As 2024 begins and we eagerly look forward to a new year, we wanted to take a moment to look back at the last year.
What stories struck a chord in our industry? What trends and tactics shaped the last year? Which innovative solutions, campaigns, and ideas can you apply to your planning?
Let’s take a look.
On The Blog
Millions of people view destination marketing organization (DMO) sites built with Simpleview CMS daily — including people with vision, hearing, motor skill, and cognitive challenges. Globally, one in six people live with a disability, yet 97% of the internet today is currently inaccessible to them. Just as you want such travelers to get a full experience in your destination, so, too, should you insist they can navigate your website as well as anyone.
When ChatGPT and other generative AI tools burst onto the scene, marketers at DMOs were quick to recognize their potential for content creation and other marketing tasks. In the Simpleview marketing department, we’ve realized that ChatGPT has a Goldilocks-esque quality. We’re trying to understand what’s “just right” when using artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots in our marketing efforts.
Destination marketers are always on the lookout for new tools to boost their productivity and enhance their creativity. The sad fact is we can’t add more hours to the day, but we can save time by using effective tools to streamline our work. We asked a few destination marketers to share their can’t-live-without digital marketing tools that are not part of the Simpleview suite of services. Here’s what they had to say.
DMOs are pros when it comes to promoting things to do, places to stay, and event venues — but when it comes to sharing their accessibility options (or lack of), some aren’t sure where to begin. Here are six easy steps to create an accessible action plan that will help travelers who are assessing their ability to visit or book and assist in maintaining accessibility.
Marketing is an ongoing battle for consumers' attention. We’re inundated with content and marketing messages daily, especially via email marketing. Several email marketing strategies can help you emerge victorious from the battle for attention: A/B testing, a catchy subject line, clever content, and a clear call to action. If you want to stand out from the crowd, consider using small but effective design elements proven to boost email engagement.
In order to gain the most out of collecting information, it’s good to maintain and curate the data as best as possible and clean it as often as possible. Certain data collection points are more valuable than others, so reviewing the collection types and the data’s value is important. Knowing a window of time for an event might be more important than knowing the market segment, for example. Identifying the key data points can be crucial, and these data points will differ from organization to organization. There are a few important guidelines to keep in mind when reviewing your data.
The best destination development benefits locals and brings revenue opportunities to communities. Visit York County has adopted a progressive model for community development with its Partners in Tourism Foundation, which invites business leaders to support development initiatives that encourage visitor spending, support local employers, attract and retain the workforce, and enhance the quality of life for residents.
Destination DC's commitment to diversity and inclusion is sowing the seeds of a more vibrant and inclusive community of locals and visitors. Among noteworthy initiatives are its DEI Business Fellowship and an apprenticeship program for early career professionals through Tourism Diversity Matters. On the DMO’s website, the DEI District provides curated content focused on how DC can be experienced through a DEI lens.
Traverse City, Michigan, is a city between nature and water. Travelers can nestle into a community where there’s always something happening — whether you’re visiting the water, the trails, or the spring cherry blossom trees (a crowd-pleasing favorite). Traverse City Tourism boasts that its community is “always the right time and always the right place, exactly where you should be.” You know what else is always the right time and always the right place, exactly where you should be? Traverse City Tourism’s emails. But it wasn’t always spot on.
Take a Listen
Want to master digital marketing to deliver results for your DMO? Build your understanding of tourism’s trajectory to help you plan, strategize, and operate for the future. Then check out our podcasts.
The Layover Live podcast delivers quick, practical, and actionable dive into the latest tactics and trends digital marketers need to know. The Future of Tourism podcast features travel and tourism leaders, luminaries, and visionaries in a series of candid conversations about the challenges — and opportunities — facing our industry.
Subscribe today to be notified as soon as fresh insights are released. And check out this year's most popular episodes right here.
In this episode of the Layover Live podcast, we chat about the rapidly-changing landscape of social media and its implications for destination marketers. Tune in to learn about the hottest social media platforms and trends, see DMO examples, and hear all about Threads vs. Twitter.
Data is the backbone of digital marketing. So join Jason Swick, Director of Analytics Paul McLeod, and Director of Customer Experience Sandee Jordan for a discussion on Google Analytics 4 and how destination and digital marketers are embracing the changes.
By definition, sustainability and regeneration initiatives are activities that leave a lasting positive impact on places and people. They’re also an opportunity for DMOs to build meaningful partnerships outside the cohort of the usual suspects. While many DMOs are grappling with their role in driving the sustainability imperative in their destinations, some innovators outside our industry are confident that destination organizations are the key to unlocking the community alignment necessary for success.
The future of tourism: knowledge groups & how Europe’s over-tourism efforts paved the way for resilience
When we look for inspiration and ideas that will help us develop, manage, and optimize the success and sustainability of our destinations, we often look to Europe. More than a decade ago, their early work on overtourism highlighted the need for a more engaged network of destination stakeholders who prioritized ensuring that tourism was a restorative and not a depleting force. After the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, these insights further informed a lot of great work on how to build resilient local stakeholder and citizen networks to help harness the restorative power of tourism.
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