In our last blog post we talked about the challenge of controlling your region’s message in today’s ever-connected world with a population of travelers that are less and less likely likely to plan ahead – but it’s not as easy just controlling the message. When it comes to your region, you want to tell a story and leave each visitor with a true idea of who you are and what your region has to offer. That doesn’t just come down to brochures and business listings but to creating a comprehensive story for their experience and the key to a good experience is flawless engagement while in-destination.
Offer Comfort & Consistency
We know that travel is often about trying new experiences and new places but it can also bring stress. Visitors are looking for consistency when they search for information and unfortunately, they’re often left wanting in this department. Whether it’s because we’ve built visitor centers at different times, they can’t find the information they want, or not every venue is on the same page, visitors often can’t find the information they want or aren’t getting a comprehensive, consistent experience throughout their entire visit to a particular area. Offering them one experience can greatly improve the comfort they feel when searching for information or for their next attraction, restaurant, etc. The experience helps tell the story of the region.
Utilize Your Partners
As the DMO, you are the voice of the region but you’re also the most well connected asset the region has to offer. It only makes sense to utilize the many relationships that you’ve cultivated through your area to extend the story of the region and to help your visitors feel at home while in-destination. Rather than keep your information to your visitor centers and your locations why not extend the network to your partners? Expand your idea of your network by utilizing your partners to offer additional in-destination engagement opportunities to visitors and you’ll also ensure that visitors are getting comprehensive information wherever they might travel in-region.
Additionally, partners will feel more invested in your region and will be part of the story you have to tell.
Share the Unexpected
As travelers, we’re often on the hunt for the new and the unexpected. As DMOs, we want to make sure our visitors leave our region happy and ready to return. Finding the unexpected or the attraction that is off the beaten path can take extra work but offering your visitors a readily-available, comprehensive resource for in-destination information can help travelers to find the hidden gems that your region has to offer. Surface the restaurants a few blocks off Main Street or the Museum that’s only open in the mornings; make sure that they have a chance to attend your summer concerts and don’t miss the Sunday markets in the park. Travelers won’t tell the story of your region based on the chain restaurants – help them uncover your favorite hidden gem.
While you may be the loudest proponent of your region, it’s unlikely that you can effectively promote your region alone. The strength of your area is in the all that it has to offer and the story it has to tell and by engaging visitors while they are in-destination you have a chance to tell them that story. Utilize your special skills – your partners and your special knowledge – to make sure they hear your region’s story and take it home with them!
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