Travel Media Updates, Insights, and Trends February 2021
As you can imagine, the Travel Media Industry is evolving whilst journalists, (like tourism businesses) are finding ways to sustain themselves and continue to deliver relevant, engaging travel stories and information to their audiences and yours – the traveling public. Most travel media events during the last year were cancelled and, in some cases, rescheduled or re-created as virtual events. Although mainstream consumer facing marketing for travel was curtailed, “travel dreaming” was not.
It was imperative that we did not stop engaging in conversations publicly (primarily) through social media channels. We also maintained our communications with professional travel journalists and their outlets who specialize in telling travel and lifestyle stories. Our key goal at Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism, in staying connected, is to maintain and build awareness and create exposure for our region as a destination of choice, thereby supporting your business and community.
Other goals achieved by keeping in touch with travel media colleagues at events and networking sessions is to attend workshops and participate in round table and expert led panel discussions that inform us about market trends and insights.
Many of the travel media that we have been communicating with over the winter are looking for information and updates on current travel conditions and ideas for future story ideas. We have fielded a lot of interest in stories about activities where the writer learns more about the environment and the culture, they are looking to be immersed in. We also see an ongoing increase in Indigenous cultural offerings as well. Proportionately to past years there is an increase in interest for outdoor adventure experiences weighted towards our wide-open spaces. A few journalists have asked about family bubble travel destinations.
An Example: https://mapleleafadventures.com/news/floatwithyourbubble/
We are currently collaborating with both traditional outlets and social media content creators to engage with their audiences by starting conversations about this region and why they are looking forward to visiting here themselves. This aligns well with the work our marketing team is investing in. Notably the US and overseas based writers are “chomping at the bit” to get here.
As people are now planning future trips, it appears that there is a shift toward a new level of consciousness as part of choosing their destination. The travel media is reflecting this as there is a story trend that continues to gain traction about the growing conversation around “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”. This may be in part because this break in travel has offered people the ability to pause, reflect and really think about the places and cultures they may visit, the experiences offered and the impact that they as travellers have on them. Many of the writers and editors either asked about, or commented on, destination stewardship and specifically at how important it is to be both aware of and to protect a destination’s social wellness.
In January, the CCCTA participated in North America’s largest virtual (Travel) International Media Marketplace (IMM), which connected over 500 attendees representing hundreds of Destinations to Travel Media outlets. In February, we took part in the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s Virtual “Come Together” event that attracted hundreds of Destinations, Journalists and Travel Experts from around the globe. During the IMM show our schedule book was overwhelmed when 72 Journalists’ requested meetings with our region’s 24 formal meeting slots. We managed to connect with a total of 36 during the event and are in the process of following up with all who requested to learn more about the Region’s products and experiences offered. We met with 16 media we had never met with directly before, some of which had been to BC but none of which had ever visited the region. We have ongoing relationships with, and had met previously, with the remaining 20 journalists of which half have previously visited and created content. We networked with another 10 travel journalists during the ATTA event, almost all of which are new to us and we will be following up soon as we develop more knowledge of each other. If any of you are interested in learning more about Virtual Travel Media events, please contact me.
The video we shared with media during the opening 2 minutes of each meeting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qmDGrJG1Jc
US Blogger Sherry Ott visited our region in the fall of 2019 and is still producing fresh content https://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/things-to-do-bella-coola-valley/
Although penned over a year ago this article recently showed up on my computer because it lives in the clouds! https://www.bikemag.com/features/cariboo-classic/
Not all of 2020’s garbage was fresh https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/gold-rush-garbage-mined-to-unearth-history-of-chinese-miners-in-b-c-1.5595906
The Film Office side of my desk has been heating up. We have been seeing unusually high interest in the region from the film industry. So far, for 2021 there are three movies looking to shoot here. Three TV documentaries and three unscripted TV shows are also in the planning stages and looking to shoot in our region, when conditions allow.
As the media department continues to fuel the dream of travel with Travel Media, I am working closely with our team members in both marketing and destination development, including the new sustainability position, to ensure our efforts align with the trends we are seeing to best support your business and community in long term recovery. Currently, I think it is crucial to take a few moments to pause and consider these points:
5 tips for successful travel media relations post COVID-19
- Reflect on how your offerings align with current trends.
- Learn more about what diversity, inclusion, equity, wide-open spaces, culture, environment, and sustainability mean to your guests and business.
- Refine your story pitches and marketing focus.
- Share your stories on your own channels and with your media contacts.
- Share your stories with CCC so we can assist with amplifying your message!
Please reach out and send us any new product information, images, videos and thoughts, complaints and ideas so we can continue to improve and assist you towards your goals.
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