Open mic: help travelers enrich their time, and they’ll be willing to give you more of it

Travel marketing is so much more than selling rooms–it’s selling time. When you help a traveler enrich their time, they’ll be willing to give you more of it.

And with deep roots in the community, independent hotels are uniquely positioned as hosts to help travelers maximize their time. And more time leads to better profitability.

That’s why Ed St. Onge and Hal Fickett from our team recently joined Trevor Stuart-Hill and Catherine Smagala of Revenue Matters as part of our open mic jam session.

Take a peek at a few top highlights from our conversation. 🎙️


Video 1: Building traveler relationships + the why

“…the reason you want to sell the experience is to ultimately sell more time.”

Elevate destination experiences with the community

To help you showcase your property’s destination and its experiences, put to work relationships with past guests, your team, local businesses, and if you have one, your destination marketing organization.

These resources can help you crowdsource the experiences that ultimately help win over new audiences of travelers.


Video 2: Elevate destination experiences with the community

“If you want to stick out amongst your competitive set, be the best source of knowing your community.”

Maximize your role as host, online and off

Once armed with the experiences around your community, use them to win over planners on your site in the consideration phase.

Showcase stories from guests not only enjoying their time at your property, but also encountering these community gems.


Video 3: Maximize your role as a host, online and off

“If you can give [the traveler] the information that they need about your destination, things to see and do…you’re setting yourself up for success.”

Have more personal, meaningful traveler conversations

Once travelers are educated and excited about your destination, it’s time to engage them in meaningful conversations on your site. These digital conversations should reflect real-life conversations that aim to be helpful.

By doing so, you’re building stronger relationships and trust among your audience—gains that ultimately help and increase direct, incremental revenue.


Video 4: Making digital journeys reflect real-life conversations

“Your website and booking engine should be as good of an experience as if they called you… We should be narrating these digital journeys as a conversation.”

Align marketing + revenue management

Collaborating on an integrated strategy where marketing, revenue management, and distribution are all aligned ultimately means we all can get better, together.


Video 5: Align your marketing and revenue management teams

“[The bottom line]—if we don’t all row in the same direction, then we’re not going to have optimal performance.”

Being a better host leads to better profitability

Selling more time leads to greater profitability. When independent hotels shepherd the story of their destination well, that leads to a highly engaged audience that costs less to acquire and opens properties up for extended stays since travelers know how to maximize their time.

Blending that with your revenue management strategy amplifies your impact even more.


Video 6: How does this lead to being more profitable?

“If you’re taking that incremental approach to having better conversations [and] information on your site, you will see… lower costs of acquisition [down to] transaction.”


To hear more from the minds at Revenue Matters, give them a follow here. And if you’re ready to reach, inspire and win over more travelers, say hello to Hal here at Flip.to—we’re ready to kick off the conversation on topping your goals!

How NCBound is helping vacation rentals unlock marketing that’s built on trust

By teaming up, we believe we can drive a more profitable VR community.

That’s why Ed St. Onge and Hal Fickett from our team recently joined Paul Hanak and Diamond Frandsen of InterCoastal Net Designs (ICND) to chat reimagined marketing for vacation rentals. And thanks to the first-of-its-kind Destination Collaborative sponsored by Visit North Carolina, the VR community can put these ideas into action.

Take a peek at a few top highlights from our conversation. 🎙️

Why collaboration?

Visit North Carolina and Flip.to are teaming up on NorthCarolinaBound to deliver direct impact to lodging partners and help the whole state accelerate.

That means by joining, industry partners like vacation rentals get access to the Flip.to marketing platform thanks to a full sponsorship by the state—so there’s no out-of-pocket costs to take part.

And that’s a big win. With Flip.to, vacation rental marketers reach, inspire and win over travelers in the dreaming and planning phases to grow their direct channel in a way that’s good for everyone—travel brand and traveler alike.


Video 1: NorthCarolinaBound: Let's inspire and win over more travelers, together.

“Visit NC… have sponsored the platform for any lodging provider in the state of North Carolina to be able to use the platform for their own goals and purposes… at no cost to them.”

Reach & inspire an audience of dreamers

Travel brands start by winning over travelers in the dreaming phase, reaching and inspiring a right-fit audience with the help of past guests. Earn warm introductions to their friends and family help you reach a high-quality, right-fit demographic and build your top of funnel with warm leads.


