The pressure placed on those in the destination travel marketing sector is higher than ever. Getting people through the door, into the event or attraction is now disrupted by so much noise that it can be difficult to pinpoint the ideal way to set your destination above the rest of the competition.

Marketers working in the travel and destination now face even more questions when dealing with digital developments and technology-focused Millennials, it can be hard to know the right questions to ask in order to create the perfect campaign. To begin with, they must answer some critical questions such as; what are our competition doing or what do we expect them to do? And what is their key USP and marketing approach?

Anticipating your competitions next move is important where attractions are fighting to attract people visiting an area, commanding their attention through a variety of means and ensuring they are the key destination when it comes to visiting that area. Standing out from the crowd is crucial to being the place to be to which everyone flocks, so it’s important to understand where the future of destination marketing is heading.

User content

With the rise in popularity of Instagram and the abundance of beautiful images of destinations across the world that it brings, it’s no wonder that destination marketing teams are turning to the customers to create the content which will inevitably lead to more sales.

Although user-generated content has been used to some degree over the years, we are now seeing more and more businesses capitalise on this affordable and effective way of marketing. A picture is worth a thousand words and now they’re becoming even more important than the previously coveted customer reviews.

Real feel

Video and image content gives the user a real feel of how a place looks when it comes to finding their next perfect destination trip. User-generated content is also more trusted than the flawless glamour shots set up by a clever photographer to make rooms seem bigger and better than they really are. User-generated content effectively helps ensure that the customer is getting what they pay for, with no nasty surprises and can also spur on hotels and locations to improve their facilities altogether if user content shows it up to be looking a little shabby.

Moreover, user content helps evoke emotion, which is more likely to strike a chord with your customer base. Instagram and similar platforms can bring about feelings of ‘life envy’ and desirable trips which can be displayed to friends and family online are perfect for social media. Where businesses are successfully implementing emotional advertising through user-generated content, they are more likely to stand out from the crown by showing their customers experiences and locations that they already know they enjoy.

VR

The next best thing to being on the beach is probably a VR headset. Okay maybe not – but it’s definitely a great way to offer an immersive experience that will truly make your customers crave a holiday. So you might not be able to offer the salt spray of the waves of the sand beneath their feet, but a VR installation in gloomy England that offers your customer a five-minute‘ getaway’, with a fruity drink and a heat lamp might just sell them on booking their next trip with you.

The prospects are endless when it comes to using technology to promote destinations and with the potential to achieve boundless ROI, there are very reasons why travel marketing should include VR or at the very least AR. Offering the ‘you should be here’ vibe doesn’t need to come at a price, with technology and development now more affordable and accessible than ever to marketers, with budgets big and small.

If your current destination or travel marketing efforts are not yielding the desired result, get in touch with Absolute DM today or find out how we helped this North American travel provider boost their direct marketing capabilities.