Tourism Industry News
Greetings from IOTD!
Summer is in full swing and so are our PR efforts and Spring/Summer marketing campaign. We set the bar high in both cases this year, and midway through the season we’re exceeding expectations. We have traditionally used VisitIndiana.com traffic and general digital performance as a barometer at the midway point of our marketing campaign to gauge its effectiveness and thus far we are very pleased with the results. Outbound clicks to our marketing partners are up 185% YOY. Facebook has garnered over 1 million impressions, and because of a modified strategy, our reach has increased 423% over last year’s campaign. Our content reached 800,000+ in each of the first three months of the campaign, compared to 750,000+ during the ENTIRE 2015 calendar year.
PR-wise, I’ve been on a major media blitz promoting Indiana destinations for the last month and have been extremely pleased with the reception we’ve gotten. Our destinations are definitely on the radar in the markets in which we advertise. During the last month, I was on 25 radio and TV stations in Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis and a number Indiana markets.
In addition, four million readers are now in possession of Midwest Living Magazine’s latest issue, featuring the Visit Indiana Week Road Rally. The exclusive 9-page Indiana spread highlights their road trip, which started in Jeffersonville and made its way northward traveling 487 miles from the Ohio River to Fort Wayne’s three rivers. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to grab a copy.
I had the pleasure of attending the U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow (IPW) in Washington D.C. More than 6,400 attendees from 70 countries, including over 1,300 international and domestic travel buyers and a record 530 journalists from the U.S. and abroad were also in attendance. It was a “scouting mission” of sorts as we look to expand our international marketing efforts in earnest during the next fiscal year. I’ll share more about our plans on our international efforts in the coming months. While in our nation’s capital, I also met with staffers from Indiana’s congressional delegation. We discussed the Brand USA funding, infrastructure, the role of IOTD and district-specific initiatives.
Visit Indiana was proud to be a sponsor of this year’s BlogHouse national blogger conference held in Indianapolis. Twenty hand-picked bloggers came to Indiana to write about our state. During the conference, I met with them and shared my knowledge of Indiana’s wonderful assets. They were asked to stay an extra day or more outside of the conference to do side trips to Indiana destinations. IOTD and partners across the state hosted eight separate media trips.
It was a great honor for me to attend the 25th anniversary salute to the movie A League of Their Own. The film has a special place in Indiana’s history. In Huntingburg, there was a three-day celebration to honor this blockbuster that put the city in the spotlight. The sense of civic pride and community spirit that is credited to this film is still evident today. It is in part because of this film that Huntingburg has become known as a film-friendly city. Actors Bitty Schram (“Evelyn Gardner”) and Justin Scheller (“Stilwell Gardner”) were the guests of honor. If you know the line, “there’s no crying in baseball,” then you’ll recall the characters Eveleyn and Stillwell. They recounted their experience of making this 1992 movie. I anticipate that the film Columbus will have similar impact on the Bartholomew County community for which it is named.
In the near future, look for an update on our Agritourism strategy and as always, if IOTD can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to call on us. We're always happy to help. #H2GIndiana.