The U.S. Travel Association’s Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) provides the opportunity for destination marketing professionals from across the country to spend four days sharing and gaining best practices, learning about the latest trends and networking with individuals that share a common goal: marketing and growing their destination.
Take a look at some of the best tips our team gleaned from ESTO17.
Show, don’t tell
When it comes to promoting your destination, make sure to focus on visuals over descriptions. Visitors want to be inspired to travel to your destination, so allow them to imagine themselves there through images. Let your audience formulate their own description.
Don’t turn your marketing staff into human selfie sticks
We all know it’s important to keep content fresh on our social sites, but when challenged with a lean marketing staff, use alternative resources to generate social content. This could include working with social influencers, having partners/individuals take over your social for a set amount of time or repurposing already developed content such as blogs.
Make friends with failure, and ask questions along the way
Marketing destinations can come with challenges. Make sure to be open to the unexpected. Process failures as they come, and let them be your teacher. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. As Polly LaBarre, founding member of Fast Company magazine, simply put it, “Pain is temporary. Suck is forever.” It may be painful to ask questions, but you’re more likely to succeed in the end.
Become happier in one day
And finally, make sure to participate in the first-ever National Plan for Vacation Day on January 30, 2018. Take the day to declare your vacation for the rest of the year and avoid being part of the 51% of Americans that skip the one step that could help them take vacation: the simple act of planning.