For many, the 2021 holiday season will signify the return of something familiar: the opportunity for people to be brought together and a chance to spend time with friends and family.

For others, like business owners, the holiday season will be a time for growth. A 2017 study done by Reuters showed that holiday shopping can account for up to 40% of annual sales for local businesses. 

So after a year preceding a massive decline in sales, how can an app help with local spending? More visitors and shoppers are increasingly turning to their phones to find what they need nearby. Whether you’re a destination marketing organization (DMO), a local business owner, or a hospitality partner, it’s important to ensure that you have an e-presence. 

To help you shine this holiday season, we’ve unwrapped the most useful local solutions to boost your reach with shoppers and visitors and better connect them to your destinations and products. Explore this local holiday guide to get started!

Promote Your Events

Use apps to advertise your destination’s holiday events and attractions. Not only can this draw in holiday travelers, but also inform locals on the best and brightest celebrations in their neighborhood.

Encourage Participation from Others

One of the most popular tools VisitApps offers is the ability for DMOs to create and build trails. Users can check-in to points on the trail to earn points, register to win prizes, and more. These trails draw in tourists and residents, introducing them to local favorites. Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh … all over your destination! 


"During the height of the pandemic, being able to pivot the use of our app to encourage holiday sales and takeout orders was crucial to our small business owners' success. The flexibility the app provided to push out sales alerts and takeout specials was especially appreciated. Our Merry Madness Passport program will return this year, bigger and better than ever." 

— Stacy Calfo, Director of Marketing, Downtown Greensboro


Examples of trails:

  • Downtown Greensboro Merry Madness (iOS and Android)
  • The Pensacola Holiday Photo trail (iOS and Android)
  • Visit Greater St. Cloud (MN) (iOS and Android)
  • Dayton Ale & Wilbur Wright Trail (iOS and Android)
  • Albany: A Walking Tour (iOS and Android)
  • El Paso Zoo Walking Tour (iOS and Android)
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Tools like an app, which can be connected to your CRM to display your listings, can help small businesses promote their products and stand out to local shoppers, ensuring people see up-to-date information, like accurate business hours, in-store services, and call-to-actions. 


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