Regional Tourism Activity Synopsis
Below is a partial list of the promotional activities the three Regional Tourism Districts provide to the State of Connecticut. This activity includes networking between 134 representatives of Connecticut towns and 22 tourism business representatives who serve on the District’s Boards. The list of active Board members is posted at http://www.happeninghere.org/tourism
Daily Social Media Postings
To thousands of organic followers via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
The Districts provide image support to the State Tourism Office. This is especially important as the new Website is dependent on being visually compelling. The Districts have tens of thousands of images of events, towns, attractions, accommodations and eateries. Drone photography was slated to begin this year.
Central produced the award winning “Non-Stop Connecticut” webisode series. Each online video takes potential tourists on a colorful, personal tour to show what makes our region a special place to visit. These webisodes are housed on a YouTube channel and are also featured on CTvisit.com and featured attractions, accommodations and restaurants have featured them on their own websites and displayed them in their own establishments.
Customized Regional Blogs
Blogs include Google, Wordpress, National Examiner, Axes.com, Patch, Hearst. Blog views for Western alone were 2,680,970, even excluding stats for Examiner, Patch and Hearst. Eastern’s regional blog, SeeMysticCountryCT.com, had its best year since its launch in 2010.
Eastern produces a weekly specially-themed radio segments that air weekly on WELJ 104.7 FM, Q105 105.5 FM, WLLM 98 AM, and The Wolf 102.3 FM.
Support for Small Tourism Businesses
The Eastern District, alone, submitted more than 125 events to 50 regional media throughout the year for organizations that do not have communications staff. This is a regular part of what all three Districts do.
Representing Connecticut Tourism
Regional representatives have attended or coordinated Connecticut’s presence with booths at the following trade shows/conferences producing hundreds of leads and scores of meeting requests:
§ National Tour Association (NTA) Annual Convention
§ American Bus Association (ABA) Annual Marketplace
§ Destinations Group Travel Show
§ Greater New Jersey Motor Coach Association’s Annual Marketplace
§ Pennsylvania Bus Association’s and Maryland Motorcoach Association’s Marketplace
§ Discover New England (DNE) Summit
§ ITB Berlin
§ TIA’s International Pow Wow
§ New England Travel Showcase
§ 2016 Fox 61 Day Trips & Destinations Expo
§ World Travel Market international show in London
§ New Jersey Motor Coach
§ Ontario Motor Coach
§ International Pow Wow
The Regional Tourism Districts also coordinated efforts for promoting the state at major conventions and partnered with the other New England states to build a stronger presence at national and international conventions. The Regional Districts assist with the production and updating of sales collateral, as well as assisting tour operators with building itineraries for group tours throughout the State. The Districts mentor constituents looking to attract more group tour business. This included package development, itinerary building, sharing leads, and helping them to prepare for trade shows and major national and international conventions.
The Districts have communications with local, national and worldwide print, TV, radio, on-line reporters and travel writers. They respond to leads, pitched stories or write articles for media that included Boston Globe, New York Times, Yankee Magazine, Carolina Woman, Travel 50 and Beyond, Just Luxe, Group Tour Magazine, AAA’s Journeys Magazine, Meetings Focus, Meetings Today, Jetsetter.com, Thrillist.com, Culture Magazine, New England Tourism Center Website, and in-state media such as Hartford Magazine, The Hartford Courant, Journal-Inquirer, Connecticut Post, New Britain Herald, Meriden Record-Journal, WFSB-TV 3, NBC Connecticut, WTNH-TV 8, Fox 61, WTIC-AM and 96.5TIC Radio’s Face Connecticut, and WMRD/WLIS Radios’ Travels with Kal.
We have posted the 62 media outlets identified by Eastern alone that include their promotions as a result of their outreach. HappeningHere.org/media
Central’s Digital campaign alone produced over one million impressions.
Regional Expertise and Direct Contact with Consumers
Response to over 100,000 requests annually for regional brochures produced by each of the Districts
State Tourism Website Support
In addition to helping the Office of Tourism to manage CTvisit.com by interfacing with the local tourism businesses, the Districts host workshops to help tourism businesses get the most out of the new Website.
Specialty Brochures and Trails
The Districts shine at drawing attention to things that interest the tourism consumer and that set Connecticut apart. So, for instance, Eastern has produced “Sundae Drives,” “Antiques Trail” and a “Historic Homes of Southeastern Connecticut Trail Brochure.” The Central District has their extremely popular “Burgers and Brews,” “Gardens & Farmers’ Markets,” “Bed and Breakfast” brochures as well as a “Color Your Way through Central Connecticut” booklet that is wildly popular for the younger set (and their parents).
Regional Website Database Maintenance, Updates and Promotions
Website hits for Western alone are 59,972, 241 and represent 20% growth
Creative print ads
The Districts design and place unique ads in national and local publications
Customized Regional Newsletters for both Tourism Professionals and Consumers
Monthly and quarterly to over 100,000 subscribers. Western’s Award-Winning Regional Publication will be discontinued after 30 years
Providing economic impact surveying and research for community events including demographics to help improve and grow area events. Develop survey questions. Analysis and comprehensive report issued for events. Currently in progress: Captains Cove, Weekend in Norfolk, Thomaston Opera House, Goshen Stampede.
Group Tour Workshops
Half-day workshops to educate, assist and instruct regional attractions and businesses concerning the economics and dynamics of attracting and keeping group business.
Group Tour Assessment
Analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of area businesses in regard to attracting group tour business. Production of reports and group tour contacts that are appropriate for the venue.
Event Research, Management and Services
Assist with request for proposals, event assessment to determine viability, vendor list, definition of event structure and methodology, assistance in marketing, public relations, and operations. The Western District managed and assisted 14 events in their region last year.
Tourism Sales Support
Representatives of hotels and attractions are convened quarterly to discuss sales strategies and co-operative projects.
Representatives of various tourism sectors (attractions, accommodations, industry) meet to discuss tourism marketing priorities.
These events bring together constituents and their printed materials to share and distribute at the opening of the tourism season.
Eastern created and updated 48 mini-promotions and stories for 2015-16 highlighting more than 600 tourism partners and events. The list is available at HappeningHere.org/stories
The Districts conduct scores of familiarization tours to tourism promoters from the UK and Ireland, Italy, Australia, Germany and from around the country.