Skift Take

Tourism bureaus are staring down numerous crossroads these days. Technology is disrupting long established content, advertising, marketing, and fundraising best practices in destination marketing. Hear from your peers to learn what's sticking, and what's not.

Today we are launching the latest report for our Skift Research subscribers. The State of Destination Marketing 2017 highlights our findings and perspectives from months of interviews and data collection efforts from tourism bureau executives, marketing experts, and technologists.

Skift Research annual subscribers also gain access our Data Sheet: Digital Destinations Global DMO Survey Results 2017.  We collected over 300 responses from destination marketing organizations worldwide to assess budget, spend on marketing, reported return on investment on advertising platforms, and other metrics. The data sheet is a downloadable Excel file a full breakout of results from this 35 question survey (Annual Subscribers only).

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Technological innovations and emerging trends in content marketing and data analytics are paving the way for numerous exciting opportunities for those working in the destination marketing space. Programmatic advertising is making automation and targeting easier, and a number of key players in the travel tech space have released solutions specifically designed for use by DMOs and convention visitors bureaus (CVBs). Facebook’s dynamic ads are yielding good returns and some DMOs are implementing video (and, in some cases, virtual reality) marketing strategies, refining how they work with influencers and exploring opportunities for partnerships with online travel agencies (OTAs).

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Differentiation and coming up with unique stand-out content is a growing challenge for tourism bureaus. “Most DMOs are telling the same story, trumpeting their beer scene, their food scene, their neighborhoods. As a result, DMOs must work hard to differentiate their experiences. But do DMOs have the confidence and willingness to own the textures and edges that define a city’s culture and make it truly different?” – Greg Newland, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Travel Portland.

We surveyed over 300 destination marketing professionals around the world in order to gain insights on the way they market their destinations, from advertising budgets to the way that data is being used to maximize digital marketing efforts and content strategy. Our research found that DMOs by and large are continuing to shift their advertising expenditure toward digital advertising, though a large number still find traditional advertising of equal importance.

Data Sheet: Digital Destinations Global DMO Survey Results (sample figure)

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Tags: dmos, research reports, tourism

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