Author Archives: Alan

About Alan

Clever and creative, this master of social media knows how churn up excitement and build serious awareness. Mr. Hamari’s specialty is starting online conversations that keep going and going. He has an ability to discern new opportunities where others hadn’t before.

Design Trends: Cold Industrial Meets Warm Vintage

Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2019 by Alan

Graphic designers are combining two classic designs to create a familiar but fresh look. The combination of industrial edges and vintage illustrations evoke an air of sophistication while inviting consumers in almost as if to say, “You can be part of our club.”

These two components – industrial, which is sharp, edgy and dark, and vintage with its warm, nostalgic and inviting vibes – are quite opposite when they stand alone. But when combined, they complement each other.

Travelers Don’t Want to be Casual Observers

Posted on Friday, February 15, 2019 by Alan

Travelers want to be refreshed in 2019; new sights, unique events and educational experiences will be the deciding factors as adventurers make their travel plans in the coming year.

Au revoir, Paris

The road-less-traveled is growing in popularity as the hustle and bustle of cities feels all too familiar to seasoned travelers. Whether they’re looking for value or an escape from the noise, these explorers want to get off the beaten path. In addition to that, people feel the need to share photos of their trip on social media, but they don’t want to post the same Eiffel Tower picture everyone has seen 20 times. People want to be the trailblazer of their friend group, which means trying something new and unique.

Draw Them In

Souvenirs often come in the form of snow globes and t-shirts, but travelers are looking for something they can’t pick up at the gift shop: knowledge. More specifically, they want to learn more about art and the local artists who contribute to local culture. As people yearn for tangible, off-screen experiences, art is becoming an even more relevant tool for tourist destinations to use to draw visitors in. Permanent exhibits and temporary installations offer the enriching experiences tourists desire, and they provide something that will last long after the return home.

Get It To-Go

Classes, concerts, conferences, and other events add substance to vacations and offer opportunities for growth. Like the appeal of art exhibits, these experiences enhance the value of a trip because they have value beyond good memories. Tourists want to leave their mark by participating in classes and discussions, and they also want to use it when they’re back home. Maybe they learn how to cook a local dish or attend a seminar where they network with like-minded individuals. These opportunities create incentive for visitors to make the journey and provides them with lasting value.

Social Media in 2018: The Customer Has Never Been More Right

Posted on Sunday, August 12, 2018 by Alan

This year is shaping up to be huge for social media and brands that rely on social to reach consumers. Between major privacy policy changes and questions about data and personalization, advertisers must adapt to user preferences and requirements to maintain existing audiences and gain new ones.

Privacy changes

It’s likely the U.S. will create a law similar to the EU’s GDPR in the foreseeable future to address privacy issues and data usage. This will impact the quantity and quality of data companies can provide advertisers, who should consider this info when developing content plans. Messaging strategies will need to adapt to fit changing targeting capabilities.


Personalization continues to be a common theme across social platform advertising, especially among young consumers. With location-based targeting on the rise, marketers can tailor ads to users based on their past behaviors, including visits to stores and other habits that offer insight into their interests.


Many brands have chosen to add to the political conversation, while others serve as an escape from what can often feel negative and exhausting to users. In Q1 of 2018, brands that took to social media with a positive, upbeat and lighthearted tone reported increased engagement. Advertisers have the power to be influential voices, but they can also serve consumers with feel-good messaging that leaves a positive impression.

Everyone loves a good story

Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2018 by Alan

History provides context to the places tourists visit on their travels. They want to know how and why it came to be, who made it and what that history means for the present and future. History provides incentive for people to visit a place, making it memorable and unique from other potential destinations. A place’s story can be the deciding factor in travel plans, so a well-developed narrative can give a location the edge to attract crowds for years to come.

At P&B, we’ve run several history-focused promotions that have generated a lot of buzz. Sharing historical photos on social media has also been a very successful tactic in creating fan engagement. By promoting community history and historical sites online, you can give travelers a peak into your community’s backstory and even inspire ideas for exploring on their next trip.

Travel 2018 Forecast

Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by Alan

Generation Vacation

In our last Travel Trends report, we discussed what Millennials* valued in their travel experiences. Now, Forbes has an article explaining why we should care. Though they might not earn as much as their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts, Millennials seem to care more about traveling than any cohort before them. The average traveler (across all generations) intends to spend less on travel in 2018 than they did in 2017—Millennials being the exception. The average spend for a Millennial vacation is $1312 per trip in 2017, which is up 8% from last year, and each Millennial averaged 3.5 vacations in 2017. Of those surveyed, 35% want to take more vacations in the coming year. One reason why they might be willing to take more vacations: peace of mind. Whether it’s to suppress guilt for taking time off, or to keep their inbox more organized, Millennials are more likely to work during their vacations as opposed to checking out completely. 74% of employed Millennials expect to bring work along on a trip, compared to 65% of Gen Xers and 56% of Boomers.

* the tech-savvy generation of burgeoning consumers born somewhere between 1980 and 1995, more or less.

March in Wisconsin Looks Hot

Hot for family travel, that is. This year, most Wisconsin public schools (including the UW system) are on spring break March 24 through April 1, which is Easter Sunday. Local travel experts predict that the combination of school recess on top of a high-travel holiday will result in an unusual peak in hotel room bookings across the state at the end of quarter 1.

