For some destinations, increasing visitation volume is no longer an objective. Seasonality trends mean during peak season many DMOs don’t need to spend many marketing dollars to compel people to travel to their communities. This is a nice problem to have, but when peak season brings with it overtourism, many DMOs don’t know how to respond.
We have already covered a few strategies in earlier parts of this blog series. This post will focus on how DMOs can adjust their media targeting strategies to prioritize length of stay, in-destination spending, return visits, and more over visitation volume.
Digging Into the Visitation Data
DMOs armed with rich destination intelligence will be better positioned to apply a quality over quantity approach to their media targeting. By analyzing which origin markets generate the longest average length of stay and highest in-destination spending, DMOs can determine which origin markets deliver the highest value per visitation.
Our team also recommends identifying which origins markets generate the most return visitors. Studies have shown that “tourists with relatively high budgets tend to exhibit a higher repeat visit pattern.”
Madden has developed custom indexes for clients that calculate origin market visitation value — giving DMOs the ability to rank and prioritize the origin markets that deliver the highest ROI in their marketing efforts.
Quality Over Quantity in Action: Visit Port Aransas
Visit Port Aransas needed a clearer understanding of its visitors’ origin markets and travel interests to plan better media campaigns. They also wanted a line of sight into visitors’ behaviors and origin markets for its competitors to deploy conquesting tactics. Madden created a custom Destination Competitive Insights report that integrates different data sources into an easy-to-use, dynamic dashboard.
Using Voyage, we analyzed economic and visitation data to identify where the most valuable visitations were coming from. We created a custom index to quantify the top origin markets with metrics like length of stay, in-destination spending, number of return visits, and more. This analysis showed us which origin markets produced the highest value visitors—visitors that make the highest economic impact. As a result, Visit Port Aransas was able to identify Austin, TX as a high-value origin market, and launched an in-person activation there to engage with prospective travelers.
Voyage also enabled our team to conduct a competitive analysis of competitors’ origin markets and develop conquesting audiences. The interactive dashboard provides insights into market comparisons, visitor behavior, and demographic variability between Port Aransas and its competitors in side-by-side data visualizations.
The Port Aransas team can now generate unique comparison data visualizations for its 12 competitor markets. This tool enables their team to analyze data, including unique visitors, origin markets, average length of stay, seasonality, demographics, and cross-visitations between Port Aransas and its competitors.
The dashboard also includes audience creation functionality that Port Aransas can use to create and export device IDs to generate lookalike audiences. Their team can select a competitor destination and an origin market, and then download the device IDs from the top 100 high-value zip codes in the selected origin market. That information can be leveraged to build targeted marketing campaigns.
Evolving Destination Marketing to Destination Management
Understanding travelers through destination marketing, DMOs can have a better line of sight into their destination’s capacity for people to visit. By enriching media deployments with visitation data, Madden works strategically to ensure marketing campaigns work in concert with destinations’ communities.
As you’ve seen in previous iterations of this series, Madden is working with DMOs to redefine the role they play in today’s tourism and generate sustainable tourism while promoting environmental stewardship. In the fourth and final part of this series, we will examine ways DMOs can increase resident sentiment to make sure communities feel their voices are heard in destination marketing.