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Posts Tagged ‘Tourism Websites’

Connecting the Web Data Dots

When it comes to web data, we are in the midst of a second major transition: one that is significantly impacting the ability of economic developers to identify targeted leads using their websites.

The first transition happened a decade or so ago when location searches moved online and economic developers shifted to move their data and lifestyle information to the web as well. It quickly became apparent that the quality of a community’s investment attraction website was the top differentiating factor in the first phase of a site selector’s search.

This is the second transformation – unmasking, understanding and recognizing the value of the traffic you are working so hard to drive to your website, and then translating this new data into real leads.
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Introduction to Website Analytics for Economic Development

 

Is your economic development website successful?

You could answer that question from many points of view – design, content, ease of use, visitor response – but the real answer depends on whether the site helps your department find new sources of economic growth for your community.

To determine your site’s success on that basis, and to improve your lead generation success rate, you need tools to help you understand your website’s traffic patterns.

If you can’t track your website interactions, you can’t determine if your website is working. You have no idea if it’s performing to capacity (or not) and whether the money you have spent is producing any results that matter.
Your website, by its very nature, can be a bottomless source of data about existing and potential economic drivers in your community and the effectiveness of your organization in meeting their needs.  Mining this data, however, can be very challenging for EDOs with constrained budgets and staff.  Various software options exist and it’s useful to understand the functionality and limitations as they apply to the economic development function.

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Promoting Tourism to the Local “Stay-cation” Audience

Travel has become more demanding than ever, especially air travel with its security lineups and hassles, and people are time-starved. Add the effects of the recent recession and the bottom-line result is discouraging for destination marketing organizations – at least for long-distance travel.

The Hotel Association of Canada projects that hotel occupancy levels will be only 59% this year, up slightly from 58% in 2009. In the United States, after averaging 55.1% last year, occupancy will tick up to 55.4% this year, according to a forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers. That’s still well below the 20-year average of 62.8%.

Within this dark-tinged picture there’s a contrasting light patch in the market segment called “stay-cations.” This is a vacation that does not involve long-distance travel; instead, an individual or family stays at home or takes day trips from their home to area attractions.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence in the tourism industry that the popularity of stay-cations has surged since the recession began. Many destination marketers in small to mid-sized towns and regions are promoting stay-cations for their residents to help replace the tourism (more…)

Culinary Tourism Websites

Communities of all sizes in North America have discovered that their efforts to promote tourism as a pillar of economic development can gain a big advantage if they include culinary tourism among their offerings.

Since the turn of this century culinary tourism has become an industry within an industry, as statistics have revealed tremendous growth in the number of communities developing culinary tourism programs, and specialized organizations have sprung up to provide resources for such programs and develop best practices.

While tourism development organizations are fortunate to have these resources to build on, they should be guided by one overriding success factor – collaboration. A culinary tourism initiative cannot succeed without enthusiastic collaboration among the various organizations within the supply chain, with strong leadership usually provided by the tourism development or economic development organization. Collaboration is particularly essential to maintaining a high-quality website that promotes the program and is one of the most important factors in its success.

Key Concepts and Trends in Culinary Tourism

In its broadest sense, Culinary Tourism is defined as the pursuit of unique and memorable culinary experiences of all kinds, often while travelling, but one can also be a culinary tourist at home. In fact experience has shown that development of local awareness should be the first (more…)

Niche Tourism Websites

A major reason why the web has become the predominant medium for destination marketing is that it permits a community to do far more than just cast a wide net of information and hope that it picks up some interested tourists. Today’s website technologies and social networking services combine to enables a destination to communicate interactively with highly targeted groups of potential visitors and even with individuals.

This explains the recent growth in the number and variety of themed tourism mini-sites. You might want to consider allocating some funds in your tourism promotion budget for building such mini-sites because they effectively fulfill the potential of the web, and make it increasingly easy for potential tourists to find what they want. That adds value to your message.

As noted in an earlier article in this series (“Directories and Itineraries for Tourism Websites,” Jan. 19, 2010), people visit tourism websites with personal goals in mind for their trip. Their choice of destination often depends on whether a site reveals desirable characteristics in a tourism offering.

Mini-sites take advantage of this personal-shopping aspect of the web by suggesting new ways for people to enjoy their vacations in keeping (more…)