Skift magazine recently published an article on The Rise of the Boutique Destination that described how smaller destinations are able to use digital marketing techniques to break through and reach consumers. Many smaller destinations that focus on what makes them unique and showcase the local products and businesses are finding great success.
This reminds me of my tourism days at St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & the Beaches where we spent time to make sure the destination didn’t become a part of the homogenization of America. In the early 2000’s, we were all experiencing strong growth of corporate brands like Target, Wal-Mart and many chain restaurants. Being a small destination with a rich heritage, the stakeholders put into place destination master plan that preserved the local restaurants, attractions, shops and much more.
The tourism leaders understood that what made them unique and different is what would continue to attract visitors for years to come. Not to say that you can’t find a Wal-Mart, Outback Steakhouse or Chick-Fil-A in the destination, but you definitely won’t find them in the heart of downtown St. Augustine or in the resort communities of Ponte Vedra.
Small destinations that create a boutique destination feel that connects the local experiences available with a strong content marketing strategy will continue to see travelers embracing their experiences both online and offline.