Friday, April 6, 2012

Destination Marketing

Spring is well under way and summer vacations will be here before you know it. The economy seems to be steadily improving and we are all a bit more comfortable spending again. We ready to venture out, but how far are we really willing to travel?

Costs for international flights have sky-rocketed this year, due to many factors. It is becoming increasingly more expensive to travel abroad, while domestic flights haven’t been impacted as dramatically. Most experts agree that Americans are going to vacation closer to home this year, and take 3-5 shorter ‘leisure’ trips (long weekends) instead of traditional one- or two-week vacations. According to TripAdvisor, the top three types of trips that will be popular this year are beach trips, cultural trips (museums & historic sites), and road trips. Being lucky enough to live in the Hudson Valley, we can reach all these destinations by car in just a few hours!

Destination marketing is quite simple. Discover what makes your area unique, promote the unusual attractions, and make it easy for travelers to visit by providing easy access to great food, clean lodging, and several travel options. The more your destination has to offer, the more likely visitors will feel connected to the area and want to return. All advertising should encourage vacationers to stay longer and visit often.
Where are people looking to find local getaways? Most people are looking online these days, but traditional media is still an important factor in driving online traffic, so please don’t dismiss good old print ads, radio, and tv.

Your website should include a calendar of events, videos, newsletters, online booking forms, downloadable maps, downloadable coupons or special offers, etc. People want fast and simple. If your tourism website can connect hotel stay, restaurant reservation, attraction tickets, and everything else people need on a vacation, people will feel more relaxed once they get there.

In addition to your website there is social media, which is a must — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogs … and let’s not forget Mobile Apps! Forty four percent of travelers plan on using their smart phones, tablets, and Internet connected devices as a travel resource during trips this year, so make sure you are up to speed on marketing through these new technologies.

We look forward to hearing about your travels this year, and what means you used to make your travel decisions. Please visit our Facebook to share any photos or travel tips.

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