From Sales Tool to Site Development: The Evolution of Destination Marketing on the Web

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Abstract:

The travel industry increasingly uses Web marketing to reach its customers, both actual and potential. This is not surprising given that more than 63 million people used the Web to make their travel plans in 2004. Although considerable attention has been paid to website rankings and effectiveness, researchers know comparatively little about the contexts of how sites were created, nor how they continue to evolve, and the successes and challenges involved in travel-related website creation and maintenance. This article reviews the literature concerning destination management organizations (DMOs) and Web marketing on the international scale. It reviews the evolution of Web development through three CVBs in the US—Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau—that have demonstrated innovation in using the Web as a powerful and successful marketing tool. By using this evolutionary lens as the article's comparative framework, practitioners and researchers may better anticipate technological innovation in Web marketing for destination management organizations. These organizations serve as models for sales, revenues, and site development, respectively. The case studies offer “lessons learned,” providing possibilities for adoption and point the way to further research.
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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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