It is general knowledge that digital technology has changed how we connect with visitors, creating a 24/7 relationship. There is no doubt that technology and travel is the perfect combination. This joint force also plays a crucial role in the way we travel: from the destination we choose to what we do once we’re there.
Technology allows Destination Marketers to connect with potential visitors on a level that far exceeded any marketers’ expectations as little as five years ago. For the better? Yes. However, the challenge for Destination Marketers starts at a very fundamental level—the website.
Did you know: To please Google, it’s recommended that your site be updated regularly; every day or at least two to three times a week. Search engines may view a static website without updates of any kind as a “dead” entity – with no life and nothing new to offer. So will your potential travelers.
We understand the importance of a great design and structure of a website. However, considering the need for fresh content, the emerging trend of the shift from a CMS that delivers and manages static content to a DXP – a Digital Experience Platform that daily delivers content updates through key APIs such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram UGC. A DXP solves the content challenges on many levels.
Visitors head to your website to learn more about individual points of interest, such as restaurants, attractions, and accommodations, – hours, addresses… are they open right now, what are the reviews? DMOs of all sizes struggle to keep up with ongoing changes in local listings. To protect the integrity of your site and your brand, offering accurate information is essential. A DXP allows you to stay ahead of the game and better serve your visitors and community. Save time and eliminate your dependency on your partners to update their content.
Don’t just talk about the key points of interest – suggest a technology-driven travel tool that will demonstrate what makes your destination unique and worth visiting. Offer mobile-friendly and GPS-enabled suggested itineraries of ‘things to do and see’ in your area based on visitor interests. A Word document with long descriptions on what to do on day one or two is perhaps helpful for your SEO, but it is not inspiring or engaging the audiences you are trying to influence.
Gaston County Tourism, NC: This forward-thinking marketing team uses technology to promote their outdoor-related experiences with suggested GPS-enabled itineraries. These itineraries highlight their tourism assets and help grow their market share.
Optional: Give groups or the independent visitor the option to create a custom itinerary with a click of a button. Cool technology allows the user to edit and reorganize their trip with a simple drag-and-drop feature.
Events are among the top five (if not the #1) most visited page of any destination website. Researching events is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Solution? Software that automates the process by aggregating events from sources such as Facebook will significantly increase the number of events featured on your site and promote to your target audiences. Visitors can use the events page to explore fun daily events and plan accordingly. Travelers will stay longer and come back often, thereby increasing hotel occupancy.
Instagram User-Generated Content is here to stay. Individuals use it to look for evidence of a worthwhile destination. As digital agency Nomadic notes, many Instagram users are “millennials who consider it vital to be seen as a ‘traveler’ rather than a ‘tourist.’ For [them], their trip must be an experience worth sharing.” Instagram helps tell your destination story beyond your DMO-branded message. Provide visitors to your website with the power of third-party visual experiences. For more insight, see our blog on leverage the travel decision micro-moments.
Meet the demands and expectations of your visitors – wherever they are. Complement and support your brick-and-mortar Visitors or Welcome Centers to include online access to suggested itineraries, events, digital travel guides, Youtube videos, a complete FAQ section, and more. In recognizing the need to enhance the visitor services and addressing the reluctance of some individuals to take advantage of personal visitor services, New Smyrna Beach, FL, has launched a revolutionary Virtual Visitor Center that is connecting with destination visitors on the go!
Schedule a free digital consultation with ITI Digital to review technology solutions, automated, and dynamic content strategies, and travel tools. Prior to the call, we will send you a short survey that will allow us to understand your priorities and goals. This survey will enable us to create a customized digital solution to accomplish your goals.
We will give you feedback on your website during the call, including suggestions that will improve your SEO. We will review new technology that will engage your target audiences, influence travel to your destination, and help your community grow through tourism development.