Last month, Utah hosted the U.S. Travel’s Educational Seminars for Travel Organizations (ESTO). With everything conveniently located in our backyard, it was pleasure to assist our Utah Office of Tourism client with the planning and festivities. A double bonus: The conference was held on the premises of another StruckAxiom client, The Grand America. Good times!
A few thoughts on what I learned, and what’s in store for the industry and travel marketers:
And it has the last word. If the market crash of 2008 taught the industry anything, it should be that consumers will hold on to their dollars until the best deal arrives—and then they’ll book at the last possible minute. The rapid growth of flash sale providers has only stoked the flames. Broad metrics for the lodging industry have shown modest-yet-steady increase in occupancy, but revenue per available room still lags behind. Bottom line: Travelers will still be on the best-deal prowl through 2012, and yes, they will hunt to find the best ones. Read more here.
The world is at your door.
No, really. If there’s any silver lining to be found in economic woes, it’s through the growth of international visits. According to U.S. Travel, we’ve experienced eighteen consecutive months of positive year-over-year growth. Year-to-date in 2011, international visitors have spent $73.5 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services, an increase of 12 percent over last year. The countries with the best potential: China, India, and Brazil.
To capitalize on this trend, the recently-formed Corporation for Travel Promotion will be rolling out a multi-million dollar marketing program in 2012-2013 to actively market the U.S. to international visitors. This is good news that should get better for any destination relying on international visitation as part of its business plan.
Augment your reality.
First, digital changed the consumption and expression of what the ‘ol trusty print travel guide used to do. Now, augmented reality is finding its way into the travel promotion space. The win augmented reality provides is not only satisfying the core need travelers have for video, images and maps, but layering it with a level of actual “experience”. Kudos to St. Petersburg/Clearwater CVB for showing what’s possible.
That’s all for now. Fall is in the air, and The Greatest Snow on Earth will not be far behind IS COMING THIS WEEK!!!