Tourism Industry News
Greetings from IOTD!
It’s the kickoff to the summer travel season and our partners at Purdue’s Tourism and Hospitality Research Center say skip the long lines at crowded destinations like Disney World and travel closer to home. They claim that leisure travelers are seeking authentic intimate experiences and we couldn’t agree more! In Indiana, we offer a multitude of authentic experiences--history, culture, destination dining, agritourism, sports, and outdoor recreation to name a few--that are in-demand and provide a ready solution to travelers looking to de-stress and simplify.
Our array of experiences is just one of the reasons why our May 6-11 Visit Indiana Week promotion was so successful. Another reason is you. With 200+ attractions and businesses across the state providing discounts and special offers, the level of industry participation was nothing short of amazing. We encouraged residents to hit the road, to use vacation time instead of leaving it on the table, and to take advantage of relatively low gas prices. But they traveled because of you.
We received a lot of positive feedback about Visit Indiana Week and our promotional efforts. We pushed out eight blog posts on VisitIndiana.com that were viewed widely. The blogs linked to posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We sent out nine press releases and promoted Visit Indiana Week in multiple consumer emails to almost 115,000 subscribers. All told, we accumulated 730,986 impressions over the month-long campaign, 42,662 pageviews (blogs & discounts), and 54 earned media hits. So, if Hoosiers didn’t actually take a trip during Visit Indiana Week, I’m confident we inspired many of them to at least consider planning one.
In addition, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch penned an Op-Ed featuring Visit Indiana Week and she toured the state visiting a number of attractions and destinations. She took part in Tastings Tuesday at Oliver Winery, got up-close and personal with the new macaques at the Indianapolis Zoo, heard a poem at the James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood Home and Museum, toured the new Brown County Visitors Center, got a sneak peek at the new Hard Truth Hills Distillery and went behind the scenes at Dewig Meats. For a look at each of Lt. Governor Crouch’s tour stops, check out her social media posts.
We do hope to improve Visit Indiana Week next year and increase participation. We value your feedback and have created a short survey. I hope you will take a few minutes to complete it.
Last week, I attended U.S. Travel’s IPW in Denver and was joined by Visit Indy and Visit South Bend/Mishawaka. IPW is the travel industry’s premier international marketplace. IPW hosts more than 1,000 travel organizers from the across the country, more than 1,200 international travel buyers, and this year over 6,000 delegates attended. We met with dozens of international tour operators and media, many of home expressed an earnest interest in including Indiana in their future plans. Next year’s IPW takes place in Anaheim, California and we plan to be there. We will begin our planning in the coming months.
Lt. Governor Crouch and IOTD were proud to take part in the festivities surrounding the launch of direct service on Delta Airlines between Paris and Indianapolis. IOTD has been promoting the service with print and digital advertising as well as through our relationship Great Lakes USA both in the Midwest and abroad.
Speaking of international, Great Lakes USA asked IOTD to host a journalist from Germany over Memorial Day weekend. Special thanks to our partners at Visit Hamilton County, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Eiteljorg for treating our guest to some genuine Hoosier Hospitality.
Almost 200 writers will be coming to Indiana during the first weekend of June. The Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) will be in Fort Wayne. IOTD will be there to greet them at the opening dinner. We know many of the writers will be taking pre/post trips to other communities. It’s a beautiful time of year to show off our great state!
Our Spring/Summer campaign media blitz is now underway. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be making the rounds at TV and radio stations in Indianapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, and Louisville. Be sure to look for our TV, radio and billboards, promoting Indiana destinations.
As a reminder, nominations for the Will Koch Indiana Tourism Leadership Award, our industry’s highest honor, are due June 8! Please don’t delay in getting your nominations into us.
Also, nominations for the 2018 Hoosier Hospitality Awards are due June 18. These awards enable Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch to recognize and honor those great contributors in our industry from across the state who work in hotels and restaurants or serve as tour guides, volunteers, ticket takers, ushers and the like at our attractions.
If IOTD can be of assistance in any way as we head into the summer months, please call on us. We stand ready to assist you. Thanks for all you do.