Travel itineraries are no new thing in the world of destination marketing–but are your destination’s itineraries adding value to your strategic marketing efforts? We’ll walk you through how to make an irresistibly-clickable itinerary for your audience. We’ll walk you through the entire process of creating itineraries for your destination, starting with goal setting and strategic planning, persona identification, brainstorming, writing copy, and refining through data.
- A Multi-night Vision
Let’s inspire visitors to spend multiple nights in your destination, encouraging midweek stays. By inspiring your visitors to stay longer, they spend more. Of course, each DMOwill have its own specifications and limitations related to the overall goal of creating a travel itinerary, which should be considered when creating the perfect multi-night itinerary.
2. Audience-to-Visitor Goals
Next we want to think through the user flow of these itineraries and design Key Performance Indicator (KPI) goals based on the different marketing channel touch points your audience has with your brand. With our vision of visitors looking at multi-night itineraries, our end-goal will be to have your audience book a stay. We want to design a user experience that naturally leads them to click to book. Of course, we don’t always know if they do, as they can book through other sites, but we can gauge their interest and their place in the decision making process by tracking what pages of your website they visit through booking widgets, Google analytics, and Facebook pixel tracking codes imbedded into the headers of various landing pages on your website. With these itinerary landing pages, there are three main avenues we want to highlight on how to get your audience to convert to visitors: website visitors, social media followers, and e-newsletter subscribers.
A great example of a destination using an itinerary for the booking widget is Ventura County Coast’s 2022 Superbowl landing page. In addition to utilizing the widget, there was a football-specific “things to pack list” for visitors to print. Also included were hotel options and Ventura County Coast experiences, as well as a custom map from SO-FI Stadium and icons showing travel times from LA, all encouraging 2022 Superbowl travelers to add Ventura County to their must-stay list.
3. Making the Most of your Channels
After identifying the three main channels to push your itinerary content, we want to delve into what this would look like on each platform.
- Add the itinerary to your website, either as a blog or as an itinerary landing page. With your first avenue of audience-to-visitors we are looking to convert, we want to focus on how to get someone who is Googling your city to go a step further and take on the vision of a multi-night stay. Having some form of a CTA button or feature on your homepage that directs them to the itinerary landing page will increase traffic to that landing page.
- Next, to reach your social media followers, take the itinerary content and repurpose it into a post, a story, create a carousel post, or a number of other out-of-the-box creative things (see our other March blog). Here, you’ll want your caption to have a call to action to click to learn more. This link should also send them to your website itinerary landing page.
- For your e-newsletter subscribers, incorporate your itinerary content into your email. The e-newsletter itself should have CTA buttons that encourage your audience to click through, bringing them to the itinerary landing page and the booking widget. The real goldmine of this type of content is that it can be repurposed in multiple ways to leverage your marketing efforts.
An example of showcasing an itinerary as a blog on your website, as well as an e-newsletter feature, is Visit Camarillo’s “Aviation-Themed Vacation” leveraging a bid-demand-driver event “Wings Over Camarillo.” To drive people to their landing page, the itinerary was used in a monthly e-newsletter, which included a compelling giveaway. This itinerary encouraged visitation to other nearby museums and aviation-themed locations like skydiving, ultralight, and dining experiences. The blog finishes off with a booking widget as a CTA for the audience to book their stay. Another example of an itinerary being utilized in many different forms is Visit Atascadero’s All In Campaign, with a Family Itinerary, Outdoors Itinerary, and Culinary Itinerary all with corresponding video ads used throughout various social media channels.
4. Curating your Irresistibly-Clickable Itinerary
It all happens in three easy steps: research & ideation, itinerary outline and execution. This final step is where you begin writing your content. What we keep top-of-mind when creating an itinerary is mixing what is new in the destination with old favorites or popular landmarks and attractions. Lean into your destination’s unique vibe to help your audience choose your destination over any other.You can do this by highlighting small businesses or one-of-a-kind experiences (, see our January Blog for how to do this). Look for opportunities to highlight businesses that are smaller that don’t get a lot of attention but are doing something really unique that people would want to see. And keep these experiences evergreen so they are always relevant. You can also design itineraries by persona: family, good vibe seekers, outdoors, foodie, etc. Keep a “What’s New” document where you can jot down those off-the-cuff moments when you’re talking to friends, listening to a podcast,, or on social media and see something that would be a draw for vacationers.
5. It’s all in the Copy
To create excitement for your destination so visitors choose it over another, grab them at the start with quick, bold copy that draws them in. Itineraries keep people on your website longer, and as they’re reading the itinerary and browsing, you want offer enticing links so it’s keeping them on your website longer. For your copy,, write with the goal of keeping people on your site longer. This increases the likelihood they will book a stay, with the side benefit of increasing your SEO. You can also boost engagement through images and videos.
Check out the engaging copy, photos, and layout on Visit Camarillo’s Family Weekend Itinerary landing page. Great visuals, broken up into day-long sections, clickable hearts, and “learn more” buttons encourage audience engagement with the content.
When looking to create new content that can be used across multiple platforms, creating custom itineraries for your destination is a great place to start!
Create your multi-night vision, define your KPI goals and CTAs, strategically curate your content. Then write copy and gather content for optimum click-ability, and you will have an irresistible itinerary!
For more information on how Verdin can market your destination, contact [email protected] for more information.