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Weekly stories curated exclusively for digital tourism marketers
SAN FRANCISCO—With its steady stream of dozens of speakers sharing insights, the fire hose of information that is the hallmark of eTourism Summit 2018 got underway with Tuesday’s Pre-Conference Day Workshops.
For those who could not join us in person, we emphasize that eTourism Summit is both an event and a community. We are thankful for that community and to our valued sponsors who allow us to keep eTourism Summit small enough for top quality networking.
And to those who are attending, a warm welcome to San Francisco! We invite everyone to stay in touch via The Travel Vertical…it’s free.
And this year, the winners in the first-time eTSY AWARDS for excellence, presented by Expedia Group Media Solutions and Simpleview, will be announced on Wednesday, October 11.
Every October (the month when this city enjoys the best weather of the year) an intimate, two/three-day conference in San Francisco is the epicenter of digital destination marketing.
Why? Because peer-to-peer sharing is integral to the aims, benefits, and actionable takeaways for those who attend eTourism Summit.
The bonus? DMOs can mitigate risks associated with trying new campaigns and digital platform uses by hearing from dozens of executives who bring their DMO experiences to life by sharing recent case studies.
Will Seccombe, former president and CEO of Visit Florida and a 25-year travel industry professional, has been named president of the Connect Travel division, which serves as a strategic marketing partner offering a full suite of digital, social, content activation and cooperative marketing solutions for destinations.
In Washington, DC, Stephanie Arbetter has left her position as coordinator, consumer marketing and social media at Brand USA. She has now joined the team at Delucchi Plus, a content marketing firm driving engagement, sales, influence and loyalty in collaboration with StreetSense.
Teresa O’Neill has been promoted to vice president, global strategic partnerships at Travel Oregon, effective July 1st. She leaves her post as vice president, global sales, to Petra Hackworth, who had been director, global sales. O’Neill, a member of NAJ’s Advisory Council, has been with the organization for 12+ years.
Sarah Dickson has left Destination Marketing Association International, where she was vice president, partnership development. Previously, she was director of partnership development for Brand USA. Dickson also served as director of exhibitions and sponsorship sales for the U.S. Travel Association. Those interested in reaching Dickson, who is available for new opportunities, can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Northern California wine country, Ken Fischang abruptly resigned in May as president/CEO of Sonoma County Tourism, a position he had held since 2005. Fischang has been named executive director of the Saugatuck Douglas Area Convention and Visitors Bureau in Michigan.
Sean Dixon has been promoted to marketing director for the Springfield (MO) CVB. Dixon joined the organization in 2010 as its interactive media manager. He has served for the past year as assistant marketing director.
Talia Cass has been named director of marketing and communications for the Saratoga (NY) Convention and Tourism Bureau. Previously, she has worked as an account executive for the Schenectady County (NY) Convention and Visitors Bureau.
David Holder has announced that he is leaving his post as president of Visit Syracuse after 10 years to join Jones Lang Lasalle as vice president-tourism. Previously, Holder was previously with tourism bureaus in Fredericksburg, VA and Steuben County, NY.
Renee Areng will continue as executive director of Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast until Sept. 30 after being voted out by the organization’s board of directors. Areng came to Mississippi from her post as executive vice president of Visit Baton Rouge, where she served for 12 years.
Keith Talbert has been named associate director of sales for the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau. Before joining the bureau, Talbert held several sales positions with Visit Wichita and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation.
Hills Balfour has been chosen by Brand USA as its UK and Ireland representation agency, ending a 5-year partnership with Black Diamond. The new partnership is initially for one year to provide travel marketing, representation and PR. The company already represents several U.S. destinations, including NYC & Company, Arizona, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Nevada, Hawaii, Ontario, Santa Monica, Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches.
And finally, our sister publication, The Inbound Report, indicates that Svetlana Yazovskikh, executive director of tourism, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, is looking for a new tourism marketing professional for the bureau. For more information, click on this link:https://www.appone.com/MainInfoReq.asp?R_ID=1596990.
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By Expedia Media Solutions
For online travel shoppers, the purchase journey is complex. From the inspiration, research and consideration phases to the booking phase, the process may include many twists and turns while navigating online travel information, OTA, hotel and airline sites, and more. With an understanding of the intricate online booking journey, brands can connect with travelers and influence their purchases.
A new study on the Traveler’s Path to Purchase from Expedia Media Solutions and comScore reveals trends in how online travel shoppers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada choose destinations and make travel purchases.
The study found that Americans spent 8.7 billion minutes on digital travel content during a 15-month period, more than a 40 percent increase year over year. In the 45 days leading up to an online travel purchase, American shoppers visit travel sites an average of 140 times, and as they get nearer to making a purchase decision, they seek out even more content and spend a significant amount of time conducting online research and planning.
During this booking journey, American travelers are also paying attention to advertising: 32 percent said advertising or word of mouth prompts their research and exploration of a trip. The impact of advertising is further illustrated in that nearly half of travel bookers recall seeing a travel ad while shopping for or booking travel. This presents a great opportunity for travel marketers to reach and influence the online booker throughout their travel path to purchase.
Here are three ways to influence online travel bookers:
1. Create efficiencies for travel bookers by creating compelling content that can be accessed across devices. The digital industry in the U.S. is expansive: there are 258 million people who engage with digital content across screens (desktop, mobile or tablet), and of those, three out of five people specifically spend time on travel content. American digital travel shoppers are increasingly interacting with travel content on mobile devices, which reaches more consumers than desktop. As multi-platform usage increases, consumers expect a cohesive, integrated content experience, regardless of which screen they are using.
2. Leverage online channels and partnerships that provide efficient and scalable reach through all phases of the consumer booking journey. The top resources that U.S. travel shoppers initially use to choose a destination include OTAs, airline sites and family and friends. They consistently use OTA, airline and hotel sites throughout the duration of the purchase path, relying less on other resources as they get closer to booking. It’s crucial for travel marketers to take note of when and how shoppers use different resources in order to create an effective and fully integrated approach.
3. Consider shopper habits and influential touch points throughout the entire booking journey to determine marketing objectives and create an integrated strategy. The best opportunity for travel advertisers to influence and maintain share of voice is at the initial point of consumer inspiration. This phase of the online booking journey is when ad penetration is lowest and recall is highest. For travelers who are considering multiple destinations, advertising can make an impact — it influences 27 percent of those who are undecided. Targeting effectively reaches travel consumers, as bookers are four times more likely to see travel advertising than non-bookers. By taking into account the entire path to purchase, marketers can optimize their reach and effectiveness to influence consumer purchase decisions.
-> Attendees at eTourism LABS on March 14-15, 2017 will hear directly from Derek Price, Director North America, Expedia Media Solutions.