Research Insights DMOs: How do travelers end up in your destination?

DMOs: How do travelers end up in your destination?

June 2018
Brandie Wright

DMOs: How do travelers end up in your destination?

For destination marketing organizations (DMOs), determining how travelers end up in their destination is not always a straightforward proposition. Many travelers decide where to take their next trip based on predetermined factors, such as social events (e.g., concerts, festivals), or the location of vacation homes or out-of-town family. These travelers typically know where they want to go and when. However, according to Phocuswright's upcoming U.S. Consumer Travel Report Tenth Edition, two in five travelers choose their destination completely independent of other factors. In other words, they have no specific commitments and their options are wide open.

Travelers who pick a place for reasons other than personal ties or social obligations often have deeper motives to connect with their destination. They may not know exactly where to take their next vacation, but are motivated to learn about other cultures, see natural wonders, or engage in adventure travel activities. For destination marketers, this is an attractive group of travelers for several reasons.

Consumers who begin the destination decision process with a clean slate are much more receptive to external influences and marketing. In other words, an enticing promotion – with the right timing and to the appropriate audience – could be the one that converts undecided tourists into travelers committed to your destination. Also, individuals seeking adventure and cultural enrichment take longer vacations than those who travel for predetermined reasons. This is all good news for DMOs – longer trips mean not only greater awareness and a deeper connection to the destination, but also more travel dollars being spent there.

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We typically know the purpose behind each trip. But with the world as their oyster, how do travelers choose the destination that will fulfill that purpose? Where do they turn for inspiration, and which traveler profiles prefer certain destinations? Understanding the motives behind independently chosen vacations is of utmost importance to travel marketers. Be a part of key research that will explore and uncover the destination decision-making process of travelers from seven key markets. Learn More