Video 2: Flip.to for Vacation Rentals-A Snapshot of Advocacy

“When we talk about the dreaming phase, we think this is a big opportunity for the vacation rental industry to position themselves to win the hearts and minds of travelers before they’ve even decided they want to travel.

Win over planners considering North Carolina

In the planning phase, brands spark conversations with travelers deciding where to go next to increase conversion, with the revenue impact tracked in real-time. On average, we’re seeing a double-digit increase in conversion.


Video 3: Discovery: Unveil and re-engage planners on your site

“The primary goal of Discovery is to get you into a meaningful conversation with as many people who come to your website as possible. And when you understand what they’re interested in and they tell you who they are…the second goal of Discovery is to drive more people into booking.”

Amplify other marketing efforts

When Flip.to introduced Discovery to Paul Hanak and Diamond Frandsen at ICND, they immediately understood its game-changing capabilities.


Video 4: Launch Highly Targeted Marketing Campaigns with First-Party Data from Discovery

“Being able to access first-party data from Discovery for your campaigns “will make your marketing team very happy”.

Discovery allows partners like ICND to understand shopping windows and launch other highly-targeted marketing campaigns that are based on a traveler’s intent.


Video 5: Why Discovery Opens Up an Entirely New Paradigm on How to Market

“Discovery “opens up an entirely new paradigm on how to market. In the hands of someone who knows what to do with that, it can really change things. This is why we like partnering with ICND…they immediately understood what this would mean to them.”


Join the hundreds of lodging partners in regions across the state already on NorthCarolinaBound. As a fully sponsored initiative backed by the NC and Flip.to teams—all of the cost and heavy lifting is done.

Logos of various North Carolina destinations (Asheville, Visit Raleigh, The Outer Banks of North Carolina, Visit Winston Salem, and Wilmington)

Start winning over travelers at a massive scale and drive increased revenue for your accommodations with Flip.to.

Visit NC launches first-of-its-kind collaborative, joining regional destinations to drive measurable, real-time impact to lodging partners

Destinations, lodging properties and travelers converge with Visit North Carolina’s launch of NorthCarolinaBound, a collaboration on the destination marketing platform Flip.to. For the first time, destination marketers and the lodging industry are joining together to market and win over travelers on a single platform—growing audiences and directly driving revenue for the travel industry.

The goal is to help state tourism accelerate quickly, profitably and sustainably. “It’s our mission to drive meaningful growth to the tourism industry with innovation that provides measurable impact,” said Wit Tuttell, director of Visit NC, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

“NorthCarolinaBound delivers directly to our destination and lodging partners in all 100 counties while engaging with travelers in positive ways. Our regions and lodging industry will be pleased, as we are, that there’s no cost for them to participate.”

Screencapture of Flip.to for North Carolina Bound webpage https://join.flip.to/ncbound

By joining, industry partners get access to the Flip.to marketing platform. Travel brands start by winning over travelers in the dreaming phase, reaching and inspiring a right-fit audience with the help of past guests and locals. In the planning phase, brands spark conversations with travelers deciding where to go next, and increase conversion with the revenue impact tracked in real-time.

Richard Geiger, president of Visit Winston-Salem in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, emphasized the immediate value of taking part:

“We’re bringing measurable support to our lodging partners. This strategically and effectively connects our destination and partners with travelers. We are confident Flip.to will fortify and complement our efforts to grow leisure travel to Winston-Salem.”

Beyond its power to reach and win over new visitors to the state, the platform provides first-of-its-kind insights to every member that joins, Tuttell said. Regional and statewide demographic data, along with behavioral insights, will inform decisions about the best investments of marketing dollars.

By working together on a single platform, destinations and lodging properties will earn the most profitable business by using these insights to improve their marketing funnel and bottom-line growth, staying the course of dynamic progress for North Carolina.

“Our collaboration with Flip.to is a watershed moment for the state,” added Allison Schult, Visit NC’s Strategic Marketing Consultant.

“NorthCarolinaBound not only brings incredible innovation; the platform brings the state closer to all of our regional destinations, it creates powerful interactions and connections between industry partners and their lodging communities, and tracks measurable impact in real time to revenue—it’s a competitive edge.”


To learn more and engage, destination marketing organizations can connect at join.flip.to/northcarolinabound/destinations. Accommodation providers can get started at join.flip.to/ncbound.

A Destination Platform: How a collaboration 5 years in the making helped Condo-World and Visit Myrtle Beach put up big wins

One of the important aspects of collaboration is that—beyond being a sustainable strategy for growth—it grows to become a long term competitive edge.

