There are many places we will travel to during our lifetimes. Places that change our lives, that leave a mark, a lasting impact. Places where memories are made and reflected on for years. Places that are just outside our front door, or half-way across the world. Destination marketing is the art of transforming these places into desirable destinations.
What is considered a destination?
A destination can be anything from a hotel or resort to a restaurant or community. It might be a mall, church, museum or even an airport. Destinations are places that people travel to for a variety of experiences: culture, history, food, music, architecture, landscape, shopping, outdoor activities, to learn and more. Not only are destinations a physical place, but they are also spaces that evoke emotion, feelings and a sense of purpose.
Why is destination marketing more important than ever?
Travellers, more so than ever before, are increasingly sophisticated and seeking more than just a place to visit, a hotel to sleep in or a resort to stay in. The global pandemic of 2020 created a shift in the way travellers think about and plan future trips, creating a need for destinations to adjust how they communicate their value propositions to their audience.
With remote work becoming the norm, many travellers are thinking beyond weekend getaways and week-long resort vacations. They are putting more mileage on their bucket lists and considering not only what they can experience at a particular destination, but how that destination can accommodate their ability to work remotely.
Inability to travel during the pandemic has created a renewed sense of purpose. Travellers are putting more thought into where they want to go, what they want to experience and what they want to get out of that experience. Quality over quantity, for many people, will be a reality and while people will still travel, they will be travelling more intentionally and less often.
Local travel will rise as it remains easier, safer and often more sustainable. Looking forward, staying closer to home and becoming a tourist in your own city, province or state will become the norm. A newfound sense of pride in local destinations will fuel a renaissance of road trips, a renewed passion to support local and rediscover hidden (local) gems.
Today’s travellers are information-focused and will do upfront research for any trip they plan. While travel itself improves focus, energy and attention, planning a trip is just as effective. Destinations have to be able to emulate the feelings that travellers will get when they arrive at their destination just as effectively on their website or social media platforms.
While the act of travel has undoubtedly changed, the desire to travel has not and destinations, now more than ever before, must be able to communicate their story to their audience. A story that ignites excitement and imagination and turns those just looking, to booking.
Take action: Find out how you can take your destination to the top of your customers bucket list.