As guests begin thinking about traveling again, they will likely spend even more time on destination research to uncover, among other things, attractions that are open in the area, Covid-19 cases in the vicinity of their stay, and state guidelines for any allowed activities.
As a result, we anticipate that guests will look to DMOs (Destination Marketing Organizations) to understand local safety programs and to review the list of attractions that are open/accessible. This will be true for both leisure and MICE travel, given both types of travelers will require this information to make informed booking decisions.
In light of this activity, we expect to see a lot of DMO marketing over the next few months. Keeping in mind their large budgets, the reach of their campaigns will be mighty. Fortunately, hotels can leverage DMOs momentum by staying on top of local DMO campaigns and aligning their own promotions accordingly.
Here are some ideas that can help hoteliers benefit from the momentum DMOs will drive:
- Campaign themes: If a DMO invests in a specific theme, leverage that theme for your own promotion. For example, if your local DMO is promoting beautiful fall foliage, promote your proximity to local hiking trails. Keep an eye out for hashtags they use to brand the campaign and incorporate those into your approach as well. In doing so, you’ll increase the exposure to your social posts.
- Travel compensation programs (or similar offers): If you find DMOs sharing local programs to compensate travelers for visiting the area, we recommend you share those promotions with your guests as well. This is a great strategy to sweeten the deal for guests without fronting any of the cost.
- Booking platforms: Given we expect traffic to DMO sites to increase, we recommend paying special attention to where your listing shows up on their on-site booking platforms. Is your listing competitive? How might you adjust it if not?
- Meeting and event listings: As local gatherings come back into play (we hope sooner than later) and DMOs share lists of upcoming activities, ensure your hotel property is included in the list of recommended places to stay, eat or explore.
If you’re looking for more ideas to drive demand, download our new guide on how to build a marketing strategy that wins bookings. It’s packed with tools to help you plan your hotel’s recovery strategy and templates you can use to engage with your guests. The time is now!