March 7, 2017

Destinations Can Surprise - Even Themselves

  • Subline: Keeping up with travel trends at tdg
An itinerary page for keystonechamber.com An itinerary page for keystonechamber.com

We stumbled across a new company called Pack Up + Go. Here’s the rundown, people sign up for a mystery trip based on budget. Customers have their choice of doing a road trip (starting at $450 per person) or booking a vacation that includes airfare (from $650). Pack Up + Go then asks you various questions. Likes, dislikes, interests, etc. They then selects a destination, book your travel and build out a list of recommendations.

Pack Up + Go will send you an itinerary of where you are headed. You open this itinerary the day you leave for your road trip or when you arrive at the airport. For those of you familiar with Stitch Fix, this is the Stitch Fix of travel.

Recently, a woman wrote a testimonial about Pack Up + Go. When she first opened up her itinerary, she was disappointed in her destination (Chicago). She had been there years ago and wanted something different. But armed with itinerary Pack Up + Go put together, she had a truly memorable and enjoyable trips.

What does this have to do with tdg? It made us start thinking about how travelers have their own assumptions about destinations. What can we do as Chambers, CVBs and DMOs to change those assumptions?

For those in the tourism business, this is a good wakeup call. We need to think about what makes our products special -- and how do we portray that?

One thing that can help potential visitors is a sample itinerary. Can you visit Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse in one day? It looks like Devils Tower is a long drive -- anything interesting to do on the way?

Travelers really want to make the most of their vacation time, and travel marketers can help make their vacations memorable.

After all, that’s what the travel industry is about.