Skift Take

Destination marketing organizations are always looking for ways to appear more natural to travelers who aren't always looking for fabricated experiences--these startups put destinations on a path towards achieving that image.

seedlingsConnecting local businesses with tourism efforts, curating user-generated content, and finding locals to help travelers get a true sense of place are tick marks on destination marketing organizations’ daily agendas.

But what destinations think travelers look for and what travelers search for don’t always match up. Brands need actionable intelligence from platforms they can trust to take them deeper into the consumer’s mind to tell them what’s most useful to them. These five startups build off the three themes mentioned above by showing destinations what really matters to a traveler without jumping through several hoops to find that out.

>>Chute curates user-generated content across all social media channels and helps brands use that content on their own platforms.

SkiftTake: Travelers upload millions of photos and statuses a day to social media and it’s obviously difficult to monitor all of them, a solution that helps brands stay on top of what travelers say about them has a seat at the table.

>>Mattr is a suite of social media tools designed for tracking, segmentation, and language assessment of five main personality types so that brands discover exactly who’s responding to them, how to optimize their messaging and how to tap into promising new audiences.

SkiftTake: Mattr’s big data way of doing things and zeroing in based on a person’s personality is really the granular level that travel brands need to start moving towards, especially since personalization is what travelers look for.

>>Xenos Local helps tourism bureaus to connect with businesses and non-profit organizations within their communities to help them with their marketing initiatives, networking events, technology education and professional development.

SkiftTake: With the rise of entities such as business improvement districts, a resource like Xenos Local helps brands who realize engaging the local economy in what they’re trying to do is best for everyone and keeps the community involved in tourism.

>>Alleys offers crowdsourced video navigation solutions for destinations that help travelers find their way around cities using interactive maps and directions.

SkiftTake: Though paper maps aren’t dead, we’d like to think more experienced travelers are looking for something a little cooler to help them find their way around a city. Making maps as interactive and live as possible helps people find what they’re looking for faster.

>>CityScout connects travelers with experts in the places they’re traveling who are particularly knowledgable in what kind of experience they want to have. Travelers fill out a questionnaire and are matched with local experts who fit their interests and budgets.

SkiftTake: Involving locals in tourism efforts is a key strategy destinations must employ if they really want to get on board with the ‘live like a local’ craze, and tourism bureaus can’t do this alone. CityScout also offers financial incentives for locals to benefit from tourism which in the end is one of the goals of destination marketing organizations.


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Tags: skiftseedlings, startups

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