As it turns out, many Americans are becoming “work martyrs”, too intimidated by their corporate culture to take their earned leave. Basically, people are flushing vacation time down the toilet.

What’s wrong with this picture?

The new study, a product of the U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Effect initiative, shows that four in ten workers don’t take all of their paid time off (PTO) each year. This, despite the fact that 96% of workers say that taking PTO is important (51% say it’s “extremely important”).

So what’s the problem? Well, according to the study, employers aren’t doing much in the way of encouraging staffers to take vaca. That, along with senior leaders sending mixed signals, seems to be keeping people from embracing off time.

So what can destination marketers do about this serious problem? Convince people that travel is exactly what they need. Help them let go of the guilt factor and embrace their hard-earned vacation time. Give them compelling reasons to book that trip. Hit ‘em in the heart.

Clearly, something needs to change. As destination marketers are well aware, travel and vacation time are powerful. The study also revealed that people who use all of their PTO report a higher degree of happiness in personal relationships with family/friends. That’s a pretty big deal.

Travel = happiness, y’all. Start reminding people.

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Tourism, Weekly Tourism Wrap Up

TMI’s Weekly Tourism Wrap Up: Cool Stuff on Our Radar, 8/15

In honor of the end of the week and our love for you, dear readers, we’re presenting a weekly wrap-up of cool tourism-related stuff we’ve spotted. Anything is fair game for this post, from a rad Instagram photo to a multi-million dollar brand campaign to our fave new hashtag.

So if you’ve got tips or awesome content you think we oughta mention, email us at press@jenniferbarbee.com. We’ll be doing this round-up on the weekly, so you’ve got something else to look forward to on Fridays. ;)

Félicitations! France is the tourism capital of the world. The U.S. sails in at second.
Bo knows Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Badgers Mens Basketball Coach Bo Ryan will be selling his state’s tourism offerings in a new ad.
Jackie Chan for Indonesia: The ultimate action star is Indonesia’s newest tourism ambassador.
Two sugars, please: Afternoon tea in England is just what we need this week.
Keene, NH remembers Robin: A fictional advertisement for Parrish Shoes from the set of Jumanji has become a makeshift memorial. Awww.

TRAVELMARKETINSIDER.COM is owned and published by Jennifer Barbee, Inc.  JB Inc. is a different kind of web firm.  We focus on aggressive performance improvement for DMOs and travel companies. 

Keep your vendors, increase results. :-)

For an initial analysis and discovery call, email sales@jenniferbarbee.com

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Tourism

New Study Shows Vacationers Are All About Their Mobile Devices

It’s no secret that we’re all joined at the fingertip with our smartphones. They rarely leave our side, from the time our eyes open in the a.m. till our heads hit the pillow at night.

And according to the Vacation Technology Survey, recently commissioned by CoPilot, this love affair with our mobile devices extends to vacation time.

Their study found 89 percent of people bring a smartphone with them on vacation. Many folks (more than half) bring multiple devices. Tablets are most popular (54 percent), with laptops a close second (53 percent).

So how are travelers using their smartphones? Local search (93 percent) and GPS directions (77 percent) top the list of uses for smartphones and tablets. GPS apps came in as the most popular way to navigate, beating out personal navigation devices (32 percent), paper maps (32 percent) and printed directions (31 percent).

Back in the day, vacations meant dragging along guidebooks, atlases, paper maps and all kinds of other tools. Planning had to be done in advance, particularly if travelers wanted to seek out the undercover awesomeness of any given destination. Now, mobile devices allow travelers to feel more like a local by seeking out hidden gems and highly rated spots via search.

For destination marketers, this is a wake-up call to make sure you’re on top of local search. Create killer content that’s useful to on-the-go travelers, optimize for search and stay on top of mobile marketing.  Otherwise, you’re missing out on a major piece of the tourism pie.

For more goodies from the study, check out their infographic.

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Social Media, Tourism

5 Ways DMOs Can Boost End-of-Summer Travel

The dog days of summer are upon us, which means fall is right around the corner. And while everyone loves the season of  pumpkin spiced lattes and leef peeping, you’d be hard pressed to find a destination marketer who isn’t sorry to see summer go.

If your DMO wants to get the most bang for their buck out of these last few weeks of summer, here are a few ways to get those travelers booking trips ASAP:

Make Labor Day look awesome: Labor Day weekend is summer’s last hurrah, and if your destination has anything special going on, now’s the chance to tell the world. Talk to partners and create an all-inclusive list of Labor Day activities, events and specials, then revolve all your marketing efforts around it for the next couple weeks. Push Labor Day through every channel you’ve got (blog posts, Facebook posts, Pinterest board, Tweets, etc.), and remind visitors how epically awesome that last weekend of summer can be.

Run a fun giveaway: There are a million and one ways to run attention-getting promos. Try giving away summer swag to random fans via Twitter, or ask Facebook fans for their fave summer memory and offer up a weekend stay. Or, do an in-destination giveaway for anyone who comes to town through the month of August (an added incentive to book) – have a street team surprise a few random tourists with a Go Pro for recording summer memories.