We’ve seen this proven in Myrtle Beach. Now in a record-performant year after one of the fastest rebounds in the country, early collaboration was the foundation for their recovery.

We’re now 5 years in to the partnership. In lockstep with Alex Husner, CMO of Condo-World and newly elected Chair of the Board of Visit Myrtle Beach, we’ve seen the community soar.

We sat down with Alex to talk about the big wins both organizations have seen, including how the platform is driving their decision-making, a better path to conversion, and tackling their big rocks.

Early adopters

Condo-World and Visit Myrtle Beach agreed that having better conversations and more authentic relationships with travelers would naturally lead to better conversion. That led them to become early adopters of the platform.


Video 1: Visit Myrtle Beach + Condo-World: Early Adopters

“We all knew that there was a better way; a more personalized way to get guests along the funnel.”

Collaborative insights drives decision making

The insights gained from across the community l have helped everyone understand what’s making the most impact down to dollars. That has shaped marketing efforts in real time, and has led to exponential growth in audience and revenue.


Video 2: Flip.to for Visit Myrtle Beach: Collaborative Insights

“Through Flip.to we’ve been able to build one of the most sophisticated data structures of any DMO in the country.”

Winning over travelers

Whether in the dreaming phase, planning phase or booking phase, Flip.to helps Condo-World and Visit Myrtle Beach reach a high-quality audience, inspiring them with the right message at the right time in their traveler journey.


Video 3: Flip.to and the Traveler Journey: winning over dreamers, planners and bookers

“We’ve been able to use Flip.to to make more informed decisions on our advertising.”

Better conversations with travelers

A reimagined booking path, Discovery sparks conversations with planners on both sites in a more authentic way, building an audience, learning their intent, and winning them over. This, of course, leads to increased revenue.


Video 4: Discovery: Unveil & re-engage planners on your site, tracked to revenue

“We’ve really flipped the script on how abandonment works. We know there’s a lot of nurturing that needs to happen along the way, and through Flip.to we’re able to do that.”

Impact

The Flip.to platform is helping Condo-World and Visit Myrtle Beach grow an owned audience of travelers, enabling them to have better conversations with that audience, and following the impact of those relationships all the way down to dollars.


Video 5: Alex on the Flip.to team

“Working with the Flip.to team could not be better. They’re passionate about what they do. They’re passionate about technology, but they’re also passionate about travel.”

And it’s working better than we could have dreamed. So far this year, we’ve helped earn and track $37 million across all of Myrtle Beach.

That’s on top of the high quality audience growth, and all of the other benefits of the platform— including a mission that’s been a sustaining factor for their travel industry: collaboration.

Caribbean travelers-turned-storytellers inspire growth for a region

In a few short weeks we will be “wheels up” for Montego Bay, Jamaica to attend the annual Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

CHTA has paired up with Flip.to to raise awareness for the entire region as part of ‘Rhythms of the Caribbean’ storyteller campaign, and the  impact has been remarkable, so far.

Not only that, but we’re working with properties of all shapes and sizes across the Caribbean, working together to make an impact from the regional level all the way down to the hotel.

To celebrate, we’re sharing some of our favorite storytellers from these outstanding travel brands throughout the islands to show how everyone from a locals to travelers are reaching and growing new audiences, netting incredible results each and every day.

Jamaica Inn – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Jamaica Inn Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Matt joined his fellow travelers to help reach an audience of 55 thousand in just 3 months. These storytellers helped drive impact for Jamaica Inn, converting 3.2x higher than the average paid search campaign, a testament to the receptive warmth of the audience and quality demographic.

Pure Granada – Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique

Pure Granada — Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique

Destination marketers Pure Granada are winning over new travelers for Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique by switching on advocacy. In just the first 2 months, their storytellers have reached an audience of more than 200 thousand travelers worldwide, driving thousands of site visitors and warm leads for the destination.

El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton – San Juan, Puerto Rico

El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by HiltonSan Juan, Puerto Rico

Lesley visited El San Juan Hotel for rejuvenation and relaxation. She and her fellow travelers placed the hotel at the center of their rich, authentic stories shared. Together, they introduced the hotel worldwide, helping earn over 600 warm leads in just 15 weeks—each who are being delivered authentic, personal conversations and nurtured for a future visit to this picturesque property.

