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 miles blog

Our team has lots of great ideas - and we're willing to share
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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Account Executive
Travel

The Exotic, Remote Southern Hemisphere USA

It’s the type of place where going out for lunch might mean grabbing a spear gun to go hunt for reef fish. A place where a walk to the beach may put you in a line behind a village chief, who clears the path with his machete. It’s home of the USA’s only south-of-the-equator national park, a tropical paradise where magical ocean blues and steamy jungle greens collide.

Most people know American Samoa is “somewhere down there” when pointing to its approximate location on a globe or map. But few can actually pinpoint this collection of seven Polynesian islands. It has been a part of the USA before Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska and Hawaii became states. The territorial capital and main port of Pago Pago is fun to say and surprisingly easy to reach, just a five-hour flight from Honolulu. The independent country of Samoa is just 60 miles but 24 hours away, as the international date line runs right between the islands.

This

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Account Director/Senior Content Director
print guide, Social Media

New 100% UGC State Travel Guide First Of Its Kind

When the professionals at Miles brainstorm new product concepts for our destination partners, we consider several factors before landing on the recommendations we ultimately present. The most up-to-date travel research, the latest marketing trends, our own forward-thinking ideas and – most importantly – our client’s overall goals all play a critical role in this process. 

And when all of those planets align, the results are pretty stellar. That’s exactly what happened when Miles recently published a groundbreaking new state travel guide for Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.

The West Virginia Division of Tourism had recently launched a new branding campaign focusing on “Real” experiences and people. Their goal for the Official State Travel Guide was to have a print fulfillment piece that also helped support this “Real” theme. We jumped into action by first diving into findings of the most recent “State of the American Traveler” research conducted by Destination Analysts. During that

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Vice President of Marketing
Marketing

Three Steps to Building an Effective Onsite Personalization Strategy

According to Nielson, “74% of customers are frustrated that web content doesn’t map to their interest.” With this in mind, what is your organization doing now to create more meaningful experiences for your visitors online?

Destinations across the globe are in various stages of maturity when it comes to personalization, but regardless of whether you are a first adopter or are just coming on board with personalization, there are some important foundational steps you’ll want to include in your strategic plan. 

Step 1: Conduct Research and Identify Visitor Segments

Identifying visitor segments and understanding what those visitors are looking for in their online experience will help you map the customer journey and identify the types of content you’ll need to drive better engagement and higher conversions. From our experience, we suggest you start simple and expand your segments over time; deeper segmentation will be possible once you accumulate more data on your visitors. 

This is also the right time to set short- and long-term goals for your new personalized content. Define the outcomes you expect and

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