One of the most popular methods for sharing data for us techie folks over the last several years is via an Application Programming Interface (API). Using Google Analytics on your site? There’s an API for that. Taking YouTube videos and using a branded player in your video gallery? There’s an API for that, too. Integration with third-party APIs is commonplace in website development these days. For destinations, having one’s own API should now be a marketing strategy. Why?
An API gives a DMO a scalable solution to share the investment it has made in destination content, photography and videography, and its business listings database by allowing the DMO to distribute that content where its visitors are. The API can be leveraged to form partnerships with media outlets, industry vendors, and other unique sources to push its marketing content via myriad channels. It becomes a value-added benefit to industry participation with the DMO when it can say its viewership expands beyond just its published product lines. The days of exporting spreadsheets of listings, zip files of photography and sharing article copy in Word documents from one vendor to another should be history. Embracing the power of the API means creating limitless accessibility to a locale’s content. Here at Miles we practice what we preach: we build the DMO’s API and use it to power the client’s industry-facing websites, mobile sites and mobile applications; then, we share it with booking and kiosk vendors and various CRM suppliers. The data ecosystem shaped based on an available API extends the reach of a DMO’s brand and reinforces its position as a trusted source for that destination.