I was delighted to attend the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in the beautiful Potomac Highlands region of West Virginia. The conference gave me an opportunity to reconnect with tourism professionals of all backgrounds and hear about both the latest trends and growing pains facing this evolving industry as broad preferences shift and technology changes the way people experience and plan their trips.

On top of specific details on the current state of tourism in West Virginia, general industry themes that emerged from the event included the importance of leveraging data to uncover trends, innovating through collaboration, as well as conservation and inclusion. Additionally, many sessions were devoted to various tactics and best practices for creating captivating content.

Aki - WV Blog

Some snaps from the conference

I was happy to discuss with attendees what a difference highly tailored and impeccably timed messaging can make in their efforts. At Aki, we have perfected an advertising technology solution that travel and tourism brands have used successfully to help engage and inspire travelers during key moments.

The multichannel solution enables outreach across a variety of formats and channels to deliver relevant advertisements during receptive moments. Patented technology dynamically personalizes messaging based on variables including the recipient, the region and the weather, with hundreds of thousands of creative variations possible from a single asset. This superior advertising experience promotes audience receptivity, building trust and attention to ultimately drive sales.

West Virginia Tourism experienced the effectiveness of personalized creative after partnering with Aki to inspire potential travelers. The campaign identified four different types of adventure-loving audiences and tailored messaging accordingly. By uniquely targeting Adventurists, Outdoor Families, Golden Explorers and Affluent Travelers, the effort increased awareness by 5.4%, consideration lift by 17.6% and travel intent by a whopping 44.4%.

Adventurists, for example, were between the ages of 25 to 54, had a household income of $40K-$70K, and showed interest in hiking and backpacking. The Golden Explorers, meanwhile, were between the ages of 55 to 69, had a household income over $50K, and showed an interest in the arts and the outdoors. These signals were then combined with machine learning and pattern-recognition technology to identify the moments that each target audience was most likely to engage with the mobile advertisements that were personalized to their interests. The advertising creative was refreshed to match the season to provide an additional layer of relevance. The creative achieved an average engagement rate of 3.65% and a 2.12% rich media click-through rate.

Aki Blog - WV - Fall

Aki Blog - WV - WinterVisuals of the Fall and Winter advertisements

It goes without saying that I wouldn’t pass up a chance to visit this gorgeous mountain state with its magnificent views and charming towns filled with unique boutiques and local art galleries. It was a pleasure to attend the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and collaborate with others in the industry to drive success and celebrate wins.

To learn more about Aki’s Travel and Tourism solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out today.

Abby Fliss, Account Executive