The Travel Industry - Three Reasons We Are Thankful.

As travel industry professionals we have the great opportunity to promote the best that our communities have to offer, inspire travel, and be the champions of entrepreneurs who open new restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, and develop dynamic tourism products. All of these things make our little personal worlds a better place to live in and visit. It is true – we spread the love. 

It was difficult to limit our list to three, but here we go:

1. Technology and Innovation

“It is the best of times and the worst of times,” as Mr. Dickens pointed out so many years ago. In the best of times we can engage and connect with our audiences as never before. And in the worst of times—there are too many options and choices. What works and what doesn’t?! The answer is—there is no correct answer. It is trial and error. It is a big chess game wherein we keep moving the pieces around to see what works and what does not. We do this by measuring results and learning from our successes and mistakes. It takes passion, vision, consistency, and perseverance to be successful in the digital marketing world. Something each one of us already knows. But…that is part of the fun. To do better. To do more.

Tools You Can Use: (It’s free!)

- Content Creation. CANVA

Canva is a web-based design tool you can use to create unique images to share on your blogs, social networks, and more. You can use Canva to create unique images from scratch or to polish up photos that you already have on hand. One of the best features within the tool is the ability to create perfectly sized social media images using its templates.

- Analytics.

We cannot overstate the value of using and understanding Google Analytics. Take the time to understand the basics and it will prove to be one of your most valuable tools. Yes it has been around for 10 years (they just celebrated their 10th anniversary), but it keeps getting better. This goes under the header of: Too valuable to ignore.

Paid tools

- Social Media. #GetSocial Social Media is a dynamic user generated content management and publishing platform. A never-ending stream of content you can use. Engage with your visitors in real-time. The next generation of Visitors’ Centers. One platform. Manage your social campaigns, track hashtags, and engage. This is not a scheduling platform.

- Email Campaigns: Benchmark Email

Create and send beautiful emails. Easy drag and drop with live editing. Templates for any occasion. Whether your email is being read on a desktop, tablet or smartphone, your email will always look its best. Emails dressed to impress. Track, report, and improve. It couldn’t be easier.

2. Smart Visitors

We love and appreciate smart visitors who do their research ahead of time, who know what they like or don’t like. We like those who plan ahead. Visitors who love to explore and discover, and are always ready to do something new. These visitors challenge us as marketers to work with our industry partners to create innovative tourism products and offer new ideas. They expect us to know and understand who they are, and we, therefore, work harder and smarter to create engaging content and reach out to them on digital platforms that they are comfortable with and enjoy. They give us the opportunity to tell our story and help encourage them to enjoy experiences and make memories that last a lifetime. They make us better and more creative marketers. For this, we are quite grateful.

3. Colleagues Who Inspire Us.

Professionals in the travel and tourism industry never seize to amaze us with their creativity and the generosity in which they share ideas, experiences, and results. They are willing to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly if they think it will help someone. The common goal is understood: We as industry professionals want to create great experiences for the traveling public. In doing so, we contribute to the economic development of our communities.

Our shout out this month is to City of Aiken Tourism, SC. Supervisor Jenny Burghardt has launched a brand new beautiful and interactive website. This visually appealing site uses a video feed to draw the visitor’s attention and showcase their family-friendly destination with gorgeous scenes. Congratulations to Aiken on bringing the latest design trends to this project.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Here is our advice for this happy season and leading into Christmas: Dance like a wild person. Laugh out loud. Eat without guilt.