This story’s digest:

  • Travelers now have more time on their hands to plan the perfect vacation

  • Addressing travelers’ demands can become a challenge with visitor/welcome centers closures and reduced staff

  • A helpful online planning experience can push travel brands even further

According to data from Google Keyword Planner, searches for “virtual tour” increased 7x times—from 1,300 in February to almost 10,000 in March 2020, and the trend continues. This is big news for the tourism industry and especially destination marketers. DMOs should use this change as an opportunity to recalibrate and ready their business partners for the future.

People now have more time on their hands to plan for the perfect vacation, and this list put together by USA Today showcases the top five domestic and international destinations on travelers’ minds. How will your destination standout?

IBM observes, “As the world’s businesses begin to reopen, it’s time for us to rethink how we move forward. Today isn’t a restart. It’s a rethink”.

Reference: IBM + COVID-19 video.

Influencing Travel

For DMOs, it starts by taking advantage of new technology and introducing interactive experiences for visitors to connect with your brand from the comfort of their homes – something beyond just a video tour or 360 images. Forward-thinking software and technology companies that specialize in the tourism industry can deliver a digital product that will inspire travel to your destination. Now is the time to consider your options. It is a new challenging but exciting world for destination marketers. Reaching new audiences and building brand awareness and loyalty has taken on a new dimension.

How open are you to new ideas? How ready are you to lead your destination in this new era of travel and health concerns?

Visitor Services

Nothing can replace a friendly smile and a hospitable welcome from a Travel Ambassador at your Welcome or Visitor Center. But… how do you overcome the challenges of addressing the visitor’s safety needs, the reduction of staff, and, in many instances, limited operating hours or, worse, closure of a Visitor Center?

Introducing the Virtual Visitor Center. Developed with “mobile-first” as the center of the web-based services, visitors can access Google Places, Google Reviews, other businesses “nearby,” the business contact information, GPS-enabled directions, and more. Multiple content options and travel tools will allow the DMO to provide valuable visitor services and, very significantly, a safe and cost-effective alternative while enhancing the profile of the individual businesses of the community. 

The Future of Travel

As expected, COVID-19 only accelerated the shift to the way we research travel and how we travel. Destination marketers understand the importance of promoting their destination with content that is easy to find and navigate. Target audiences are technology savvy and expect and demand content that is interactive and relevant – particularly the coveted millennial market. Yep, we had to talk about them too. Here is why. The future is digital, the future is virtual, and while human interactions are currently paused, human experiences will not be.

Your Next Step

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.

Reserve Online Meeting

Why Now?

Covid-19 has turned everything around.  How we connect with the targeted audience and influencing travel to a  destination is paramount. New technology allows DMOs to explore and implement new strategies to engage visitors before they travel and while visiting this destination. Building awareness and loyalty have taken on a new dimension.

Create a Destination Experience

Our campaign includes articles, images, video, and travel tools – going beyond traditional Search Engine Marketing or Paid Media campaigns. The campaigns are designed to connect with the rational and emotional senses and give reasons to travel by highlighting the key tourism features of the destination by using technology and engaging.

Wise Travel = Safe Travel.

Our Virtual Visitors Center offers visitors suggested GPS enabled itineraries, automated and interactive content – Google Places, reviews, Daily Events allowing visitors the option of a safe and secure environment – their Mobile devices or computer!

Featured Product:
ITI Digital’s new Virtual Visitor Center.

Lead your organization into the new era of visitor services. Ready to talk? Reserve time with our team for a one-on-one conversation.

Reserve Online Meeting
  • Virtual Visitor Center Receives Rave Reviews!

    “ITI Digital’s Virtual Visitor Center has been a fantastic addition to our website, adding functionality and helpful tools for visitors while eliminating the burden of manually updating information and listings. All of our trip planning tools are seamlessly packaged in one easy to navigate location, and are completely sharable, allowing everyone involved in planning a trip to share information, ideas, and itineraries. The Places feed will replace all of our manually maintained partner listings, eliminating a mountain of work while enabling our partners to have complete control over the information displayed about their unique businesses. The ability to provide a better user experience while streamlining the work of the DMO staff made this a “must-have” for Florida’s Adventure Coast; we’re thrilled with the results and with our experience working with ITI.”

    Tammy J. Heon, Manager, Tourism Development

    Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville-Weeki Wachee