Tourism

New DMAI Report Outlines Hottest DMO Trends, Opportunities

dami-report

When it comes to the destination marketing world, nobody has their finger on its pulse like the folks at Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). (They’ve got 600+ DMO members, after all.) So their newest report, a product of their Destination Next endeavor, is worth a thorough read by anyone interested in the ins and outs of our tourism universe.

The 44-page report was drummed up based on survey responses from 327 DMOs in 36 countries.  There are lots of interesting nuggets (we recommend you download it and read it in full),but one of the most interesting aspects is the list of trends identified by DMOs.

Here are the top 20:

  1. Social media’s prominence in reaching the travel market (e.g., Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Weibo).
  2. Mobile platforms and apps becoming the primary engagement platform for travelers.
  3. Customers increasingly seeking a personalized travel experience.
  4. Smart technology (e.g., phones, bag tags, and cards) creating new opportunities for innovative new
    services and processes.
  5. Travelers demanding more information, control, interaction, and personalization.
  6. Geotargeting and localization becoming more prevalent.
  7. Brand identity for destinations becoming more critical in terms of meeting planner perceptions about
    value and experience.
  8. Customers increasingly looking for a travel experience that allows them to experience a local’s way of life.
  9. Technology enabling faster decision-making by customers, thereby, increasing business to a destination.
  10. Consumers becoming increasingly comfortable with ordering products online.
  11. Hotel taxes increasingly vulnerable to alternative politically based projects.
  12. Big Data arriving for the tourism industry.
  13. The brand of a destination becoming a more important factor in travel decisions to consumers.
  14. Governments facing pressure to reduce or eliminate direct financial subsidies to the tourism sector.
  15. Short-stay trips and mini vacations becoming increasingly popular.
  16. More third-party information providers aggregating content about destinations.
  17. Peer-to-peer buyer influence driving customer purchases.
  18. Governments dealing with tourism from an integrated, multidepartmental perspective, focused on
    economic development.
  19. Customers increasingly going directly to suppliers for goods and services.
  20. Economic conditions continuing to be highly volatile, subject to global and regional shocks.

In addition to the trends, the report outlined the DMO’s planned responses, too. Plus, it identifies future priorities, transformational opportunities and lots of other good stuff. Give it a read, and glean some knowledge from fellow tourism pros.

Oh, and if you need ideas on how to forge ahead and stay competitive, you can always give us a buzz. ;)

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Tourism

What TripAdvisor’s Purchase of Viator Means for DMOs

viator-screenshotLast week, TripAdvisor dropped a tourism bomb: they’d scooped up Viator, a popular, highly curated tour and activity booking engine. This means the world’s largest travel site is getting, well, larger.

Since TripAdvisor is a crucial aspect of the tourism space, this acquisition will definitely make waves for DMOs. Here are some takeaways for destination marketers to remember as T+V head off on their honeymoon:

  • Mobile. MOBILE. As we’ve said a million times before, mobile is everything. On-the-go bookings will continue to increase in importance, and this is especially true in this scenario. Viator has real-time booking capabilities.
  • TripAdvisor has its eyes on the prize. As they said in a Skift interview last year, they’re planning to be the go-to provider for restaurants, tours, activities and more. Viator is just one piece of the pie.
  • Reviews are only growing in importance for potential travelers. Both TripAdvisor and Viator feature reviews, and they’re taken pretty seriously. Make sure you’re schooling your stakeholders on how to handle reviews — for better or worse.
  • Are you aware of your destination’s presence on Viator? Who’s there? Who isn’t? What it offers visitors to your destination? The site features more than 20,000 bookable tours. Get familiar.
  • If you’re not already maximizing your relationship with TripAdvisor, now’s the time. They have 260 million monthly visitors, after all. This doesn’t have to mean paid advertising — there are lots of opportunities to amplify your destination’s presence  (and help your stakeholders manage their reputations, too). Dig in and check out what tools you can take advantage of — widgets, photos, buttons, etc.

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, 7/25

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. ;)

The secret side of Stockholm: A hidden cafe, a hidden park and a hidden bar shared by Visit Stockholm are making us want to take a surreptitious trip to Sweden.
“Spaghettieis” is a thing: Ice cream that looks like spaghetti? Visit Germany’s got it. And summer was made for ice cream.

Tequila, anyone? Visit San Antonio had the right idea for National Tequila Day. Rocks, salt, please.
Flying is safe: Despite the recent air disasters, statistically, planes are still one of the safest ways to travel.
TripAdvisor + Viator = <3: TripAdvisor is scooping up the popular tour and activity site, Viator, for $200 Mil. That ought to expand their repertoire.
#WorldCup: Social Media Today’s analysis of the best and worst brand Tweets of the World Cup definitely caught our eye. Bravo, Hyundai. But Delta – #ouch.

