Recent survey findings from Destination Analysts show that two-thirds of American travelers did some kind of travel planning activity the week before, from making travel reservations to researching travel ideas to simply daydreaming about a vacation. 

As we detailed in a recent blog post, outdoor-related content (specifically related to mountain and coastal towns) has seen the largest organic traffic increase during COVID-19, even surpassing 2019 numbers. This is particularly notable given that most travel-related keywords have seen a decrease in demand during the pandemic, so it’s important for marketers to take this into account and continue to highlight activities and experiences in your destination that allow visitors to maintain their social distance.  

To give you some inspiration, we’ve rounded up a few examples of DMOs that are encouraging visitors to plan trips that include safe outdoor exploration:

  • Discover Los Angeles encourages visitors to find their moment of zen by highlighting Asian gardens, labyrinths and other outdoor and wellness experiences on their website. They are also showcasing #TravelResponsibly deals from their hotel, restaurant and attraction partners.
  • Visit Santa Barbara highlights a Wellness Warrior itinerary that includes three days of ideas to rejuvenate safely. The Wellness Warrior content also includes a video of travel bloggers experiencing the places in the itinerary. 
  • One of the most aspirational examples is Travel Oregon’s Oregon Moments of Zen. This section of their website showcases soothing and beautiful videos of outdoor spots in many different regions of their state. Each spotlight links to more information on each area so visitors can research and book that experience when they are ready. 

We anticipate that COVID-19 vaccine will be more widely distributed by the summer of 2021, so consumers are likely to start traveling more towards the second half of the year. DMOs should consider preparing their marketing content and activities in anticipation and can start shifting to other content topics like indoor dining, arts and culture, etc. as restrictions begin to lift.