As joyful jingles score Black Friday commercials, turkeys start flying off the shelves, and December’s many multicultural holidays sit on the horizon, one thing is clear: the holiday season is officially here.
Amid all the holiday hustle to come, destinations have a chance to thrive.
Engagement for shopping, deals, dining, and things to do reach their apex between November 1 and December 31. This year even more so.
Insider Intelligence projects consumer spending to grow 7% this holiday season — rising to a total of $1.297 billion. A recent PwC report shows a projected 12% year-over-year increase in consumers budgeting $1,530 for gifts, travel, and entertainment this year.
If you want to drive some holiday cheer to your destination this year, it’s vital to build a sound seasonal strategy. Here are a few key considerations to help you craft campaigns that captivate — and convert.
Timing is Key
Just like how holiday music creeps into our lives earlier and earlier each year, travel planning is seeing the same. Last year saw holiday travel’s booking window increase from 50 days in 2021 to 60 days. So your visitors’ planning work may already be underway. It’s critical to launch your campaigns with an eye toward this extended window if you want to maximize your impact.
Data and tech are the heartbeats of modern marketing. Put them to use this holiday season to serve personalized messaging, content, and user experiences to your visitors. Give them the gift of something just for them. We’ve seen personalized content increase destinations’ engagement by 92% before. What could it do for you?
Curate the Content
Building a seasonal landing page gives visitors a launchpad to discover the events, dining, shopping, and experiences that set the season apart. If you want some inspiration check out a few of my favorites. Visit Cheyenne’s Old West Holiday page brings the holiday to life with a vintage feel and gift-like design. Visit Eau Claire’s strategy helps visitors find content for every holiday throughout the year in one centralized location.
Speak to Sustainability
We’ve all seen an increase in sustainability’s importance to travelers and our industry. Highlight your destination’s initiatives this season to give visitors yet another reason to stay in your destination.
Highlight Your Unique Experiences
David Peacock, Senior Advisor of the Future Tourism Group, talked about authentic experiences and their essential role in the future of tourism recently. His conversation highlighted how visitors seek to engage with destinations on a deeper level. They’re a powerful driver of holiday tourism as well. Show visitors how they can not only explore your destination but experience the unique assets and history that make up its DNA.
Dominate the Drive Market
In a Forbes survey from earlier this year, 42% of travelers said they planned to take a road trip in 2023. Another survey showed that nearly 80% (approximately 206 million Americans) expressed interest in taking a road trip this year, with 20% planning to travel more than 500 miles by car. Another shows that 60% of U.S. consumers plan to take a trip within their state. All this to say — don’t neglect your drive market when planning your campaign.
Don’t Skimp on Social
Social media is a platform of discovery, especially around the holidays. 56% of holiday shoppers found new brands and products on Meta during the holiday season last year. The platform’s advertisers saw a 20% increase in conversions during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As potential visitors do their research, you can showcase your partners, inspiring content, and captivating images to ignite their imaginations.
Once you’ve tested your campaigns this season, take what you’ve learned and apply them moving forward with Easter, Halloween, and the Fourth of July. And don’t forget about non-traditional holidays like Octoberfests, Small Business Saturdays, and more. The list goes on. What sort of seasonal magic with your destination make?
Want help with your digital strategy?
We can identify the trends your destination needs to know and help you build data-driven strategies that work.Let’s tackle trends together