Take, for instance, my 12 years with Destination Gettysburg.
When I first arrived with the organization in 2005, there was no such thing as social media marketing, blogging had barely come into conference room conversations and video content remained only for shooting television commercials.
Obviously, that's all changed.
The staff at Destination Gettysburg has adapted greatly to the changes in marketing to deliver information and compelling content to potential visitors from around the world.
Long known as a destination marketing organization (DMO), Destination Gettysburg is now transitioning into more of a destination management role. Similar to what the article below suggests, Destination Gettysburg will now work stronger toward product development and work with local government to encourage growth within the tourism industry.
Already, Destination Gettysburg has bridged some of these needs through recent collaboration with other economic development organizations as well as planning officials and educators through Advantage Adams. But that's just one of the avenues that Destination Gettysburg is taking to ensure that the tourism industry, not just tourism marketing, is successful in Adams County, Pa.
It is vital that Destination Gettysburg take on this new role in order to build a strong destination for the future by ensuring that new experiences for our visitors continue to grow.
As the article below states, "The new way to market is through destination management, facilitation with partners and reaching everyone who can share the brand story." It goes on to suggest, "a DMO is the best organization in the community to protect the destination's brand and has the ability to bring everyone to the table and every asset together to create overall lift."
Destination Gettysburg is excited about the new challenges ahead for tourism, and it's critically important that not only the tourism community, but elected officials and other stakeholders throughout the county embrace the industry and the necessary changes it must make.
Organizations must empower, curate, share genuine stories
By Laura Hicks
Stamp Digital Marketing
Challenges, opportunities and threats - what will the tourism landscape look like in the distant future, and who will rise to meet the challenges facing DMOs today? If only we had a crystal ball, we could see exactly what the future holds and plan accordingly. Alas we don't. But for organizations to generate and maintain the positive outcomes they're being pushed to deliver, look to input from industry leaders, engage in conversations with local stakeholders and adapt to industry changes.
Today's travelers are digitally savvy and have more information at their fingertips than ever before. This means that DMOs can no longer rely solely on printed brochures, travel guides and the expertise of their visitor center staff to promote their destination. More and more, DMOs are guiding visitors to their destination through websites, social media and mobile engagement efforts.
What does this mean for your DMO? Quite simply, if you are not connecting digitally with your target audience and positioning your destination as a rewarding travel experience, visitors will go elsewhere. And while more traditional means of marketing - like brochures and visitor guides - are still useful, printed collateral has taken a backseat to digital marketing endeavors.
Travelers across all demographics want an authentic experience and are much more cognizant when they are simply being "sold to." Empowering, curating and sharing genuine stories about your destination is one example of how to make your message resonate with your target audience. Social media, influencer marketing, content marketing, and crowdsourcing user-generated content are all methods that travelers respond to.
This shift means that the DMO will need to be more of a facilitator not only to travel planners, but to current visitors as well in order to make sure that they have plenty of platforms on which to share their own story. These stories can then be recycled to other potential visitors and can continue to propagate positive messages.
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