A new year, a new destination

It’s a new year, and for many hoteliers and hospitality marketing directors, there is a new marketing plan for the property. While most marketing plans strategically cover everything from food and beverage promotions to marketing photo shoots and social media initiatives, how much of the plan is thoughtfully allocated to the actual destination? Destination marketing — whether you are a hotelier or an activity operator — is an integral part of any marketing strategy.

The Island of Lana’i, for example, ushered in the new year with an innovative campaign appropriately titled “Love Lanai.” It is an opportunity to introduce — or reintroduce — the beauty, culture and endless opportunities the island offers. It is all about reminding visitors — and then reminding them again and again.  

Love Lanai was created to tell the stories of this magical island, and we are fortunate to have two amazing Four Seasons properties here. The digital campaign leverages the use of compelling cinematography, vibrant images and rich stories all captured a few months leading up to midnight on January 1, 2014. Through the strategic use of social media, the campaign went viral as soon as it went live. Visitors from across the globe were immediately transported to a Lana’i moment. The campaign focuses on opportunities of the destination, from adventure to culture. The stylistic videos leave you wanting more.

Love Lanai was an immediate success. Stats include 3,162 Facebook followers in just days and one million views of the digital trailer in the first week alone. The destination of Lana’i is #trending.  

The campaign is a compelling example of the importance of marketing your destination. Whether it’s the chicken before the egg or the hotel before the destination, one thing is certain: visitors and audiences positively respond to marketers who have a deep understanding of the importance of the destination itself. It’s critical to identify new opportunities to market your hotel — not just with a sole focus on the property, but with the surroundings and the actual marketing format. We live in a digital age. Leverage your environment and resources — the people, places and landmarks that make your destination unique — and weave those elements into today’s marketing strategy.  

The year has just begun; what will your destination mean to your guests in 2014?