The Crane – St. Philip, Barbados

The Crane – St. Philip, Barbados

The Crane is no stranger to success. They proved to be the perfect fit for George and his family, and memories like those shared have a lasting impact for their resort.

In only 15 weeks, travelers reached an audience of over 200 thousand, proven to be the warmest, most receptive audience for their resort by converting leads at over 3x the industry benchmark.

Thatch Caye Island Resort – Dangriga, Belize

Thatch Caye Island Resort – Dangriga, Belize

A peaceful moment captured during Steven’s stay at Thatch Caye Island Resort speaks volumes to the natural beauty that surrounds the property. He brought over 100 visitors back to the hotel’s site all on his own一tapping into new audiences previously out of reach. And he’s joining fellow travelers each and every day to reach new audiences for Thatch Caye.

Ladera Resort – Soufriere, Saint Lucia

Ladera Resort – Soufriere, Saint Lucia

Hana was awestruck by the beauty at Ladera Resort. Her favorite travel memory was shared to over 400 friends & relatives一fellow travelers with similar interests and buying habits, and the perfect demographic for their resort.

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort – La Baie de Silence, Saint Lucia

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort – La Baie de Silence, Saint Lucia

Sugar Beach’s staff made an incredible impression for Grant and his wife, going above and beyond for their stay.

So much so, it was an experience Grant was excited to share on to friends & family, and helped track impact for their hotel on top of it. Sugar Beach was introduced to thousands of his friends, with over 200 site visitors coming back to learn about the St. Lucia property, and 131 warm leads to friends just one degree away from Grant and showed interest in a future stay.

Copal Tree Lodge – Punta Gorda, Belize

Copal Tree Lodge – Punta Gorda, Belize

Cale joined other travelers-turned-storytellers when he shared his wonderfully exceeded expectations of Copal Tree Lodge. In just 3 months, over 36 thousand friends & relatives were personally introduced by someone they know and trust, resulting in hundreds of warm leads for this unique Belize property.

Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort Curaçao – Newport, Curaçao

Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort Curaçao – Newport, Curaçao

Suzanne captured a timeless memory to share for years to come with Santa Barbara Resort Curacao at the center of her experience. This compelling story matters the most to her friends & family and they drove impact for the property一over 1,500 site visits and 164 warm leads to Santa Barbara Resort Curacao一in the most authentic way possible.

Bay Gardens Resorts – Gros-Islet, Saint Lucia

Bay Gardens Resorts – Gros-Islet, Saint Lucia

Bay Gardens attentive hospitality inspired Kennedy to join other traveler-turned-storytellers in sharing their experiences at the resort. Together, they’re warmly introducing these exceptional properties to new audiences, in the most trusted way possible—all while getting more for every dollar they invest into marketing.

Couples Resorts Jamaica – Ocho Rios and Negril, Jamaica

Couples Resorts Jamaica – Ocho Rios and Negril, Jamaica

Susan has been making memories at Couples Resorts in Jamaica for over 10 years. She introduced her friends and family to their beachfront properties, leading to 32 warm introductions to like-minded travelers who showed interest in a romantic getaway of their own.

Casa de Campo Resort and Villas – La Romana, Dominican Republic

Casa de Campo Resort and Villas – La Romana, Dominican Republic

For Gordon and his family, time spent at Casa de Campo was one for the books. Along with other storytellers, they reached over 100 thousand new demographic一all just one degree away.


These are just a few of the storytellers helping net new audiences of travelers through Flip.to, each and every day.

Just can’t get enough? See more stories here, and if you’re heading to Jamaica—get in touch with us here!

60 days in: How Tourism Australia won the Super Bowl

It’s been 60 days since the Philadelphia Eagles upset the New England Patriots at Super Bowl LII.

If you’re anything like me, though, what stuck with you wasn’t the game. I’m talking commercials—and the storytelling of brands who shelled out millions of dollars for their moment in the advertising spotlight.

And this year, thanks to Tourism Australia, destination marketing took center stage. Since the drop of the newest Dundee movie campaign, we’ve all been waiting in anticipation for what’s next for the brand.

Today, we speak to why it worked, the impact of Australia’s faux-film so far, and what the future looks like. Take a look!

 

For more on the Dundee campaign and its long-term impact for travel marketing in Australia, check out what the Drum and NewsComAu had to say, and be sure to tune in to the Why Australia video series.

Plus, let us know what you thought and be sure to follow along with Allison Schult, Hunter and me, here—we’d love to connect with you!