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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Brand Journalism, Tourism

Fakecationing Is Now a Thing; How DMOs Should Strike Back

Because social media apparently matters more than real life, people are now foregoing vacations to instead go on “fakecations.”  These involve posing in front of destination posters, using knuckles as stand-ins for bare leg stand-ins and, basically, playing pretend.

Of course, a fakecation won’t do much for a DMO’s revenue stream.

So what’s a destination marketer to do? Will millennials, only interested in impressing their friends, stop traveling altogether? Will all vacations become fakeations? Is the world coming to an end?

Instead of panicking, DMOs could get in on the fun times, and do some Instagram newsjacking of their own. Here are a few ideas:

    • Troll the #fakay and #fakecation hashtags. If you see any fake photos in your destination, shout out to the folks who posted them. Be witty. Be clever. Tell them how much more awesome your destination is IRL. Offer to show them around. Send them a link to low-cost flights.
    • Take a series of real-life photos in front of your destination’s landmarks with DMO staffers. Then, take a series of staged, fakay photos. Post ‘em, and ask your fans and followers to pick the real from the fake.
    • Showcase the REAL charms of your destination. Take some killer shots and tag ‘em with your own hashtag — #realcation, #takethatfakeaction, #getonaplane — whatever works. Make people jealous.
    • Write a list, “10 Reasons Why a Real Trip to (your destination) Beats a Fakecation”. Make it funny, witty, irreverent. Or, “Don’t Believe Everything You See on Social Media: How to Spot a Fakay” (filled with ways to tell if someone’s actually been to your destination). Or make up one of your own.

Bottom line: get in on the conversation in an engaging way. Break out your sense of humor. Be amusing. This is a hell of an opportunity to have some social media fun. Don’t miss out! Potential travelers are waiting.

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, 7/18 Edition

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. ;)

Snapshots of Salt Lake: We’re digging the winners of Visit Salt Lake’s  ‘Salt Lake Exposed’ photo contest — from skateboarders to stoplights, we feel like we took a insta-cation to Utah.

Bambi’s mom lives: Disney lied. In the meadows of New Hampshire, Bambi and his mom are alive and well and SO ADORABLE. Thanks to Visit New Hampshire for bringing the truth to light. #NHSummer

Pot tourism trinkets: Every niche needs its souvenirs, and now Colorado’s burgeoning marijuana tourism sector has its own trinkets for travelers to take home. They’re calling it, “toking tourism.”

UK to blast off: The UK is looking to take tourists into space by the end of the decade. IE, soon. A spaceport is in the works.

We all scream for ice cream: Conde Nast Traveler readers pick the best ice cream shops in the world (including TWO in Texas, JB’s home state!). Annnnnnd now we’re drooling.

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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Brand Journalism, Tourism

Why DMOs Should Pay More Attention to Unconventional Travelers

As a destination marketing organization, hotels are your partners — your besties — your bread and butter. They represent a crucial component of your tourism sector, and there’s no question that maintaining healthy relationships with these local stakeholders needs to remain a top priority.

In other words, never neglect your lodging pals, or into the doghouse you’ll go.

couchsurfingBUT, there are lots of travelers bouncing around the world via less conventional means these days. They’re sleeping on couches, in treehouses, in other people’s bedrooms, on sustainable buses. They’re not your average hotel guest — but they are guests in your destination, nonetheless, and they’re spending $.

Unconventional travelers are often the most passionate (the perfect potential brand ambassadors) — they’ve usually got wanderlust in their veins and are looking to immerse themselves in unique experiences and local culture.

As a DMO, looking for ways to reach these groups of people can be an excellent opportunity for added exposure among new audiences. By offering guidance, content and expert advice to those seeking a road less traveled, you can become a go-to source for a new (and often overlooked) generation of adventurers.

Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • If you’ve got a major hiking contingency and amazing outdoor adventure options, put together a backpacker’s guide to your destination. Create laminated cards or another portable item that people can easily carry. Have them stocked up at local outdoor supply stores.
  • Reach out to some of the unconventional travel sites/apps (Airbnb, Couchsurfing, etc.) and discuss content partnership opportunities. Their visitors need guidance, and you’ve got the expertise.
  • Think of totally off-the-wall options your destination has to offer — experiences that wouldn’t appeal to the average traveler. Create content around these unique offerings and pique the interest of more adventurous explorers.
  • Talk to people. Communicate with couchsurfers and Airbnb users to see what they’re looking for in a destination. Opening a direct line of communication is by far the best way to expand what you’re offering and tailor content accordingly.

Feel free to share other ideas in the comments. Because you’re tourism geniuses, after all. ;)

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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