First Free Story (1 of 3)

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Editor: Recently we’ve started a new monthly feature on top trafficked sites in various sectors in travel, using data from SimilarWeb. We have found SimilarWeb’s traffic stats to be a relatively good barometer of consumer web activity, better than other traffic comparison sites, at least as far as proportional comparison goes.

So far we’ve looked at the top online booking sites, the top airline sites, the top hotel brand sites, and the top travel media sites around the globe. Today we’re looking at the top official consumer tourism and destination marketing organization sites run by states and cities across the United States (in terms of traffic), for October 2013.

Biggest Takeaways from the Numbers Below:

  • The pathetic traffic numbers for these sites. We couldn’t believe it at first, and cross-checked with verified Quantcast numbers for those available, which we’ve noted below. Even if Similarweb is undercounting, as it seems to be based on Quantcast numbers, and even if you double traffic to each of these sites, it still comes up to puny numbers, especially if you compare them to the top travel media sites.
  • For the amount of dollars in ad campaigns spent by these states and city tourism boards and the buzz they create among the travel industry, the online results don’t seem to match it.
  • It seems that the resources devoted towards online content creation, online marketing and audience acquisition are small, that is one logical explanation.
  • Many of the tourism boards have latched onto social media in a big way, especially Facebook, and that’s become the proxy for all online content creation and marketing for these brands. That could also explain why the main consumer tourism sites are being ignored internally.
  • Some of the big city sites do well, not surprisingly, and NYC makes it to the top among all tourism sites in U.S., followed by Las Vegas, though Vegas should have been doing much better especially as it is now positioning the site as a booking portal as well.
  • The main site has very little traffic, considering its audience is the world, and goes on to show the ineffective job BrandUSA has done in building up tourism marketing machinery for U.S.
  •, for being the main tourism site for the largest touristed state in U.S., is so small, we had to triplecheck this one.
  • Virginia and Florida are two states that deserve special recognition for being smart and very active with their digital strategy overall, and it helps them climb up the ranks.
  • VisitPhilly punches above its weight in all possible ways. For being a mid-sized non-gateway city, its tourism board has done admirably with the resources it has.
  • In general, east coast states do much better on online traffic than others, and most mountain and mid-west states are among the worst.
  • Any other points you can think of? Put in the comments below.
1Nycgo.com570K3:435.31United States 82.88%N/A
2Lasvegas.com560K5:055.56United States 79.71%N/A
3Gohawaii.com460K2:593.55United States 73.40%N/A
4Virginia.org370K4:164.68United States 96.60%N/A
5Visitflorida.com340K2:122.9United States 90.40%365.1K
6Visitphilly.com320K2:283.29United States 93.44%422.1K
7Discoverlosangeles.com310K2:363.52United States 85.36%314.8K
8Visitorlando.com310K3:193.5United States 72.98%N/A
9Michigan.org260K3:074.25United States 96.08%352.9K
10Neworleansonline.com250K3:483.91United States 91.23%N/A
11Colorado.com220K2:453.51United States 94.04%315.7K
12Arkansas.com220K4:084.16United States 96.17%N/A
13Denver.org210K3:193.79United States 93.61%260.1K
14Sanfrancisco.travel190K2:282.9United States 81.82%N/A
15Utah.com190K2:273.12United States 89.43%N/A
16Travelalaska.com190K2:172.84United States 88.14%N/A
17Visitnc.com190K2:273.61United States 94.54%171.5K
18Massvacation.com180K1:353.17United States 92.11%N/A
19Travelwisconsin.com180K2:473.53United States 97.50%135.8K
20Choosechicago.com170K2:483.99United States 82.02%N/A
21Tnvacation.com170K2:443.4United States 88.72%176.8K
22Visitcalifornia.com150K2:533.45United States 75.95%N/A
23Washington.org140K2:553.67United States 87.14%N/A (Nashville)120K2:373.6United States 94.26%N/A
25Iloveny.com120K2:293.11United States 92.12%N/A
26Kentuckytourism.com120K3:093.84United States 97.06%N/A
27Discoveramerica.com100K2:072.94United States 21.13%N/A
28Exploregeorgia.org100K3:375.26United States 93.97%142.9K
29Exploreminnesota.com100K2:433.34United States 96.48%N/A
30Visitpa.com95K2:393.05United States 95.84%155.1K
31Ctvisit.com95K2:362.85United States 97.15%N/A
32Discoversouthcarolina.com85K4:383.7United States 94.82%N/A
33Visitmaine.com85K3:394.43United States 83.85%126.2K
34Visitnh.gov80K4:444.25United States 90.28%N/A
35Visitmaryland.org80K4:013.82United States 98.05%77.3K
36Miamiandbeaches.com75K3:254.1United States 69.02%119.5K
37Louisianatravel.com70K2:422.77United States 93.88%128.3K
38Wyomingtourism.org65K2:532.78United States 92.47%N/A
39Visitnj.org60K2:233.05United States 91.54%91.7K
40Visitseattle.org60K2:002.98United States 85.07%N/A
41Discoverohio.com55K2:073.47United States 97.83%48.7K
42Traveloregon.com55K2:493.26United States 90.35%9.3K
43Visitmo.com55K2:332.83United States 96.96%N/A
44Visitmt.com50K2:383.35United States 87.67%N/A
45Enjoyillinois.com50K3:573.84United States 92.49%N/A
46Newmexico.org50K2:552.95United States 90.14%N/A
47Travelsd.com50K3:343.71United States 90.77%N/A
48Travelnevada.com45K4:083.9United States 92.52%N/A
49Vermontvacation.com35K1:142.7United States 80.22%N/A
50Visitidaho.org35K2:193.01United States 89.34%35.9K
51Visitdelaware.com30K3:203.35United States 95.33%N/A
52Visitmississippi.org25K1:542.63United States 93.35%N/A
53Experiencewa.com15K3:094.01United States 83.99%21.6K
Photo Credit: NYC & Co.'s website. PlaceIt by Breezi