marketing baby boomer travel
In my travel writing for magazines, I confess I’ve sometimes felt like my words were there more to frame the pictures than to tell the story.
National Geographic Magazine, I’m told, always starts with a portfolio of superb photographs on a topic, and then builds a story around them, rather than have story ideas drive the decisions.
As I noted in a recent post, words — or content as they are now known on the Web — are crucial for conveying information and are the ultimate reason why most people go to a travel website.
But it’s the visual images — if done well — that become seared in our brains and very possibly lead us to choose one destination over another, even if only subconsciously.… Continue reading
I recently read a statistic that unless a website loads within six seconds, the majority of users will give up and go elsewhere. Whether completely true or not, it speaks of our collective impatience when we can’t have our way instantaneously on the Internet.
My frustrations with websites — and travel websites, in particular, since I spend so much time on them — come when I can’t find what I’m looking for after not just six seconds, but sometimes minutes and what seems like hours. Or I never find what I’m looking for at all after exhausting every possible avenue I can think of.
How tough can it be to make it easy for your potential visitors or customers (depending upon whether or not you’re marketing a destination or travel-related… Continue reading
Design is crucial, but there are other key elements to creating great travel websites as well — whether the site is focused on a destination, a tour company, a travel agency, a resort, a hotel, a restaurant, cruise line, or other travel purveyor.
Today I’m going to talk about content, and in days to come I’ll focus on various other elements.
Content: Everything hinges on it. Travelers — and potential travelers — want information first and foremost. It should be clear, accurate and up-to-date. That means professionally written, thoroughly researched, and current.
Professionally written: When you read a sentence — any sentence — its meaning should be clear. It should… Continue reading
When we last checked in on the serendipitous relationship between the city of Omaha, Nebraska, and Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning’s signal calling during the NFL playoffs — often consisting of shouting “Omaha! Omaha!” to indicate when to hike the football or change a play — Omaha’s tourism officials were overjoyed at all the free publicity that Manning had generated. According to those who actually counted, Manning yelled “Omaha” more than 40 times during the game against the San Diego Chargers, searing it into the nation’s consciousness.
In response, @Visit Omaha, the Twitter handle of Omaha’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, tweeted that “We certainly appreciate all the love from #PeytonManning,” which garnered some 4,000 retweets and increased Visit Omaha’s Twitter following by at least 400.
But that was just a start.
Hotels.com,… Continue reading
As of 2012, the last full year for which data is available, the United Kingdom saw visitor volume to the U.S. drop for the fourth consecutive year, with volume down nearly one million visitors since its peak of 4.7 million in the year 2000. Since 2005, the drop-off has been 13 percent, representing 582,000 fewer visitors from the UK.
In financial terms, this represents a spending drop by British tourists in the U.S. of $848 million in 2012 as compared to 2005.
That’s a big loss for U.S. tourism.
One traditional way for tourism agencies to ramp up visitation is to invite foreign journalists — specifically travel writers — to tour a country and write about it. Of course, magazines and other publishers also send travel writers off… Continue reading
Viewers watching the recent NFL playoff game between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers could hardly have missed Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning shouting “Omaha, Omaha!” repeatedly while calling signals. Someone counted up all the “Omahas” and came up with a total of 44 out of 70 snaps.
According to ESPN analysts, calling “Omaha” as a signal — either to alert teammates to an impending hike or changed play or possibly to draw the defense offsides, as Manning did twice — actually started years ago with quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. But with Manning wired up by CBS during the Broncos’ telecast, “Omaha!” has now become a minor football phenomenon. #OmahaOmaha even trended on twitter during the game, and @VisitOmaha, the twitter handle of the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCVB), tweeted: “We certainly appreciate all… Continue reading
The answer to the above heading is “probably not.”
But it may have caught your attention. And that’s the point.
Celebrities — celebrity news, celebrity endorsements, celebrity appearances — can help drive traffic to businesses, including travel businesses.
And while Miley Cyrus and her “twerking” routine — which Yahoo reported was one of the top-searched items of 2013 — may not be a baby boomer obsession, other, shall we say more mature, celebrities can be very helpful indeed.
In the theme cruise column I write for Porthole Cruise Magazine, some of the most successful cruises I’ve featured use appearances by old-time baseball stars, soap opera stars, Broadway music stars — even political pundits who often show up on TV — to attract passengers. The passengers get to mix and mingle with the celebrities, the cruise lines get to fill cabins, and… Continue reading
What do you do if you’re in charge of marketing a city destination and you lose most of your state funding?
If you’re Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia — the official destination marketing organization for the city and five regional counties — you get creative.
Levitz, who has headed up Visit Philadelphia (known as the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation until November 2013) since the mid-1990s, told the travel site Skift.com that her biggest challenge was funding, with Pennsylvania state cutbacks resulting in a one-third cutback in her budgets for the past three years. State funding for Visit Philadelphia has dropped from $4 or $5 million a year to zero, though this year they’re getting a special $850,000 grant from the state to promote countryside towns in the area.… Continue reading
In my last post, I reported on the results of a study by the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) — a grouping of leading medical, financial and technology companies, among others, who hope to help shape public policy toward aging as 80 million baby boomers in America alone reach the ages of 50, 60 and up — that showed that travel can play a vital role in staying healthy as we grow older.
Now I’d like to expand a bit on the results of that study, which was done in conjunction with the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Research (TRCS) at the behest of the U.S. Travel Association. This is being billed as the first comprehensive look at the beneficial effects of traveling on health, with the caveat that much further research needs… Continue reading
Can travel keep you healthier as you grow older?
Yes, says a new white paper by the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, and purporting to show for the first time a series of direct links between travel and increased good health.
While acknowledging that data on these links are somewhat limited, and urging more medical research on the topic, a GCOA survey of various health studies shows that the evidence already out there is compelling.
“Those who stay healthy as they age are able to sustain active lifestyles, including traveling into our 70s, 80s and beyond,” the study notes. “It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that the reverse is also true: as one travels, one will be healthier.”
Start with brain health, which includes warding off… Continue reading