Tag Archives: Visit Omaha

Women’s Impact on Tourism

December 20, 2016 by

Who makes the travel decisions in your family? I am betting the majority of you will answer, “I do” (if you are a woman) or “my wife/girlfriend does” (if you are a man). It is typically the woman who plans the family vacations, it is the woman who figures out a way to get the cousins together for a reunion, and it is usually the woman who figures out the logistics of taking their child on college visits. It is also more than likely a woman who plans all the business trips in your office. Experts estimate that women make 70-80 percent of all consumer purchasing decisions, which includes the $947 billion spent on travel each year. 

Not only are they making the travel decisions, more and more women are traveling. At the Women in Travel & Tourism conference early this year, it was revealed that the average traveler was once a 28-year-old male—now it’s a 47-year-old female. This is one of the reasons the advertising we use to convince consumers to travel to Omaha targets women between the ages of 25-54.

Women make the majority of the travel decisions, and on the other side of the coin they also make up nearly 70 percent of the travel, tourism, and hospitality workforce. Think about it: who normally checks you in at the hotel, cleans your hotel room, serves you at the restaurant, takes your ticket at the airport, and plans most of the events, meetings, and conventions? Women. However, experts contend there is a marked underrepresentation of women in senior positions, with women holding less than 40 percent of all managerial positions.

This isn’t the case at Visit Omaha, Omaha’s official tourism authority, where 82 percent of the staff are women and 57 percent of the senior leadership team are women, including our V.P. of convention sales and our V.P. of marketing and communications. If women make up a significant portion of your customer base, it makes sense that they should be represented on management teams. Research shows that companies with gender-balanced teams have a higher ROI, and those are numbers we can all support.

Keith Backsen is executive director of the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau

Keith Backsen is executive director of the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau

Sharing Omaha

June 16, 2015 by

This article appeared in in the summer 2015 issue of B2B.

Of the 318 million U.S. citizens, can you venture to guess how many use social media? The answer came at a recent eTourism conference—67% of us in the U.S. are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms to connect with our friends, family, and favorite products. What is interesting for tourism is that most people use social media to brag about their vacations, and, as the official agency in charge of inspiring visitors to travel to Omaha, we love that.

Currently the Visit Omaha Facebook page has nearly 100,000 followers. Facebook provides the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCVB) with a platform to promote Omaha, and it allows residents and visitors to easily share Omaha’s story with even more people. The OCVB social media strategy is simple—showcase Omaha as a visitor destination, or, in other words, inform people why Omaha is worth the trip. And more people are spreading that message than ever before—thanks to Visit Omaha followers, 6.6 million Facebook users were exposed to the Visit Omaha message in 2014.

Two-thirds of Visit Omaha’s Facebook fans reside outside the metro-Omaha area. In fact, the page has fans from 44 different countries, including Germany, Italy, and India. Visit Omaha fans range in age from 13 to 65-plus, and the majority of them are women (62%).

The Visit Omaha social media presence extends to a number of other platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Visit Omaha also uses creative ways to engage and encourage the social media audience to share Omaha’s story. One way is with the Omaha Weekend Insta-map, which invites visitors and locals to take pictures of their Omaha experiences and share the photos with us. All they have to do is tag their photos on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #OmahaWeekend, and those photos will automatically populate the Insta-map. And stop by the Omaha Visitors Center to take advantage of our photo booth. Guests can take fun Omaha-themed selfies in our iSnap photo booth and instantly post them to Facebook and Twitter. To date, 1,223 people have shared their photos with more than 112,000 of their friends and family.

You are invited to join the conversation and help tell Omaha’s story – just use #OmahaWeekend on your favorite social media platform. Happy sharing!

Deb Ward

Deb Ward is the director of marketing/communications, Omaha Convention and Visitor’s Bureau