Official Destination Websites and Visitor Guides reach and engage with a highly engaged audience. Research shows these readers and online users are among the most qualified audience in the travel industry. They have a high likelihood of traveling to the destination and use these resources to make booking decisions. This audience is one of the most valuable assets of a DMO and of tremendous appeal to industry partners. Creating opportunities to reach this highly qualified audience is a win-win opportunity: generating revenue and additional content for the DMO, offering a high-quality advertising opportunity for the industry and creating engaged leads and new visitors and guests.
Reoccurring and independent third-party research studies have highlighted the unrivalled quality of the audience offered by destination visitor guides, websites, email programs and more. DMOs typically invest in brand campaigns, rich destination content (i.e.: editorial, images, video) and visiting media programs that generate awareness and desire for a destination among potential travelers. This high degree of awareness, interest and intent of consumers ordering a visitor guide, visiting a website or subscribing to an email represents a qualified audience likely without a peer in tourism marketing.
Three key results from a major 2016 study illustrate this. 13 CVB websites and their influence on travel to their destinations were monitored and measured over a full year by Destination Analysts with the support of DMA West and Miles. This was the largest multi-destination website conversion study ever conducted and surveyed more than 370,000 online users.
On average, 59% of the CVB website online users had already decided to visit the destination and were using the website to decide on key travel decisions such as what to do, where to eat, etc.
63% of DMO website users who were undecided and visited the destination reported some level of influence from the website in their decision
80% and 43% of users who ended up visiting the destination indicated that the DMO website was “influential” in their decisions on the specific activities/attractions they did or places they eat respectively.
Such general findings have been affirmed by a wide range of independent research studies by multiple, leading research companies. DMO visitor guide readers, website users and email subscribers are engaged, interested and likely to visit, indicating they are a high quality audience that can be readily converted by industry partners investing in advertising, sponsored content or other coop programs. Such advertising and sponsorship programs provide a true win–win, generating revenue for the DMO to help fund their marketing efforts but also allowing industry partners to reach an unrivalled, highly qualified audience that should generate awareness, interest and actual visitation to their businesses.
For additional content on Industry Participation and Coop Programs, check out the other blogs in the series: