The Latest in Destination Marketing: Rethinking I (heart) NY
Given the general state of the economy, tourism groups across the nation are scrambling to promote their corner of the world. Take New York as an example: it was a pioneer with its NYC & Company effort and DoITT, an aggressive 311 service that I blogged earlier. By organizing information about the city the way a mall would, the city was handling 43,000 questions a day.
First, following the trend to market cities as a collection of neighborhoods, New York is promoting the entire state as a vacation destination. They plan to use the powerful appeal of the city to woo visitors to other locales, using the phrase "The state with the heart of the city."
This is important given the trend away from two week vacations. The state vacation book that ran almost 200 pages is being replaced with a 40-page "Getaway Guide" which focuses on three- and four-day trips. The primary focus will be the 80 million people live within a three- to five-hour drive of New York State.
Video brochures will join search as a key component of their online strategy, as well as a user-generated content contest sponsored by the IFC television network which will ask consumers to create “I love New York” commercials. This echoes the findings of a recent PhoCusWright travel study, which indicated that people found rich media - particularly photos, maps and video - to be more influential than reviews.