Latest posts by Sara Tilly (see all)
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- The Most Popular Tourism Podcasts You Should Be Listening To - July 4, 2018
In this week’s blog post, we discuss tips for DMOs.
We also focus our attention on how to modernize destination marketing organizations and what they can offer today’s travelers with the help of booking engines.
Destination Marketing Organization (DMOs) are inbound organizations whose main role is to promote a certain destination—whether it’s a town, city, region, or country.
DMOs focus on marketing to raise awareness about their destination to increase the number of visitors.
How do DMOs promote a destination?
Via different online and offline marketing tactics at welcome centers, and info points.
DMOs are also in charge of giving information to tourists before they visit and while they are visiting a destination. This means creating and handing out brochures and pamphlets and offering various activities visitors can enjoy.
Over the last few years people have started raising questions why are DMOs still in existence.
What’s their purpose when travelers can find everything online by themselves?
Today, DMOs are much more than just tourist info points.
To manage a DMO, you have to adapt the business to the latest standards, modernize, and keep up with the latest digital trends.
Tourists are looking for relevant information about a certain destination they are planning to visit. And no, they will most likely no longer physically go to the info center and ask for information—tourists will try to find everything they need online from the comfort of their home.
Of course, you still have old-fashioned travelers who will rather take a stroll to the nearest DMO and ask for information in person rather than having to spend hours on end combing the Internet. But a majority of travelers feel very comfortable with doing their research online before booking a trip.
The job of DMOs is that they provide all the necessary information for the destination they are promoting.
Let’s see how to overcome the most common DMO website challenges with these 7 tips for DMOs!
Tips for DMOs To Promote Their Destination In 2018
Create a Website
In this digital day and age, DMO must have a working and optimized website.
If you’re not online, it’s like you don’t exist.
It’s not 1998 anymore and only a few people will actually stop by your DMO office and ask for suggestions which sight to visit or tour to book.
Your destination is your hero. Use your website to show and tell people why they should visit.
There’s also a vast arena of online marketplaces like TripAdvisor, Viator, and GetYourGuide that offer online travel and booking services that range from accommodation, trips, tours, activities to restaurants.
In order to keep up with those online marketplaces and tour operators, you need to grow your online presence. And hopefully, these tips for DMOs will get you on the right track.
Tour operators, online marketplaces are not necessarily working against each other.
It’s a big arena, and what you have to know is that it’s in everyone’s interest that people visit your destination. So why not make partnerships instead of competing in a dead-end race?
Segment Your DMO Website
Include all relevant and reliable information about a destination on your website.
Your first goal is to get people interested in visiting your destination.
Then, draw them into the story, show travelers why they should stay longer and experience the time of their life.
if you have a website Visit _____ (insert your destination), you want to make sure you do the following:
- Show them what makes your destination interesting and unique.
- Use rich visual content to promote sights and famous landmarks.
- Write about what people can experience and see while they are visiting.
- List out all activities and offer from your destination.
- Implement a “book online button” so travelers can book tours, activities, restaurants, and accommodation right away.
- Give exposure to the attractions you think are the most noteworthy.
- Always keep your Events and Calendar section updated with the latest happenings.
- Give out information how to contact you if they have any questions.
- Link your social media accounts and display them on your homepage.
Use Rich Visual Content to Promote Your Destination
Native video content is becoming increasingly popular.
Create Facebook videos and post them on your Facebook page
Facebook prioritizes video content over images. Videos posted on Facebook should be short, informative and fun. The optimal length should be anywhere between 30 and 60 seconds.
It’s not necessary to include the sound—most people watch these videos on their mobile phones with their sound muted anyway.
Use text captions!
Create Instagram videos
They, as well, have to be short, 30 seconds maximum.
Note: have the sound on and pick a nice song to go with the video content.
Post quality photos on your website
This doesn’t mean that you get to use stock photos.
Contact a professional photographer from your destination and make a business proposal in change for his/her photos to be posted on your DMO’s website.
Use the Latest Gadgets to Enhance Your Marketing Efforts
I’ve already mentioned DMOs need to keep up the latest tech trends. Here are a few ideas:
- 360-degree videos
- Virtual reality
- Augmented reality
- Aerial drone videos
If your budget allows it, these are some of the most popular ways on how to create mesmerizing visual images to promote your destination.
- Advantages of Virtual Reality in the Travel Industry: How to Integrate VR in Your Tours and Activities
Attract Travelers to Follow You on Social Media Platforms
Again, it’s all about relevant and quality tourist information, and of course, nurturing your relationship with potential visitors.
People spend a lot of their time browsing social media. Especially when they are planning a trip and researching which destinations to visit. Serve them the right content and let them see why they should visit your city or country.
Let your content speak for you and make people share your posts with their friends and family.
Invest in Advertising
Apart from having a good website and being active on social media, DMOs have to invest in online and offline advertising.
In the good old days, it used to be printing flyers and brochures.
Five years ago, everyone started focusing on content marketing. Eventually, the market got saturated with numerous blogs and articles. The human mind can’t consume it all anymore.
Now, we are in the era of advertising. Online advertising has a key role to play in driving online visibility and building awareness.
And these online advertising tools should not be ignored, however, for best results, you need to use multiple channels to reach your audience.
If you want to reach even more people and land a new, low saturated sweet spot, feature your destination in print magazines, subway ads, and on television.
Make Events and Tours on Your Destination Website Bookable
You need to make sure that travelers don’t just see your offers and get the basic information, but rather that they can book right away if they are drawn to your destination.
Remember, you don’t just want to inform people how your destination is awesome.
You want them to visit, stay longer and spend money.
How can you do that without a booking engine?
Having a booking system that works both online and offline, can help you skyrocket your destination’s promotional effectiveness.
Now combine that with business opportunities when working with small tour operators, restaurants, and local tour guides in your destination—what you get is a well-organized and planned out eventful stay which results in satisfied customers and good reviews.
Here’s the catch:
Running a successful DMO without joining forces with tour operators and activity providers, is a nearly impossible, and anyone who tells you otherwise is in for a surprise.
DMOs are intended to be small marketplaces. This means you have to work with local tour operators and small travel agencies to successfully market and sell your destination.
By listing all events and tours on your DMO website, you enhance what your destination has to offer.
We, at Orioly, have come up with a booking engine that helps you manage both online and offline bookings. By implementing the Orioly application, you will get to see all available tours and activities from your partners in your destination.
Let’s say some travelers visit your destination’s website:
They are looking for interesting things to do, visit events, attractions, and tours they can sign up for. Luckily, you have all those offers listed and can present it to them with a click of a button.
Then instead of leaving your site when they find the activity they fancy, they can book right away with you and you get a commission.
More about Orioly
Orioly is a booking system for tour operators and activity providers. However, it’s also a tool that can help your DMO. It helps you modernize the way you promote your destination and what it has to offer.
If you are interested in implementing Orioly in your DMO or finding out more information on how the Orioly app can help you manage your destination’s offers on your website—contact us and we’ll be more than happy to explain everything in detail along with a demo presentation.