The latest research from The State of the American Traveler, Destinations Edition, showed that Americans want to travel and are ready to travel again. People are more motivated to travel and are reprioritizing travel and different experiences.
Having content that highlights these in a destination can help appeal to audiences looking for something they might not have before, and below are a few examples of destinations and organizations doing that already.
Traveling to Visit Families and Friends
One of the top priorities right now for people traveling is to spend time with families and loved ones. Destin Fort Walton Beach curated a hub on their site called “Little Adventures,” where they offer, as they say, bite-sized adventures for the whole family. The page offers the ability to filter by ages or trip length so families can personalize the content to their specific family needs. Little Adventures highlights everything from dolphin excursions to fishing off the Island Pier for families to plan out activities and adventures for everyone to enjoy, and it includes all the details they need to know for their excursions.
Over the last year, searches for “dog friendly hotels” increased by 50%. People want to travel and for some, they want to bring their pets along, too. Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach already offered pet-friendly rooms and even a “Lucky Dog Menu,” but they saw these shifts as an opportunity to do more to reach this growing audience and developed a pet-friendly campaign.
New pet-friendly content includes an optimized landing page with engaging content, videos, and a pet travel FAQ. This content was deployed through paid and organic social posts, helping to spread the word while also increasing social engagement by encouraging guests to share their pups pictures. To date, site entrances through the pet-friendly accommodations page increased by 307%, making it one of the most valuable site pages to draw new visitors in, and Sirata is up 137% in online revenue.
New Destinations and New Experiences
Following experiences with family and loved ones, another priority for travelers is going someplace new, whether that’s venturing to a destination you’ve never been to before or checking out off-the-beaten path places in familiar travel spots.
Our team came across the website for Chania Tourism Bureau, a city on the Northeast side of the Greek island of Crete, and while most of us hadn’t heard of this specific city before, we all definitely know about it now and it’s on our must-visit lists. The site’s content, both visual and written, is full of personality and does a great job illustrating the beauty, history, stories and experiences of the destination.
Beyond travelers visiting a brand new place, or attracting new visitors to your destination, there’s an opportunity to reach repeat visitors with new experiences they might not have had before.
While the St. Pete/Clearwater area is known for its beautiful beaches, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater wanted to establish more of an awareness around the destination’s Arts and Culture scene.
By partnering with Atlas Obscura, they were able to add permanent entries into the Atlas, create a custom-curated list of the arts scene in the area, sponsor social posts and have ad on the Atlas Obscura podcast.wareness around the destination’s Arts and Culture scene.
This helped them to not only reach repeat visitors and help them make a connection between the destination and the arts, but it also gave VSPC a platform to reach Atlas Obscura’s broader audience who are attracted to cultural travel and unique offerings.
NYC and Company also recently launched the “Get Local NYC” campaign, aimed at encouraging visitors to explore all of New York City and its five boroughs and support the small businesses and local experiences within each. Each borough has a landing page full of ideas - restaurants, attractions, hotels, tours. The campaign wants visitors to see the boroughs like a New Yorker, and they created these “Get Local NYC” ads that will also start appearing digitally in regional and national markets in addition to all of the online content they have available and planned.
Nature and Outdoor Experiences
Another one of the top ranked priority experiences that U.S. travelers identified is enjoying nature and the great outdoors, and natural areas have seen a definite spike in visitation over the last two years.
A great example of showcasing outdoor content is the original series, "Venturing Out: Park2Park", produced by Odyssey Studios at Miles. The series encourages people to venture out and promotes the accessibility and ease at which people can explore the outdoors. The episodes feature different destinations including Grand Junction, Colorado, Wilmington, Delaware, Asheville, North Carolina, El Paso, Texas and Tucson, Arizona, and the different outdoor adventures and one-of-a-kind experiences that can be had at each.
Season 1 had unprecedented results: more than 39.6 million episode views (and counting) across the 3 distribution platforms and more than 5.3 million digital and social impressions, and now season two is underway and we’re excited to see what’s in store for the series next.
(Season 1 is available now on Places.Travel.)
Travel Manitoba fully embraces the subzero climate and highlights the cold weather activities of their destination. The Winter Explorer Guide is full of outdoor experiences perfectly catered for the destination’s average winter temperature of -12 degrees Celsius. A DMO that is active on TikTok, they shared this breathtaking video featuring a Northern Lights experience that has been seen nearly 16 thousand times, and viewers comments range from being in awe of the beauty, adding it to the destination bucket list, and for others, reminiscing about the last time they saw the Northern Lights.
Tapping into Travelers’ Emotions
People travel and consume travel content to be inspired to travel and feel a certain way when they do.
Explore Boone is one destination that doubled down on the emotional side of travel by focusing their campaign messaging around something that was uniquely theirs, the ability to “Inspire Awe”. The campaign’s creative captured individuals being in awe of Boone’s many inspiring landscapes.
Through digital display ads, native ads, social media and out-of-home placements, Boone was able to develop and deploy award-winning content that not only showed a strong brand presence in the marketplace, but it helped spark Boone’s most successful ski season in years.
Finally, Chattanooga is another destination whose content aims to make you feel a certain way. Chattanooga refuses to let you feel like a tourist. The powerful sense of community is at the heart of Visit Chattanooga’s brand, and its “One of Us” campaign wants you to feel and experience the city like a local. The campaign’s imagery shows the welcoming nature of the destination by reflecting the city’s diversity in a light-hearted, inspiring way.
>> For more from The State of the American Traveler, Destinations Edition, check out the webinar recording and additional resources.