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Destination Innovate Blog

Campaigns + Community, a perspective for DMOs

We’ve all been there. A brilliant campaign concept. Media locked and loaded. Creative good enough for an Addy. But, fear creeps in. What if our destination campaign doesn’t generate traveler demand?

The thing is, most of us are really dealing with overtourism worries or actual woes. What is more important to prepare for is success. I’m not talking just infrastructure, traffic demands and crowding. I’m talking your community, your heart, your real influencers. What is important now and for a long-lasting shift from destination marketing to destination management is the precious resource that’s struggling the most. Your residents. Sure, everyone is campaigning their community to support tourism. But, at what meaningful level, really? You can’t just shove statistics down their throat and expect an across the board approval rating. Your job may have shifted to politics in many ways. But what it really is and ought to be is servant leadership.

Here’s how this plays out with when your marketing campaigns converge. You need their support. You must let them take part in the decisions on some level. After all, it’s them inviting a visitor into their home. Collaborate and make sure these are “virtual neighbors” that vibe with the residents. When that campaign outkicks the competition, make sure your troops are rallied and share in the success. Campaign planning is becoming more and more complex, and it takes more than surface “education” to truly develop meaningful relationships on all the levels that destination marketing now demands.

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