What goes into making a location attractive as a tourist destination? Geographic locations are inviting to visitors for a multitude of reasons. However, one thing is guaranteed not to be what travelers are thinking about when making travel decisions – county lines. Yet states are divided into counties, each with their own local treasures and unique appeal. Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) continually strive to answer the question within this marketing paradigm – how to promote tourism across an entire region, when it has so many individual moving parts? The truth that proves success over and over is simply working together to achieve a result that is bigger and better than any individual component. A collaborative approach is the key!
According to the U.S. Travel Association, domestic and international travelers to the United States spent $1.1 Trillion in 2019. We also know that the modern tourist is more attracted to experiential-based travel and less focused on merely visiting and sightseeing.
The Benefits of a Collaborative Approach
Leaders in the travel, tourism & hospitality industry are finding ways to work together to provide an inviting and highly desired travel experience that meets the needs of their many visitors. Many partnerships formed both regionally and state-wide offer travel itineraries with multiple locations. I’ve worked on several projects offering these types of itineraries and seen first-hand the success they bring.
Although working as a collaborative competitor is not a simple undertaking, creating these strategic alliances is well worth the effort. To put together a travel plan that includes multiple locations and geographic regions takes a lot of hard work. There must be clear goals established, and open communication. Everyone must do their part and at the same time be mindful that all involved are comfortable with the direction and ultimate final product.
Working together for a common goal is not just successful, it’s energizing and motivating. The synergy of collaborative efforts provides an end result that is hard to surpass. It is this type of collaboration that creates an experience for visitors, not just a trip. Forgetting county lines enables our guests to see the best we have to offer and encourages them to come back for more!
Take a look at these collaborative itineraries that seamlessly take travelers from county to county, focusing on experience over boundaries or simple site visits:
- The 9 Days in New York State itinerary features the Hudson Valley, Syracuse and Buffalo.
- I worked with another tourism partnership between Niagara Falls, Finger Lakes, Adirondacks and 1000 Islands. Together we produced an itinerary called Discover New York’s Wild Side.
- Still another program is with the Country Byways region and that includes the Niagara and Finger Lakes regions. They have a great itinerary for FIT. (What’s FIT?)
- Other statewide and regional collaborations worth checking out are Wine, Water & Wonders, and GoNorth.