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Published by Sara Napier Burkhard | Dec 14, 2016 | | 3 MIN READ

4 thoughtful ways for DMOs to personalize travel experiences

Personalized experience is one of the most important things to an individual. Travelers don't see themselves as tourists. Oftentimes, they are looking at their experiences as something that can add to their lives.

Whether it's a vacation that will help them alleviate stress, an activity they feel emboldened to try for the first time, or just a walk around the streets of a city they've never known -- in the scope of their lives, they are not tourists, they're people.

So, how can you offer something that has that personal feel? What can you do to present the same tours, locations, activities that are open to all but original for everyone?

  It's simple.

Learn about the people you're presenting to.

Baltic Sea

1. Consider the age groups

Age is just a number, but it is a helpful tool in gauging which experiences might fit each person who visits your website. For example, a group of 21-year-olds might be more interested in the local nightlife scene than their parents' generation. And a couple in their 70s might not be as enthused to take on an intensive kayaking tour.

A good DMO knows how to market activities to fit each age group; and all of them together, since multigenerational travel is on the rise. Copenhagen's tourism board has done a wonderful job of highlighting its diverse attractions for all walks of life. There is an extensive list of child-friendly activities available on their website.

Visit Copenhagen

Build up a list of age-appropriate activities that every traveler can enjoy. These personalized experiences will build wonderful memories for them, whether they're 5-years-old or 90!

2. What experience are they looking for?

Authentic & Experiential

Authentic travel is becoming more popular. It is one of the most widely requested and searched terms in the industry today and is a major travel trend in 2017. These travelers are looking for an opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture, away from touristic cliches.

Knowing that, it is important to build up offers in a genuine way for those who are seeking it. DMOs have the best platform to bring awareness to these types of trips, but it has to be done carefully as it can quickly turn into another gimmick-filled marketing strategy.

The best way for DMOs to do that:

  • Know the tours and activities locals love.
  • Give travelers an opportunity to see a bit of daily life and culture.
  • Offer food tourism resources.


Classic Dream

Some travelers are searching for the elaborate dream trip. They want an adventure they'll never forget in a way that's unexpected, unusual and full of excitement. They travel with a clear vision in mind and are sometimes elaborate dreamers.

What a DMO can do:

  • Think of the experiences that are unique to your destination.
  • Create a clear vision so travelers can know what to expect.
  • Market experiences by pairing together the relevant activities, tours and accommodation that support the excitement.

Discover Los Angeles is a great example of a DMO website that markets these classic experiences well.

Discover Los Angeles

The L.A. area is known for its beautiful climate, world class entertainment, iconic views, and a little bit of Hollywood magic. With that comes certain ideas about the experiences one might have in the famous city. They do a wonderful job of marketing the many dazzling experiences in the way people hope to see them. 

3. Embrace culture

Culture plays a big part into the way we view the world around us. Travelers want to see activities that apply to who they are and culture has an important role in that. It sounds challenging to embrace new cultures while highlighting another, but it doesn't have to be complicated.

Horse riding tour

People travel to experience something special, but for some it's hard to try new things all at once. Here are a few simple tips to keep different cultures in mind:

  • Mention relevant local multicultural activities and communities.
  • Highlight a few food options beyond local cuisine. This can be a valuable offer to some, especially if they have dietary restrictions.
  • List a variety of local cultural events that celebrate interesting aspects of global history.
  • Offer resources about the local LGBT community and a chance for travelers to connect.
  • Have information available in several languages.

Perhaps the most important cultural element to embrace is language. It is crucial that a DMO website has its information available in multiple languages. Represent tour and activity companies that have bi-lingual staff. Or at the very least, have information available for multi-lingual tour guides who can help guide foreign travelers. Not only will that be helpful, it opens local opportunities to everyone.


4. Build around every budget

To visit Instagram or Pinterest, there can be an illusion that luxury travel is the only type that exists today. It's not the case and a DMO knows how to present offers for people from all economic standings.

The most important message you want to present is that a good travel experience is priceless. Sure, it can be 5-star hotels, spas, and steak dinners with caviar. But it can also be eating a warm kebab sandwich and sleeping at a budget inn after a long night of dancing with the locals.

Luxury travel

It's hard work to build a network of tours, activities, and food experiences that will satisfy everyone. But when you remember who the people are that travel to your destination, it starts to fall in to place.

There may not be an experience that everyone can have, but there truly is an amazing experience out there for everyone. As a talented DMO, you'll help them find it.

Looking for ways to build a more personalized travel experience? Download our guidebook and see more of what travelers want.

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Sara Napier Burkhard
Published by Sara Napier Burkhard
Sara is a writer from the American West Coast. In recent years, she's written for companies like Hipmunk, iTourMobile and Mylikes. She now resides in Zurich, Switzerland where she finds new adventures and attempts to speak German with minimal success.
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