Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You h...

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-Roads Touring

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-R…

Monday, 17 October 2016 08:42

Small group tour specialist Back-Roads Touring has launched its summer 2017 brochure to reveal a unique line up of new itineraries in Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, France, Iberia and Russia.

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in 2017

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in …

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:16

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has announced five star-studded cruises for 2017 following the arrival of its new main brochure.

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:11

Singapore Airlines will fly non-stop between Singapore and Manchester from October 30 as part of its northern winter schedule.

Most vacation plans begin with a focal point or a main attraction in mind. Think Niagara Falls or the Sistine Chapel. But it might not be that grand or iconic for everyone all of the time. It could be a music festival, a beautiful beach, or a hotel that one of your friends couldn’t stop talking about last summer.

But these focal points are only the start of the story for most travellers - especially for those of us who are determined to get off the beaten path and create a genuine, unique vacation experience. These people, like me, want to delve deeper, discover more and get the very most from their time away from home. For us, the iconic attraction, the spark, the inspiration - whatever you want to call it - is where we begin. It’s by no means the final destination.

But how do we, as independent travellers, sift through all the information and plan the finer details of our trip?

My parents would have gone to a travel agent. When I was younger, I’d have bought a Lonely Planet guide. But today it’s all about the web. OTAs like booking.com and peer-to-peer review sites like TripAdvisor dominate the market and drive the leisure choices we make, yet they don’t offer anything close to a full picture of a vacation destination. We still have to connect the dots.

There might be a superb independent hotel or guesthouse that gets wonderful reviews or a fantastic new restaurant that has opened down town and is attracting critical acclaim. But if I don’t know the area, how do I join the dots between all these places without having to spend hours researching loads of websites and guides? How do I even know which dots to connect in the first place?

Booking.com, for example, would not be an efficient way to plan a road trip across California and work out the best places to visit en route. And once travellers have booked their accommodation with an OTA or direct with the hotel it’s then a case of looking on several other websites, such TripAdvisor to get an idea of things to do and where to visit, checking on the attraction’s own site for opening hours, then using GoogleMaps (or an equivalent) to work out how to get from one place to the next. What many travellers need is something that gathers all this information together in one place, gives it some context based on your preferences and presents it in an easily digestible format.

Many independent hotels and hostels are exploring the potential for including trip planners on their websites for just such a reason. However, it’s not been an immediately obvious strategy for venues that play an equally important role in enriching the local tourist scene, such as galleries, markets and historic sites.

With this in mind, it might make sense for DMOs to supplement their own online marketing and promotional strategies by adding a trip planner on their own websites. Unlike DMOs, managers of many tourist attractions still view their amenities in isolation and don’t see themselves as part of a larger tourist-industry ecosystem. While including a trip planner on an art gallery, iconic attraction, market or stately home website could be a quick and effective way of becoming part of that larger narrative, it’s not always immediately obvious to them why they should do so. Perhaps some feel that they’d be actively promoting ‘the competition’. This means that it’s often left to DMOs to showcase the full range of venues that might be of interest to visitors.

It’s logical, I suppose as DMOs know a great deal about this larger narrative. And in many instances have actually helped to shape and promote it. They see the big tourism and vacation picture and, for a lot of travellers, are one of the first ports of call for planning, advice and guidance. They should be the people to help me connect those dots and shine some light on the less immediately obvious, but worthwhile and rewarding places to visit. I tend to find that this is the case to an extent, so when I’m planning a trip, I tend to turn to a DMO website to get a sense of a destination’s historic and cultural attractions and, if I decide to book a vacation there, return to the site to download maps or brochures.

An integrated online trip planner could be a natural extension to the information available on a DMO’s website and help potential visitors to the area join the dots between all the different local attractions in a way that’s not always possible - or immediately obvious to a traveller or visitor?

For smaller DMOs with more modest budgets, an online trip planner could provide a cost-effective and innovative way of presenting local attractions and showcasing the very best that their region has to offer. Inspirock’s trip planner platform, for example, builds a detailed personalised travel itinerary which can be customised, downloaded, or shared with friends and family by email or social media. Users get help in planning their vacations, and DMOs get to promote their destination in a unique and deeply engaging way.

Trip planners also offer a way of driving more visitors to their site, keeping them on the site for longer and generally increasing visibility - all key metrics for Search Engine Optimisation and Ranking. Regardless of a DMO’s size, however, an online trip planner could also be a very easy way of allowing potential visitors to create a personalised itinerary and illustrating how a city, state or country could be a perfect destination for them. This kind of technology could, therefore, play a significant role in helping DMO’s actively promote their destination as a culturally rich and unique place to visit.

For more information visit inspirock.com 

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