Spring is quickly becoming summer and what a busy time it is - the peak season for travel-related businesses in Ohio. The good news – the trade winds are in our favor. The visitors study tells us that Ohio is both accessible and guests believe it is affordable - a great value. Those factors can be major obstacles to travel for millions of potential visitors, and Ohio shines in both categories.
In addition, more people are employed than a year ago, resulting in more discretionary dollars to spend and more confidence among consumers. There is also the benefit of lower fuel costs over a year ago, freeing up valuable travel dollars and making those driving trips with friends and family doable more often.
It’s also an especially active time for advertisers and marketers. It seems as if everyone wants what we have here in Ohio: optimistic consumers who want to travel and plan summer vacations. Odds are you have to be seeing the same competitor messages we see encouraging travel to places like Missouri, Michigan, Kentucky, Utah, Maine and more. Ohio is part of that conversation too - and the results of our spring marketing efforts show that Ohio is making an impact.
Since we are finalizing our branding for tourism in Ohio, we are messaging through a “bridge” campaign with the call-to-action being the official Ohio Travel Guide and app. The campaign integrates print, digital, social and radio to reach busy consumers with summer travel on their minds.
The messaging is working. To date this year, we have seen more than 15,000 app downloads of the 2015 Ohio Travel Guide, with 91 percent (nearly 14,000 downloads) happening since the digital campaign began on May 4. By comparison, during all of 2014 we saw a total of 3,800 app downloads – what a difference advertising makes! There have also been about 16,000 Ohio Travel eGuide views on DiscoverOhio.com that occurred from the digital advertising.
In addition, many of you are a participating in the spring/summer co-op and/or planning for fall messaging. It is important to get the word out that Ohio is a relevant and compelling choice for travel – all reinforced by the diversity you offer with your distinctive travel experiences.
Recently, we held the TourismOhio Advisory Board meeting in Granville at the historic Buxton Inn. Dan Moder and Carol Thress are currently leading the way on a rebrand for Licking County and are busy focusing on much the same work we are doing on a statewide scope. Many of you have recently done the same. It is worthy work and they are taking a well-crafted, thoughtful approach to capturing the essence of the Licking County experience. We greatly appreciate them hosting us for the day!
The branding process and the counsel of the TourismOhio Advisory Board are timely reminders that doing the “right work right” is an effective investment in the future of our state.
Here’s to a record-breaking summer and thank you for all you do.
For the Good of Ohio,
Mary L. Cusick