In the travel industry, the word sustainable is often reminiscent of the image of eco-resorts and carbon-neutral travel methods, for good reason.
Marketing organizations for large and small destinations are constantly working to attract travelers while working to protect the environment and combat climate change. Recently, Venice’s large cruise ships have been banned after a decade of protests over their safety and environmental impact.
Sustainability is certainly an industry goal, but true sustainability goes beyond environmental concerns. Destinations, regardless of size, need to build a sustainable business model that not only maintains the beauty of the destination, but also the ability of the destination to attract current and future travelers. And that requires a defined data-driven strategy.
Maximum impact with minimum cost
Budgets are tight and the pressure to offer reservations is high. Budgets have decreased and larger DMOs are doing more with less DMOs to compete with larger destinations with less money.
In fact, many DMOs around the world exist solely on public funding, with many restrictions on the acceptance of private investment.
To reveal traveler preferences and facilitate bookings, DMOs should use behavioral targeting rather than traditional approaches.
Some DMOs in the US market have created business models that rely on a mixture of both public and private funding, but many around the world are struggling to survive.
But there is hope. Digital tools and technology make collaborative campaigns more flexible and trackable, and DMOs can easily test, tune and optimize to drive bookings within budget.
Regardless of size, DMOs must be more creative in finding new sources of income to increase their future budgets. This includes catering to new travelers with updated messages. The travel industry has unique opportunities to bring people into contact with new cultures and ideas, celebrate diversity and connect people through common interests and experiences.
More than ever, travelers are looking for a business that fits their values. In other words, whether it’s eco-friendly tourism Gender and race equality, Brands need to communicate their efforts to achieve these values and sustainability goals. The technology and data to test this messaging is available and affordable for any budget DMO.
Data driven targeting
Effective targeting is essential for DMOs to drive travelers to book. According to Booking.com, 53% of travelers report that the pandemic is looking at its impact on the human environment and wants more sustainable travel in the future.
In addition, 34% of travelers want an immersive, authentic experience that allows them to travel like locals. For example, Contiki’s young demographics are increasingly interested in more sustainable and experiential travel and have been provided by tour operators for many years.
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To reveal traveler preferences and facilitate bookings, DMOs should use behavioral targeting rather than traditional approaches. This means following actions as well as personas. For example, DMOs should not just target all millennials. Instead, you need to target strategically to maximize reach, but not too narrow.
First-party and third-party data and technology enable DMOs to effectively target and deliver resonating personalized messaging. With the right data and technology, DMOs can learn behavioral preferences and track and optimize campaigns as preferences and conditions change.
Some DMOs may be in isolated areas, but that doesn’t mean they need to run their own campaigns. Building partnerships leverages external expertise to prioritize issues and create messaging, as well as access to new tools and technologies.
Some partners have extensive experience in sustainability and can provide insights and resources to DMOs seeking to create resonant messaging. For example, Travrrr focuses on providing sustainable remote production services and works with local crew to reduce emissions and foster the local economy.
As a public agency, DMO can work with commercial partners to do more than just ride the wave of summer tourism. Recently, Aegean Airlines and the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) have coordinated funding and resources to direct visitors to Greece.
In collaboration with technology partners, the two entities used programmatic video, display, social media, and YouTube in a six-month collaboration. The campaign generated 37.9 million ad impressions and brought 28,000 visitors to Greece. DMOs can work together to develop short-term and long-term strategies for creating a sustainable future.
Sustainability is clearly the most important issue in the travel industry, but its definition goes beyond traditional perception. DMOs do not currently require a complete end-to-end strategy, but all DMOs, large and small, need to start solidifying their sustainability strategies right away.
By creating the right ecosystem of mindsets, tools and partners, DMOs of all sizes can build sustainable business models that capture the hearts and bookings of travelers around the world.
https://www.phocuswire.com/the-sustainable-dmo-building-a-future-for-destinations-of-all-sizes Sustainable DMO: Build the future for destinations of all sizes