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 miles blog

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Technology, Tourism, Trends

Highlights from the Destinations International Convention 2017

It was the 103rd annual convention of the organization, which is the world’s leading industry body representing DMOs including CVBs, state and regional tourism organizations and national tourism offices. The convention, however, is the first for the organization under its new name and branding: Destinations International (formerly Destination Marketing Association International or DMAI). 

As the official marketing agency of Destinations International, Miles Partnership worked closely with the organization on their new branding, which stemmed from a range of research, creative review and testing, and international benchmarking, followed by the refinement and implementation of the final brand. 

The convention was also only the third in the long history of Destinations International Conventions to move outside the U.S. – to the eclectic, innovative event capital of Canada: Montreal. Home to Cirque du Soleil, the

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Print/Publishing, Research

The Value of Print

View or download “The Value of Print” white paper 

For more than 100 years, print was the foundation of destination marketing. The Official Visitor Guide is almost as old as DMOs, which trace their origins back to the earliest convention and meetings bureaus set up in the late 1800s. Visitor guides published by cities, states and countries became a staple of visitor planning in the years after World War II — marketed via print or television advertising and a toll-free number available for consumers to order the guide. Orders for visitor guides became a major metric against which DMOs measured success in their marketing and campaign activity. Here at Miles, our origins as travel marketing experts go back 60-plus years. In the early decades of our company, print formed the primary way in which destinations presented and delivered travel information and content to prospective visitors.  

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Travel

Destinations Add Their Hidden Gems to Atlas Obscura

Featured in the Global All-Stars session at the Destinations International Annual Convention 2017 was Dylan Thuras, co-founder of Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura is a widely popular website, book and tour company that connects travelers with the “hidden gems” and out-of-the-way locations in destinations across the world. From the forgotten historic ruins to hidden works of art and thriving local bars hidden down back streets, Atlas Obscura celebrates the special, quirky and largely unknown attractions and activities of destinations. 

In conjunction with Atlas Obscura, Miles held a competition around Dylan’s presentation at the Destinations International Annual Convention. More than 60 destinations submitted their own hidden gems sourced from their locals, visitors and staff. Dylan and his team at Atlas Obscura assessed all entries to rank their uniqueness, interest and obscurity – coming up with five finalists, a winner and a wider list of runners up. All of the finalists will be listed on Atlas Obscura and the winner will be highlighted as the place of the day. All of the

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Tourism, Trends

The End of Tourism?

Copenhagen’s new destination strategy declares “The End of Tourism As We Know it.” Colorado’s iconic Hanging Lake goes viral on social media — creating a surge in visitor numbers, parking chaos, congestion and threatening water quality. Bloomberg News describes New Zealand tourism with a headline; “Too Many People Are Going to New Zealand. And That’s a Problem,” noting the country’s visitor boom has “put infrastructure [and the] environment under pressure.” The Head of Marketing for Amsterdam CVB, Frans van der Avert, notes, “We don’t spend even €1 in marketing Amsterdam any more… we don’t want to have more people. A lot of smaller historic cities in Europe are getting destroyed by visitors.” 

Three major causes are fueling this unprecedented growth in tourism: the burgeoning middle class in developing countries, a big expansion in airline connectivity (at historically low prices) and a shift by consumers aspiring

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Technology, Trends

Technology Trends and Takeaways

With my colleague, Andrea Wood, The State of the American Traveler – Technology Edition webinar on June 1, 2017, also featured a deeper dive into the trends and practical takeaways in four areas of innovation: VR/AR, artificial intelligence (AI), Google’s Quick Answers and Google’s evolution of destination and travel content. 

In this blog we summarize the first two technologies we covered – and in a future blog will cover Google’s innovation in depth.  

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality 

Trends: Innovation in VR and AR continues apace with recent major launches in VR from Facebook – the social empowered Facebook Spaces, the immersive properties of VR “Room Scaling” (supported now by several headsets) plus the new Google Daydream VR platform (offering improved quality vs. the Google Cardboard at a still reasonable rate) and

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Research, Technology

Technology Moves to Center Stage

Download The State of the American Traveler – Technology Edition research report

New technology has always been part of travel – from the convenience of the automobile, to the wonders of flight and the global reach of the Internet. 

In 2017, technology made another step change to move even further into the center of how travelers inspire, plan, book and share their travel experiences. 

Technology Edition – The State of the American Traveler 

The second annual Technology Edition of The State of the American Traveler surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. leisure travelers on their perception, use and ratings of technology in travel. This edition of The State of the American Traveler marked a decade of Miles’ support of this quarterly research conducted by Destination Analysts

The June 1, 2017, webinar on the new Technology Edition highlighted a wide range of insights on how U.S. travelers

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Content Director
Marketing, Trends

5 Takeaways from the Email Evolution Conference

I recently attended the Email Evolution Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference brought together hundreds of experts in all aspects of email marketing — from content development to deliverability to SPAM compliance and more. Together, we explored the complexities of people-based marketing, the consequences of a bad email capture form, and the joys of marching in a traditional New Orleans second line parade. Needless to say, we covered it all. 

Below, five key takeaways from the experts in email. 

1. Deliverability is Key

It doesn’t matter what you have to say, if you’re not even able to say it. Deliverability can make or break your email strategy. According to The Relevancy Group, nearly 52 million email messages marketers send annually never even reach the inbox. Issues with HTML coding, photo and text links, domain and IP reputation and more can all impact your deliverability. Make sure to consistently check your bounce rate, open rate and reputation data to prevent deliverability issues.

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Interactive Content Director
SEO, Trends

How to Optimize Your Site for Voice Search

“What does the fox say?”

“What is zero divided by zero?”

“Is winter coming?”

For years, Apple users have been asking Siri to answer all sorts of questions, some not quite as innocent as the ones above. And for years, Siri has been delivering clever answers – but she’s also been learning.

Machine learning is a part of artificial intelligence (AI), and it’s how technologies like Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana are getting better and better at providing quality answers. Voice assistants don’t work alone, though; it’s up to us to make sure our sites are giving them the content to respond to voice searches.

For the most part, voice searches return similar – if not identical – results as typed queries. Users are still taken to a search engine results page, with a couple of possible exceptions. (As an example, if someone asks for directions on a mobile device, he may be taken to the device’s mapping app instead.)

If you’re already using SEO best practices and your site is showing up in results for typed queries, you’re in good shape. But there are steps you can take to boost

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