Here at the #DTTT we have a long tradition of looking at which destinations are standing out from the competition and are becoming digital leaders in the industry. On first glance, not much has changed in the last five years. Consumers can clearly see a destination website divide between destinations in the East and West, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. The majority of destinations have not managed to adapt their website to deliver exactly what consumers are looking for and need. However, there are many good examples of destination websites that show how technology and digital leadership pay off for the destination.
So what does this mean when identifying our digital leaders and seeing which DMOs are best in class? For starters, DMOs that are driving change, are putting a tremendous amount of work into adapting their destination website to consumer trends and changes in the marketplace. They are actively working on adopting a customer focus throughout the organisation while embracing digital tools and technologies to market their destination in the competitive digital landscape. Those best in class destination have slowly changed the way they are working towards becoming a destination that thinks much more like a distributed media company rather than a traditional DMO.
We are sharing our top pick of destination websites that stand out from competitors which are each a best in class in specific areas. As destination marketers, there are many things that you can take away from the below approaches and we would recommend you take a look at the websites too to see just how they are approaching things.
Best in class overall website
Here at the #DTTT, we have long considered Tourism Australia to be a digital leader, investing into a complete overhaul of their digital presence. There are three major components to their digital success story: following a consistent digital strategy, adopting latest digital tools and technology and going the extra mile when taking advantage of a new tool or technology. So what can other destinations learn from them as a best in class? Although the majority of destinations are planning to or have invested in VR technology and 360-degree videos, only a few destinations have seamlessly integrated VR content into their overall content strategy and digital presence. Tourism Australia have done a fantastic job in following a consistent approach to integrating these latest tools and technologies to be part of their core digital strategy.
Best in class storytelling
Visit Finland was one of the first destinations that focused on storytelling and developed content quite carefully over the years. Having been consistent in their approach, Visit Finland’s website is a best in class for storytelling and content, delivering inspirational and diverse storytelling content throughout. The website design and content enable a user to be drawn in, browsing through a variety of inspirational content conveying the unique story of the destination. Big imagery and a few stories to start with on the landing page reflect the simplicity of content that is shared with a user at first glance which is backed by deep level stories and content. Especially the mobile version of the destination website is very much focused on inspiring the user to flick through images and themes to get inspired about the range of Finnish experiences all year round.
Best in class content
The Austrian National Tourist Board have done a major website redevelopment, bringing the old and tired website up to date, infusing a fresh look and feel as well as a wide range of content throughout the new site. Austria has invested into what content consumers are looking for, developing powerful hero content on the landing page, distributing hub and hygiene content both on the website but also on social media channels. Austria is a best in class for content, as it not only has invested into great website content but also 360 videos that give users a different perspective on the destination and variety of regions and experiences in Austria. The website ticks all the content boxes for users, from inspiration to planning and seeing social content from other travellers that help trigger the desire to travel and enable support in planning what Austria experiences are the best fit.
Best in class branding
Travel Oregon’s website is an interesting one to explore when looking at destination website approaches. Being a relatively unknown destination in the US, Travel Oregon has completely re-branded itself and is now inviting users to experience the ‘7 Wonders of Oregon’ each showing off a different part of Oregon. For each of the '7 Wonders', the destination focuses on producing on-brand content showing off a different aspect of the destination in the form of the ‘7 Bikes for 7 Wonders’ story. Travel Oregon have uniquely crafted brand stories that show a different perspective to the destination, enticing consumers to find out more and learn about the craftsmanship and history of different bikes in Oregon. Powerful video content is helping to translate the manifold aspects of the brand into snackable content for consumers.
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