Tying Trails & Passports To the Destination Story

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Tying Trails & Passports To the Destination Story

Picture of By Erin Rheinschild

By Erin Rheinschild

Global Shift to Digital Experiences

Good visitor experience programs target locals and visitors to explore the best the destination has to offer by theme or interest, as curated by the DMO. This has been a mainstay in destination marketing tactics for decades. In the past, curated lists were static and lacked true direct participation from the stakeholder business community. Their role was simply to exist when the visitor arrived. Now, the best programs embrace digital interactive trends to give these experiences a much-needed refresh. 

It’s important to understand that changing consumer behaviors and preferences are happening on a global level, with many European countries far ahead of the U.S. in this evolution. The OECD drives international research to educate the world on the importance of establishing policies that embrace this reality and motivating travel businesses to modernize.  

“While basic e-marketing and e-commerce were widely adopted, advanced technologies such as data analytics, cloud computing and geotagging had received only limited uptake” (Dredge et al., 2018). 

As digital experience tools are becoming increasingly sophisticated –

“The resulting opportunities and barriers create an uneven playing field, which is exacerbated by a growing gap between tech-driven and globally connected tourism businesses, and traditional micro and small businesses often characterized by low-tech business practices.” (OECD Tourism Trends and Policies 2020

The DMO has the opportunity to serve a need in the local tourism economy by acting as a conduit to advanced technologies by activating cooperative access and shepherding comprehensive destination programs. 

The DMO’s Opportunity to Connect

Your key stakeholders need the DMO to help them to bridge the competitive gap with digital programs they can participate in cooperatively to begin their transformation in achievable stages. The brilliance behind a digitized interactive trail, scavenger hunt, and passport program shepherded by the DMO is that it marries a tried-and-true tactic to curate an experience with advanced digital trends to capture the visitor’s time and attention while in-market. By providing unique value with check-ins, rewards, badges, and deals – all digitally delivered – all players cooperatively produce the program, putting in place shared infrastructure to shorten the runway to execute a new idea and building community buy-in.

The opportunity is real and growing – 65% of Next-Gen Travelers use digital content to plan their trip, and prefer travel tools that allow them for spontaneity in decision making. (Think With Google, Next Gen Travel Trends) As we know travelers are valuing flexibility in travel planning, safety, and high-quality experiences – programs like digital trails that allow Next-Gen Travelers to connect with hidden value and experiences in your destination are invaluable to both your new customer and your community.

Connecting The Dots

Providing unique value to your visitors is your best path to incentivize visitor data generation and opting-in to your owned channels. Customers want flexible self-service solutions, you want to leverage your investments. A key option with omnichannel platforms like Omni Platform is connecting integration to easily extend digital trails, passports, deals and ensure solutions like Bandwango can be distributed across all channels and devices. Some examples below can help you envision a strategy to automate, engage and connect new channels to help visitors get the most out of their in-destination experience. 

Salt Lake City, has extended interactive kiosks and digital signage in their airport, convention center and visitor center, originally built to provide on-demand visitor information, they decided to dedicate units to the promotion of their Bandwango trails to increase exposure and drive revenue.  This includes digital ads to drive awareness with easy tools for interactive and mobile pass conversions, including email and text sharing to any device.

Visit Bellevue launched a Progressive web app built by True Omni integrating to their Bandwango Bellevue Craft Beer Pass, driving new revenue opportunities and adding advanced features to help connect with visitors. This included chatbot integration, listings and events, and notifications creating destination tools that represent the entire destination. As well, launching in 2022, an interactive kiosk strategy to increase mobile exchanges and new ways to educate and engage visitors in high-traffic areas. Built to advance new revenue strategies and help stakeholders and visitors connect in the new digital economy. 

At True Omni we build solutions to extend the brand, continue the conversation and provide a connecting omnichannel experience. If your organization is looking at new ways to connect visitor experience and build revenue channels and data, we would love to talk with you.  Call us at 833-300-6664 or email us at info@trueomni.com if you would like a demo on how to leverage our platform and your existing technology solutions.

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