Start Marketing the Travel Experience from a Local’s Perspective

Travelers Want to Be Fully Immersed in their Destination’s Culture

Data says travelers want authenticity. In fact, 76% of baby boomers and 86% of millennials want to experience a new culture when they travel. As a destination, how do you give travelers a true “when in Rome,” experience?

Give your locals a voice.

Locals know their hometown or city like the back of their hands, making for ideal tour guides. Here’s how to tap into your local market to help travelers get your destination’s full experience.

Find Local Influencers

Start your search for influencers in your area by combing through popular hashtags for your destination and checking out the top posts. Once you’ve found a few personalities that match your messaging, reach out to them and see if they’re interested in forming a partnership. Don’t be shy to write up a formal pitch and tell them why this would be a beneficial opportunity for both sides.

After reaching an agreement, encourage influencers to share their favorite local attractions or restaurants on their social media accounts or website. That content will be amplified by their social followings and can be leveraged on your own platforms as well.

And, you don’t have to start from scratch when it comes to sharing stories. Bloggers, influencers and other public figures may already be featuring your destination on their accounts. This Chicago blogger shares her favorite hotels, activities and restaurants in the Windy City on her website. You can take this already published content and share it on your channels, as long as you’re attributing it back to its owner.

Feature Local Testimonials

According to a survey by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. To tap into that percentage, connect with locals and ask them to share their thoughts and opinions on your destination, then feature that content on your website and social media accounts. Local reviews and recommendations for your area can help you create an even stronger bond with an audience who yearns for authenticity.

Hire Local Guides

Take the leap and hire local guides to show your travelers the ins and outs of the city. Partner with services like SANDEMANs or Showaround to show off your destination’s best, or start your own, keeping locals at the helm.

As a destination marketing organization, you don’t have to search high and low on how to give visitors a taste of your culture and city. The answer may be closer than you realize.