Write an open love letter to summer: Open letters are all the rage (we’ve even written one ourselves), so pen a letter to the summer months. Make it clever, catchy and chock full of all the reasons why summer is unforgettable in your destination. Put some paid media behind it, and get it on every social channel you’ve got. Even push it via PR and see if you can get a spot on your local morning show heralding what’s awesome about the rest of summer, or a story in a national blog or pub about why summer in your destination is the best ever.

Crowdsource summer content: If you’re not already crowdsourcing content from across the interwebs, WHY NOT? Either way though, now’s the time to get to crowdsourcing all the summer stuff eager travelers (and locals) have been posting all over social media since Memorial Day. Search high and low and find the best content that’s out there about your destination (PICTURES PICTURES PICTURES) and do a massive push highlighting epic summer fun. Because seeing other people have the time of their lives is the ultimate travel incentive.

Place some highly targeted media: Sometimes, last minute media is most effective. Run some niche ads via Facebook and Google with a powerful CTA. Create a compelling summer landing page (using some of the above ideas, if you like) and offer up your best summer deals, packages and offers for last-minute travel. Everyone wants last-minute travel deals, after all (have you seen the search traffic that phrase gets? Woah.).

TRAVELMARKETINSIDER.COM is owned and published by Jennifer Barbee, Inc.  JB Inc. is a different kind of web firm.  We focus on aggressive performance improvement for DMOs and travel companies. 

Keep your vendors, increase results. :-)

For an initial analysis and discovery call, email sales@jenniferbarbee.com

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Tourism, Weekly Tourism Wrap Up

TMI’s Weekly Tourism Wrap Up: Cool Stuff on Our Radar, 8/8

In honor of the end of the week and our love for you, dear readers, we’re presenting a weekly wrap-up of cool tourism-related stuff we’ve spotted. Anything is fair game for this post, from a rad Instagram photo to a multi-million dollar brand campaign to our fave new hashtag.

So if you’ve got tips or awesome content you think we oughta mention, email us at press@jenniferbarbee.com. We’ll be doing this round-up on the weekly, so you’ve got something else to look forward to on Fridays. ;)

#‎STSMC14‬ 4lyfe: Digging the snapshots from Southeast Tourism Society’s annual marketing college. Creative geniuses, the lot!
Beach bums: We love Visit Hilton Head’s sentiment: “Happiness is a day at the beach.” It is, and we want summer to stick around forever.
That sky though: Visit New Mexico’s True Tour took them to the 89,000 acre Valles Caldera National Preserve and OMG THOSE VIEWS.
Johnny Mercer melodies: The world needs more spontaneous singing. That’s why we love the Savannah Voice Festival folks serenading  Leopold’s Ice Cream customers. Adorbs.
Selfies for free rooms: Hilton’s latest contest awards travel photo winners with free weekends. Who’s up for some Instagramming?

TRAVELMARKETINSIDER.COM is owned and published by Jennifer Barbee, Inc.  JB Inc. is a different kind of web firm.  We focus on aggressive performance improvement for DMOs and travel companies. 

Keep your vendors, increase results. :-)

For an initial analysis and discovery call, email sales@jenniferbarbee.com

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Weekly Tourism Wrap Up

TMI’s Weekly Tourism Wrap Up: Cool Stuff on Our Radar, 8/1

In honor of the end of the week and our love for you, dear readers, we’re presenting a weekly wrap-up of cool tourism-related stuff we’ve spotted. Anything is fair game for this post, from a rad Instagram photo to a multi-million dollar brand campaign to our fave new hashtag.

So if you’ve got tips or awesome content you think we oughta mention, email us at press@jenniferbarbee.com. We’ll be doing this round-up on the weekly, so you’ve got something else to look forward to on Fridays. ;)

Speak Coloradan: Apparently, folks in Colorado have a language all their own — and Visit Colorado pubbed a handy dictionary.
getyourguideGetYourGuide brings in the $$$: The tourism start-up just raised a cool $25 Million. They’re looking to be the OpenTable of activities, but TripAdvisor might put up a fight.
Fair game in Montana: It’s fair and carnival season, and we’re digging the zipper clip from the Montana State Fair. Who’s up for a ride?
Summertime in Tahoe: Visit California’s share of this Lake Tahoe North photo by Peter Spain is making us long for a cool swim in that crystal clear water. Because it’s SO HOT HERE.
Snow angels in August? In case you’re tired of summer temps, it’s winter on the other side of the globe. Check out these wild photos (shared by Visit Melbourne) of snow flurries and sunshine.
Forrest Gump on travel: According to Yahoo Travel, everything we need to know about jetsetting we learned from 90s movies. Trust us, you don’t wanna miss a thing.

TRAVELMARKETINSIDER.COM is owned and published by Jennifer Barbee, Inc.  JB Inc. is a different kind of web firm.  We focus on aggressive performance improvement for DMOs and travel companies. 

Keep your vendors, increase results. :-)

For an initial analysis and discovery call, email sales@jenniferbarbee.com

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