Digital Marketing is continuing to optimize digital promotion of the destination through online channels. The focus for the Visit GPS website remains on creating a more engaging user experience for visitors, while emphasizing key areas including chill deals and the events calendar. Visit GPS is continuing to contract with travel data providers to measure the impact of digital marketing campaigns on hotel and air bookings, as well as actual visitation.
Signature Event Landing Pages
Visit GPS has created landing pages for large annual events, which has been driving more traffic to the website while giving both more exposure to the event and the visitor additional information on it. Desert X has been the top-performing landing page with 7,715 page views.
Visit GPS launched a new reporting microsite for the Sales & Marketing Plan that includes easy navigation to search for reporting between departments. To date it has received over 1,500 page views from our Partners since its January 24 launch.
Find Your Own Oasis – the Making of a Song
“Find Your Own Oasis” is the Greater Palm Springs theme song. A landing page for the song has been created that takes website visitors behind the scenes of the making of the song and invites them to download the song on iTunes for $.99. Proceeds for the song helps fund the Greater Palm Springs Tourism Foundation.
Organic traffic is the top traffic driver to the Visit GPS website. In January and February, organic traffic accounted for 33.58% of total traffic. The other top-performing traffic channels were paid search (29.9%) and display (19.2%).
On the Horizon
Check the website shortly for a new Favorites feature. Visitors will be able to select their favorite restaurants, hotels, activities and events to create a list of things to do while visiting the oasis.
How to Get Involved
Partner Extranet: Be sure to keep your profile up to date on the Visit GPS website by logging in to the partner extranet at www.mygpscvb.com. This includes updating listing data and your business description, images and special offers for chillpass.com.
Chill Pass: Add your tourism-related offers through the Partner extranet. When you log in, if you have marketing access, click on the Collateral tab on the left of the screen, then click Special Offers to view, add and edit your Chill Pass offers. Your offers will be reviewed before posting live on www.chillpass.com.
Calendar of Events: We love to keep readers informed of the latest events taking place in Greater Palm Springs! If you have a tourism or hospitality-related event that you would like promoted on the Visit GPS online calendar, please submit your event to www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com/events/submit. Once your offer has been submitted, it will be reviewed by Visit GPS prior to publishing on the site.
If you have forgotten your password to the extranet, please visit the Partner log-in page and click on “forgot password.”
Digital Library: We continue to add new images and request approval of existing images for our Greater Palm Springs destination photo/video gallery. The site features high-resolution images and videos that can be used by media and trade to market the destination. It’s easy to set up your account at www.barberstock.com/GreaterPalmSprings.
Based on the success of 2018 digital programs, Visit GPS continued Expedia, TripAdvisor and Travelzoo. These campaigns incorporate strong calls-to-action along with direct booking options for travelers. New to 2019, Visit GPS launched a campaign on Weather.com. This tactic was implemented in response to findings in the recent Greater Palm Springs Image and Awareness study, which showed weather as a key factor in interest and booking travel to GPS.
A digital campaign with Expedia promoted the Greater Palm Springs destination landing page, featuring 79 Partner hotel deals. From January to February, this campaign delivered 3.3 million impressions on Expedia Partner websites, such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Cheap Tickets and Hotels.com. The campaign also included a landing page targeting key fly markets with information on flights to PSP. As a result, air tickets for the month of February are up 27.6% YOY. The overall campaign has generated an excellent return on ad spend at $242.4 to $1. In addition to the domestic campaign, the destination launched campaigns in Canada and Mexico for the first time in February. These international campaigns were launched in cooperation with Brand USA and include a financial match contribution. For the month of February, the Canadian campaign earned a return on ad spend of $19.7 with air ticket sales up 7.4% YOY and hotel bookings up 5.6% YOY. We do not have stats for the Mexico campaign as it just launched.
Advertising on TripAdvisor generated 892,867 impressions for the months of January and February. This campaign has generated a strong click-through rate of .29% (compared to a TripAdvisor average of .10%).
Advertising with Travelzoo generated 21 million impressions for January and February. The GPS destination landing page features nine Partner offers, including Colony Palms, Desert Adventures Jeep Tours, Doubletree by Hilton, Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, JW Marriott Desert Springs, Renaissance Indian Wells, Saguaro, Social Cycle and Westin Mission Hills Mission Hills. For the months of January and February, this campaign has generated 11.445 clicks to the Visit GPS website and 37,685 clicks to Partner deals pages. A standalone email sent on January 31 generated 2,967 sessions on the Visit GPS website. A “Top 20” Travelzoo email sent on February 8 also generated over 1,640 visits to the website. Both were top traffic sources to the website on these dates.
Visit GPS contracted with two travel data providers at the beginning of the current fiscal year to better understand the impact of Visit GPS' digital media plan and website. The two data providers are Adara and Arrivalist. Below is an overview of each program:
Adara – Booking Data
Tracks users exposed to paid media, paid social media or the Visit GPS website
Tracks hotel bookings, hotel revenue and air bookings through a 60-day pixel
Cookies must be enabled
Arrivalist – Arrival Data
Tracks users exposed to TripAdvisor campaign or the Visit GPS website
Tracks a visitor’s actual arrival into the destination through geolocation on their mobile device
Cookies and geolocation on the user’s mobile device must be enabled
Since July, the Arrivalist campaign has tracked a total of 6,565,143 exposures and 8,926 arrivals into Greater Palm Springs. This results in an average arrival per thousand impressions (APM) of 1.36, compared to the Arrivalist benchmark APM of 0.30. December and February both saw high total arrivals and APM, which aligns with the seasonality of the destination.
The Visit GPS website shows a stronger correlation with arrivals in market compared to TripAdvisor. VisitGreaterPalmSprings.com received more than double the amount of impressions as TripAdvisor. Additionally, the website’s APM for the campaign duration is 1.52, compared to 0.99 for TripAdvisor. This indicates that the Visit GPS website visitors have higher travel intent than those exposed to the TripAdvisor campaign.
Since launching in September 2018, Adara has tracked $3,276,390.85 in hotel revenue impact from digital media and $1,356,741 in hotel revenue impact from the website.
Bookings, ADR and revenue from digital media campaigns dipped in December, while website bookings increased. While the number of bookings by those who visited the website increased month-over-month, the stay length and ADR decreased each month, leading to lower revenue despite higher volume of bookings.
The data above also shows total bookings are lower for the website when compared to digital media. Although there are fewer bookings by those visiting the website, Arrivalist data shows a strong arrival rate among website visitors. This likely indicates that visitors come to the CVB website after booking their hotel, when they are seeking travel information for an upcoming trip. This data will help inform Visit GPS' website strategy as we continue to better understand our website visitors.
If you have any questions about Digital Marketing, please contact:
Marissa Willman, Director of Digital Marketing | firstname.lastname@example.org | 760.969.1348
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