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Understanding New York’s Travelers

February 22nd, 2008 · 1 Comment · Destination Marketing

Why don’t we all just agree that consumers use every means available to make their choices? I’m kind of sick of hearing about Joe User wanting reviews. It seems quite obvious that Joe would ask for reviews as part of his online shopping experience.

The dreaded consumer-generated review. Should this be part of any Official DMO’s website? I had a chance to discuss this very topic with the State’s top-two marketing gurus yesterday (over some really garlicky pasta). We’ve talked about it locally and it’s being talked about at higher levels, but there is a genuine reluctance to open this door. I say give the people what they want.

Look what else they want:

Website Features

Besides some mini-ranting about real people and their opinions, yesterday’s meeting focused on understanding New York State’s travelers and how best to reach them. Check this really exciting agenda. If you are into tourism marketing, this was a most interesting gathering. I’m not being sarcastic. Honestly, it is my real honor to be invited to sit with this group of New York’s top tourism marketers.

Wanna know something interesting? I think there is new generation taking over in NYS tourism. In my estimation, the top 5 NYS marketers have an average age of about 30. Some of the old guard sitting on my side of the table are probably pushing 70. A diverse group indeed.

One other item of note: A really awesome double presentation given by Adam S. from Tourism Economics – Wow! It’s my official pronouncement that the State of New York has tourism research covered. Or we now have the most credible spin-data available on earth. Geek that I am, there is also an effort being discussed to create a state tourism scorecard which will gather key tourism data and other significant economic indicators into a regular (quarterly?) report. Benchmarking Baby, I love that!

Back to that chart above, starting from the top, my Wishlist:

  • Partner with Tripadvisor, build the node, integrate content. We get commission and third-party immunity.
  • Rethink and redeploy Hot Deals.
  • Kayak interface or some such for participating suppliers
  • Contact Form for people to send Trip Reports? Skip and use Tripadvisor, aggregate other UGC.
  • We’ve got Video, let’s start a YouTube Channel
  • CMS with Feed features for new content
  • We should have bought the Forum, not too late to partner
  • A robust Trip Planner feature is sufficient
  • Games? How about an Adirondack Adventure Wii Game?
  • Skip Quizzes and Questionnaires
  • Photo Gallery

Yeah, I know, sort of an unfocused post, but I had to get that off my chest.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Mrs. Mecomber

    Great list! I like TripAdvisor for hotels, but not for attractions, because I like more of the “off-the beaten-path” attractions, and they are rarely featured on those “pop” websites. It’s useful, though.

    I prefer “about” pages– you know, information– more than reviews or questionnaires when it comes to choosing attractions.

    Interesting to see how things are progressing. Thanks.

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