Destination Marketing insights from DTTTGlobal 2018 (part 1)

Destination Marketing is an important topic for me as I am teaching it at the University of Eastern Finland. One of the best places to learn about destination marketing is probably Digital Tourism Think Tank -event. As Helsinki hosts the event this year, it was quite easy for me to participate.

Destination marketing conference
Juho Pesonen & Miikka Raulo at DTTTGlobal 2018 in Helsinki

I made some notes from destination marketing perspective about the first day of the event. Check out the programme for precise details about the speakers. I have made a pdf version of these notes with pictures included, so that is probably more interesting to read than just these notes. You can download the pdf from here (One note is bad with pictures :/ ).

Here are my notes from the first day of the event (notes from the second day here):

Laura Aalto:

Do things that challenge you

Perception of tourism is changing (compare your thoughts about flying 10 years ago vs. today)

Sustainability is the core

Accessibility broader definition: Best things available for all: policymaking and design thinking

Design thinking: not just surveys but thinking what people need

Digitalization: it is a service process, way to communicate, mindset instead of a project, keep on doing all the time.

Virtual Helsinki is being built as a digital platform also for service providers.

Opening data as a city, 700 data sets available atm. Opening completely new doors. Data needs to be easy to use for anyone.

Cities are future change makers and central decision unit.

Cultural heritage and authenticity: local experience, for example Guggenheim is not authentic!!!!!!!

Rethink growth in your destination.


Leah Chandler, Puerto Rico 

Comeback story after hurricane

Sea of sameness

Mixed brand image among potential tourists

Google destination project

7000 digital touch points when a consumer is making holiday decisions

How does your destination look like in different Google services?

Work with Google!

Audit your owned media but remember that it is only the tip of the iceberg


Peter Kentie Eindhoven365 

Getting tourists to buy the city as a place to live in the future

How to make people curious about a destination?: sports, pr from local innovation, getting the name of the place everywhere, being proud of the city you live and operate in

Tech+design, left+right brain together unique

Single visual identity in all fields and levels!

Tourism and city branding have to have a single brand.

Logo is open source, no manual, people can play with it

Brand store possible because of branding


Dance Bures, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism 

Indelible awe

Protecting national parks

Taking residents rally behind the development

1.8million leads a year to partner businesses, using conversion pixelling to measure the impact of DMO actions. Embed in member ecommerce pages. Fired when someone books.

Mobile tracking and information services for improving in the destination experience and increase sales.

Target digital advertising to people who are not from the region but are there at the moment. Give deals and actionable insights.

Transparent and open as possible!


Manuela Nicoletti, ticino tourismo 

Old brand decades old, evolved during the years

A new brand based on Destination DNA

Lack of iconic tourist attraction.


 Katja Presnal, the future of travel 


Julia Pars, visit greenland 

Who are you related to as an icebreaker

Mother of the sea: sustainability. Respect nature and culture

Myth stories

Pioneering nation brand

Focus on adventure tourism

Growth is not the enemy, all about how you manage that growth.

Insiders guide to Greenland: educating tourist coming to Greenland. Video series for everyone visiting the country. Great idea.


Crowdriff fireside chat: Indy and Jeff Robinson 

#1 convention city


Challenges as a leisure destination

Not one thing driving tourists

No TV any more!

Digital helps to focus on timely things, tv needs to be planned well ahead.

You need a place where people can take their picture, preferably for each attraction.

Persona-based website that is constantly changing. Focus on tourist types.

No stock photos but authenticity through UGC

Locals are best ambassadors, keep in touch with them!

All marketing is based on UGC and with good results, e.g. doing videos with iMovies. Putting UGC together in an attractive way.

Google snippets eating organic traffic from DMO, needs more input from SEM team.


Kerri Kapich, San Diego 

47million$ annual budget

Mobile and sound off major trends

Balancing content creation and distribution.

Helps businesses to use the brand.

How does a tourist get bragging rights from a destination? What cool things to see and do and Instagram?

Selling optimism and positivism!

Partnership with local magazine for content creation.

Focus on communicating what is new.

Creating video series and taking pieces of those for content marketing.

Local experts of different professions as ambassadors in content

Marketing on various levels in information search process:

Impressive results compared to benchmarks.

Different content for different digital media target markets, messages tailored to different segments.


Panel on competitive edge: Jorgo, Katharina, Hannes 

Actually mostly just marketing video creation and demonstrating think digital products

Looking at the destinations from tourist perspective.

Authentic ambassadors with passion for what they are doing

Videos should look for movement


Nico Mulder, Amsterdam Marketing, Overcrowding 

Not about being a DMO, being a city first

Not about attracting more visitors to Amsterdam but to guide and help those who come in.

Banned new cheap suvenier shops

2019: max 30 nights for private accommodation rentals

Expand traffic to outside city center

City card data for tourism development

2019 real-time data from city card

People experience stress of choosing (when too many options) , chatbot to the rescue. Ai matches social media profile to city database of things to see and do.

Using marketing to change the behavior for problematic party groups by particularly designed and targeted message.

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