19 Essential Destination Marketing Resources for Every New Destination Marketer

Winding highway through mountains

If you’re new to destination marketing, there’s a ton of information to absorb – and since it’s such a specialized area, it can be challenging at first to figure out the best resources to learn from.

That’s why we put together this roundup of helpful destination marketing resources for people starting their careers in destination marketing (and really anyone who wants to stay up to date with the industry).

It’s a curated selection of publications, podcasts, newsletters, blogs, and eBooks that will turn you into a destination marketing pro, even if you’re new to the game.

Let’s get started!

Must-read destination marketing publications

1 | Skift

As one of the most popular industry publications, Skift has certainly accomplished their goal of becoming the “daily homepage of the travel industry.” They share insights about all things travel and tourism, including the latest destination marketing news, industry research, and changing traveler behavior.

Not only is their site a goldmine for new destination marketers, it’s a vital resource for anyone in the tourism industry – regardless of experience level.

Recommended reading: The Untapped Potential of 360-Degree Video in Travel Planning

2 | Destination Think!

A digital marketing agency in the DMO space, Destination Think! publishes an interesting blend of long-form cases studies reflecting on their campaigns, interviews with industry experts, and shorter articles on top marketing tactics too.

So, whether you want to learn more about consumer engagement, destination leadership, or industry trends, Destination Think! has the variety and expertise you’re looking for.

Recommended reading: Win Your Destination’s Content Marketing Battle: Webinar Recording and Hightlights

3 | Tourism Currents Blog

The Tourism Currents blog is a hub of knowledge built on decades of experience in the tourism and destination marketing industry. They publish very tactical, hands-on content and tackle topics that every destination marketer will find useful and applicable in their day-to-day. The team behind Tourism Currents, Sheila and Leslie, sometimes guest host the #tourismchat Twitter chats.

Recommended reading: Ideas for building a strong team of tourism partners

4 | Tourism eSchool

As the name suggests, the Tourism eSchool blog is a wealth of informative, accessible, helpful content about the travel industry. This destination marketing resource includes topics that span from customer advocacy and inclusive tourism to content marketing and SEO.

Recommended reading: 5 Marketing Lessons from 5 Years in Business

5 | Frederic Gonzalo’s Blog

Marketing expert Frederic Gonzalo shares his thoughts and insights on destination marketing, social media, and online tourism. He talks about how new technology (like voice search) will impact the industry, how to measure your success in different types of marketing initiatives, and the challenges that destination marketers face on a daily basis.

Recommended reading: Motivations of Online Travelers: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

6 | CrowdRiff Blog

If you’re reading this roundup, you’ve already discovered what a great resource the CrowdRiff blog is for destination marketers. We publish content around visual content marketing and user-generated content — in the context of destination marketing. It’s a great place to go to get inspired about what creative campaigns other DMOs are doing, as we regularly publish features and interviews with destination marketers.

Recommended reading: Top 10 Visual Content Marketing Tips from Visit Savannah

Podcasts for destination marketers

7 | Tourism Upgrade

With over 50 episodes and guests from all over the world, the Tourism Upgrade podcast broaches a wide variety of tourism marketing topics. If you’re interested in promoting your destination on social media, check out the episodes on Snapchat, Twitter advertising, Instagram influencers, and social media ROI.

8 | Skift Podcast

Another way to absorb knowledge and insights from the brilliant minds at Skift, this weekly podcast features guests with different perspectives from across the travel industry on each episode. Always current and up to date, topics cover a range of traveler habits, marketing tactics, and industry trends.

Industry newsletters that are essential destination marketing resources

9 | Destinations International NewsBriefs

By publishing curated articles on pressing industry issues, Destinations International NewsBriefs strives to inform and empower destination marketing professionals. Each issue includes 4 main sections to give you a good overview of what’s new and current in the space:

  1. Top News
  2. International Events
  3. Best Practices, Trends & Technology
  4. Industry News

From international travel concerns to the impact of technology on destination marketing, this valuable resource will ensure you’re always up-to-date on the latest in tourism.

10 | The Travel Vertical

The premise is simple: the creators of the Travel Vertical read a bunch of newsletters every week, so you don’t have to. Then they choose the five best stories and curate them into an even more concentrated, high-impact newsletter for busy destination marketers like yourself.

11 | Destination Analysts

Destination Analysts is a travel research company that provides brands in travel and tourism with the latest insights and information to help evolve their tourism marketing strategies with content like visitor profiles, destination brand research and more. Every quarter they release a free State of the American Traveler report through their newsletter.

12 | Phocuswright Open Access

Phocuswright another research company that conducts in-depth primary research in trends in the travel industry. They offer a paid subscription service which unlock valuable information such as consumer surveys, market forecasts, technology trends, and data visualization.

Recommended destination marketing blog posts to get you up to speed

13 | A DMO’s Guide to Measuring the ROI of Social Media

Effective social media marketing requires understanding why it’s working – and why your DMO should continue to invest resources into it. This guide shows you how to track the social media metrics that matter.

14 |  State Tourism Instagram Study [Infographic]

How are the biggest DMOs in America using Instagram? In this interactive infographic, the folks at TwoSix Digital have analyzed all 50 and have pulled insights as to the average number of followers, how active the average state is on the platform, and more learnings. This is a great piece to get familiar with the landscape of Instagram in destination marketing.

15 | How Visit Pittsburgh Transforms Old Perceptions of the City with User-Generated Content

A look at how displaying authentic visuals online can change the public’s perception of your destination for the better.

16 | 10 Examples of Visual Influencer Brands All DMOs Can Learn From

Check out these examples of brands that are visual influencers to see how your DMO can use visuals in more creative and impactful ways.

17 | 7 DMO Websites that Deliver Beautiful Visual Experiences

A well-designed website can showcase your destination and the unique experiences it offers to visitors. This article highlights seven examples of websites that offer ideal user experiences centered around visual content.

Destination Marketing eBook Resources

18 | Why Travelers Aren’t Using DMO Websites

Is your website drawing visitors to your destination – or is it falling into the shadows behind independent blogs and third-party sites? Learn everything you need to know about why some DMO websites aren’t as popular, and what you can do to turn your site into a traveler’s first source of travel inspiration.

19 | Google Analytics 101 for Destination Marketing: A Hands-on Guide for Digital Marketers

Whether you’re new to Google Analytics or just need a refresher, this guide will help you navigate through all the data that exists in Google Analytics, to focus on where to get the metrics that matter the most to your job.

This handy destination marketing resource covers everything from getting Google Analytics set up on your website to discovering, tracking, and optimizing your most effective acquisition channels.

The building blocks of a successful destination marketing career

The key to continued success is continued learning. By taking advantage of the free destination marketing resources available to you, you’re already on the right track.

Remember to always keep an open mind, seek out new information, and be willing to adapt your strategies based on changes in the industry. 

Got a great destination marketing resource we missed? Tweet us @CrowdRiff!