E-Tourism Takeaways: From View to Visit

Connecting your digital marketing to visitation and spend

It was with great joy last week that the tourism industry came together for the E-Tourism Summit and IPW in Las Vegas, with the fresh news that there was now an official timeline to safely reopen international borders for travel. I’m sharing a few of my a-ha moments from my favorite virtual sessions at E-Tourism, and what I’ve heard from the IPW show floors.  

Miles Session – Workshop: Strategies for a Post-Cookie World

Gray Lawry, Vice President Strategy & Insights, Miles Partnership shared digital marketing insights to optimize your marketing technology for future limitations on cookies. Digital advertising and online identity should be a part of any strategy to have a 360 degree relationship with visitors, with the holy grail being tying that identity when they arrive in market to exposure to your advertising. 

  • Highlights: From “VIEW TO VISIT” attribution – Nobody raised their hand to Gray’s question “who has a way to connect website views to visit?” This is the opportunity.
  • Our take: Providing the right type of value to visitors in-market that incentivizes them to share their email/online identity is key – personalized digital services like photobooths, itinerary building, deals, and interactive/gamified trails are a great step towards e-mail collection goals to connect your advertising dollars to visitation. 
  • From the MMGY Marketing Technology Study: We know that DMO’s see more value than ever in owned channels like e-mail marketing as a result of these changes, and better audience segmentation is the next step. In-market assets like digital touchpoints at the VIC, airport, downtown corridor, and host properties as described above present a solution to bolster e-mail acquisition for your owned marketing channels. 
  • Take it further: We’ve heard Zartico presenting the tough truth that DMO’s have antiquated data for their VICs – many are still reporting on foot traffic, number of visitor guides distributed, etc to stakeholders. DMO’s have to evolve their in-market data collection to show that their efforts have results. The strategies above will move you forward. 
Discover Moab & Love Communications Session –
These Photos of Puppies Are Downright Shocking!

Now we understand the challenge and the opportunity – let’s talk about someone who is laying the groundwork for the future. Love Communications presented with Moab Area Travel Council on a sustainability and stewardship pandemic campaign. I’ll explain why this is important to the future of using in-market arrival data to prove the value of DMO efforts, and how to take it further. 

  • Highlights: “Do it Like a Local” – Moab Campaign. Sustainability education with tips to responsibly visit outdoor areas. In the audience segmentation findings – it was proven that the campaign influenced higher spend ADR travelers. I asked Adam Whalen of Love for a few more details and he shared: “Via an exclusive partnership with Adara, we have been able to look beyond simple ad-exposed bookings that we have driven to Moab. Instead, we are using additional datasets they have granted us access to and implementing tracking techniques to determine whether or not the visitors we are sending to the destination have higher ADR’s and length of stays relative to what Moab normally observes” – Nice! Be on the lookout for a case study from them coming soon. 
  • Our take: This is a brilliant proof that the travelers that respond to this type of marketing are valuable, and using data to prove this is essential for reporting back DMO value to stakeholders. 
  • Take it further: Using digital touchpoints like video, interactive kiosks, and mobile in-market to drive deeper engagement with interactive, customized, and curated content and deals for these visitors to extend their journey with the sustainability message is a win-win. You are building the relationship and your data set on these online identities during the visit, and creating loyalty in a proven valuable traveler. 
  • Don’t forget: They shared as a learning, include public relations and community outreach – locals are a valuable asset to define the right message for visitors and including them ensures resident sentiment and support remains strong. Outdoor destinations really need to keep their locals closer than ever right now. 
IPW Marketing Technology Updates
We’ve been hearing some fantastic plans at the state level to tie brand identity and digital campaigns to efforts to make visitor experience a priority in the coming years. Many are re-imagining their roadside Welcome Centers in the era of drive travel to not just modernize their services with digital, but rethink the purpose of a Welcome Center to experience and inspire. In the West, we’re hearing words like “adventure,” we’re seeing partnerships with attractions to bring the outdoors to life, and trails programs to support rural tourism development. 
We’re excited about these conversations and know that centralized, integrated, cloud-based solutions like True Omni will unify the state visitor experience with local goals. Check out my recent blog on How Technology Connects Stewardship and Drives Sustainability to learn more.
I hope this gives you some new ideas to connect views to visit using digital touchpoints in your destination. Reach out for a free evaluation and review of your practices and see how digital multi-device solutions can help. Contact us through calling at 833-300-6664 or email us at info@trueomni and our team will help you look at options best fit for your organization.

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