To attract a fish, you need a lure. But to catch a fish, you need a hook. And suffice it to say the lone fisherman has a much better chance of catching his limit when the lake is teaming with hungry fish and he has the entire lake to himself.
In tourism marketing, the analogy is to get the attention of a prospective vacationer, pique their curiosity with what you have to offer and then convert their interest into bookings.
The challenge is that the cost of tourist fishing is high, the lake is very big, the fish aren’t always hungry, and there are hundreds of other fishermen standing shoulder to shoulder along the shoreline. Get the picture?
To attract customer interest, businesses typically use a tagline to grab attention. Can you identify these local businesses by their tagline?: “Work Hard … Play Hard … Shop Easy” (Kroeger’s). Or, “A special place for cooks, coffee and friends” (Durango Coffee Co.), One more, “Locally Grown, Mountain Inspired” (Eolus)
The Durango Area Tourism Office uses the tagline: “Discover a Dozen Vacations in One Destination.” Why? Because our major challenge is that we are so blessed with so much to promote, we need a promotional platform that opens the visitors’ eyes to the many options a Durango vacation offers. This area, including the Four Corners, is the most amenity-rich part of the state, and we have a whopper of a story to tell.
Research tells us that the “Dozen Vacations in One Destination” tagline is an effective lure because it’s intriguing, creates interest and makes the shopper want to learn more. Once a potential visitor starts to nibble on the tagline, our marketing programs direct the shopper to the DATO website, and there they can delve deep into the diversity of attractions and build sample itineraries to match their vacation goals.
Imagine yourself evaluating a Rocky Mountain vacation destination for a family of four. You want memorable experiences and everyone to have a great time. The Durango “Dozen” tagline whets vacationers appetites with the following 12 categories of holiday pleasures: Elevated Outdoor Adventures, Historic Steam Train, Archeological Center of the Southwest, Nationally Acclaimed Galleries, Genuine Rocky Mountain Experiences, Family Winter Wonderland, Taste of the Old West, Live Entertainment and Festivals, Award Winning Restaurants and Micro-Breweries, Simple Vacation Pleasures, Base Camp for the Four Corners, and Where Friends Gather and Families Celebrate.
Within each of these 12 categories are the features of all the activities, amenities, facilities and programs. The breadth and quality of our vacation offerings is the hook.
So how’s the fishin’ been? Catchin’ any? For the last five years in a row, Durango and La Plata County have caught more than a stringer full of tourists. In 2015, lodging tax collected from overnight visitors in the city finished up 7.4 percent and in the county plus 5.6 percent.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Bob Kunkel is executive director of the Durango Area Tourism Office.