Air Turbulence and Domestic Destinations

In a recent U.S. Travel Association report, five out of six adults say that air travel has become more of a hassle. Reasons given include more airline fees and overall cost. Case-in-point: nearly all major airline carriers introduced new basic economy fares which prohibit carry-on baggage in the overhead bins (so you’ll get charged unless your bag fits under the seat in front of you), a move which has angered many unsuspecting travelers. According to Conde Nast Traveler, “airlines have been more forthcoming about the drawbacks of these fares, essentially admitting that basic economy is an inferior product largely designed to encourage customers to upgrade to the next-highest fare.”

This might be part of why 49% of all respondents in a recent AARP travel survey expect to travel only domestically in 2018. Of those travelers, only 13% of those domestic trips have been booked already, and most of those trips are classified as summer vacations, multi-generational travel (aka a whole-family trip) or weekend getaways. Finally, Airbnb reports that the Midwest, moreso than any other U.S. region, is seeing an increase in bookings, at least for the first half of 2018.

The Growth of Beer-cations

Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2017 by Alan

Travelers are saying “Cheers!” to more beer. From 2015 to 2016, the number of craft breweries in the U.S. grew by over 16%. This spring, Travel Weekly highlighted the trend and economic impact on tap-related travel. The popular travel site Travelocity had its first Beer Tourism Index, naming the top 20 Cities for Beer Tourism in 2016 in response to a survey in 2015. In that survey, the site interviewed more than 1,000 individuals, out of which three-quarters of said that they would like to go on a trip where they visited craft breweries and sampled local beer.

Experts point to the large potential audience — there are more beer drinkers than any other kind of drinker in the US — and the accessible location of most breweries, where most are within urban areas as opposed to more rural wine country, to the growing trend. According to a Gallup Poll in 2016, 43% of Americans who drink say that they drink beer more often than wine or hard alcohol. By gender, 54% of men who drink prefer beer compared to 23% of women who drink. Beer drinkers are likely to be wealthier, with nearly 80% of drinkers who make $75,000+ saying that they have occasion to imbibe. In the travel industry, this diversifies the target market, which usually focuses on women.

If you’re a travel destination with a brewery or multiple breweries, consider advertising them alongside hotel packages. Look at what small cities like Bend, OR, and Boulder, CO, do to attract travelers, as they are touted as the best “small metro areas” that offer beer-cations. No brewery? Talk to local businesses about carrying the best beers in the state and promoting them to niche markets.

Intelligent Content Writing

Posted on Monday, February 13, 2017 by Alan

In an effort to better tailor the content we produce to your specific audience, we’ve been doing some investigating. With the help of Google Analytics, we are able to determine which pages on your site are the most popular during which times of year, through which pages visitors are arriving on your site and which keywords are the most popular. By reviewing this information, we’re able to see what potential visitors are searching for and can tailor the new content we produce for you to meet the interests of travelers to your region.

For example, by reviewing site analytics, it became clear over the winter season that each time a snowstorm started brewing, site traffic increased with visitors looking for information on specific outdoor recreation activities. With that in mind, we opted away from more generalized outdoor recreation content in favor of more specific activities in our e-newsletters and on social media. We also worked to improve existing site content, so users stayed longer and found more valuable information.

The more useful the content, the more likely interested customers are to become committed visitors!

Travel’s Food Focus

Posted on Friday, January 13, 2017 by Alan

If you feel like you’re seeing more pictures of plates than attractions when perusing a friend’s vacation album, you’re not alone. Food tourism has caught the interest of many of the big players in the travel industry due to a revival of culinary tourism. Eating out on vacation is practically unavoidable, and tourists are seeking out the local favorites and unique dining experiences of the places they visit.

Whether we owe it to Instagram and millennials or just the eventual resurfacing of past trends, it’s unclear, but the effect is widespread. The U.S. Embassy just launched a campaign targeting Chinese tourists to the U.S., asking them to share their vacation photos of food from the five continental cultural regions. Men’s culture magazine GQ created a new section called T&E, or Travel & Eats, which they launched with the help of Nashville Tourism.

Travel experts at Skift seem to point to the new burgeoning generation of young adults and their sense identity: “Millennials are now viewing food as important to define their character as the clothes they wear. We are seeing something that is a fundamental shift in people’s food and dining.”

Note that this trend goes beyond fine dining or so-called “foodie” experiences. Food is a gateway to community culture, an indicator of authentic experience. Skift also cites a study where “eighty percent of Chinese travelers would like to book a meal in a stranger’s house, because they want to see how people live and want to meet people. Food is sometimes the excuse for the journey, of the whole experience.”

To adapt to this new trend, we recommend stocking your library with the very best food pictures – the ones that capture your destination at its tastiest. What unique dishes does your destination offer? Where do the locals like to hang? Do you have the photography to feature these assets? You’ll want to showcase these things and what people love about them, especially on social media, Google reviews, and food-rating sites like Plan food-focused photo shoots to capture this increasingly popular traffic driver. You might be surprised to see who shows up for dinner!

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Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by Alan

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Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by Alan

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