The Power of Rave Reviews: September 2018

With advances in technology, the prevalence of social media, and the vast amount of information available online, today’s travellers are living in a digital world – and we need to meet them there.

When choosing a destination for a trip, research shows consumers are increasingly turning away from traditional media campaigns towards personal, trusted recommendations. With greater access to the recommendations of friends, colleagues, and even strangers on the internet, referrals are more important than ever.

In order to succeed and stay relevant with today’s savvy consumers, destinations need to connect with individuals’ specific interests in an authentic way and offer impactful experiences that will lead visitors to share their remarkable stories fostering greater word of mouth. We need to deliver memorable experiences to amplify word of mouth referrals – our most powerful marketing tool – and promote our stories through people instead of to people.

But what is a remarkable destination experience and how do we go about interpreting, measuring and evaluating our various efforts to capture and retain audiences throughout the key stages of their trip? Most importantly, how can we adapt to valuable insights collected through proven destination strategies, tools and best practices, and work together as a region of the willing to use the best information and analysis to plan for the future and manage the destination experience so that more stories can be shared?

It’s these types of questions that led us to the theme of this year’s OH!Tourism SummitRave Reviews: How Cultivating a Destination Experience Mindset Can Amplify Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool. Through programming developed for our 8th annual tourism conference and AGM, taking place at Bark Lake Leadership and Conference Centre in #MyHaliburtonHighlands on Monday, October 29, we’ll be exploring how we can work collaboratively to create an awesome destination experience, leverage more word of mouth marketing, and inspire visitors to Come Wander Ontario’s Highlands.

With our sights set on becoming Ontario’s next most talked about destination, we invite you to join us for a day of exploration, innovation, networking, and collaboration. Please have a look at our conference website, www.ohtourismsummit.ca, for full program details and to register today.

I look forward to welcoming you to this #OHSUM event,

Stephanie Hessel

Destination Development Manager, OHTO

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