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Our team has lots of great ideas - and we're willing to share
In this era of “fake news” (how is that even a thing?) it’s now more important than ever for destinations to ensure the information they’re sharing with potential visitors is as accurate as possible. Sure, businesses close and phone numbers change – consumers understand that. But nothing will damage your credibility faster than publishing “official” travel guides and websites riddled with untrustworthy information.
And we’re not talking about easy-to-spot problems like misspelled words or misplaced commas, but actual information that is flat-out wrong. You’d be surprised how often we see it, which is why content at Miles goes through a rigorous, independent fact-checking process even after it has been approved by our teams, our clients and all other parties involved.
How rigorous? Take this seemingly simple paragraph, for instance …
“Frenchy’s, located on Clearwater Beach, serves a grouper sandwich that’s been voted “Best of the Bay” by the area weekly, Creative Loafing. Order your sandwich fried, grilled or blackened (my personal favorite) and try to get a seat outside for a sunset view over the Gulf of Mexico.”
Last year, based on hearing from so many DMOs that organic search traffic to their websites was struggling year over year, Miles conducted a review of 26 destinations’ website traffic data. Though a limited sample size, the results indicated that there has been a downward trend in growth of organic website traffic since 2014.
Since then, we continue to hear a mix of success stories and concerns surrounding organic search traffic. Since we love a good mystery, we expanded last year’s review to include 36 destinations and added full data from 2016 and the first six months of 2017.
While I wish that the results provided an “ah-ha” moment to share with you – a clear trend or a solid answer – the data came out like this:
Wow, what a mess! An organic traffic roller coaster of sorts. Some sites
Complex. Fragmented. Comprehensive. These are just some of the adjectives that can be used to describe how travelers plan their trips in 2017. Here at Miles, we have coined the term “Hyper Informed” to describe the travel media landscape and the sources of information that travelers now access.
At Miles, we have been monitoring the media use and travel planning behaviors of travelers for more than 10 years with our research partner Destination Analysts. Their State of the American Traveler quarterly survey of U.S. leisure travelers has consistently tracked a rise in the range and complexity of media that travelers are accessing. This has a created a Hyper-Informed Traveler: More visitors are using more sources of information than ever before in the history of our industry.
Print usage by U.S. travelers remains at near record levels in 2017 (see our recent white paper, “The Value of Print”), but there has been a bewildering explosion in the types of digital media that travelers are accessing. Usage of all
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