The Visit Durango tourism office has embarked on several big initiatives this year: refreshing the Durango brand, rebuilding the Visit Durango website and redesigning the travel planner.
Refreshing the brand was the first step. Think of a brand refresh as a new haircut – a new look and feel.
Visit Durango is grateful to the marketing committee for their guidance and support overseeing the brand refresh. Our marketing committee is comprised of local community members who are engaged in different sectors of tourism. This committee meets regularly to share information – including data that assists in setting strategy, ensuring accountability and continuously improving marketing efforts. The group developed a brand positioning statement that everyone in Durango can use.
For travelers looking for the Colorado vacation experience they had when they were kids, Durango offers all the wide-eyed wonder and adventure of the Front Range without all the traffic and crowds, giving them more for their limited vacation time: More fun. More things to see and do. More history. More time on the train and the trails. More time skiing. More time with family. More great food and cultural experiences.
Durango has three major audience segments: families, millennial adventure travelers and boomers. These high valued travelers are looking for experiences from outdoor recreation and fine cuisine to culture and shopping in an authentic Western town.
The next step was for Visit Durango to develop, what the marketing industry refers to a new color palette, for advertising and social media that reflects our scenic area. We turned to Instagram for this. While we post many photos every day of all the things to do here, Instagram also lets us see what Durango-area adventures our visitors post. What we saw was a bright palette of the blues of the sky and water, the gold of the sun, the green of spring leaves, and the brick of our crimson cliffs and our historic downtown buildings. You’ll see these colors on our new website, which we expect to launch in the fall.
A website is often the first impression a visitor has of a destination. It used to be that an organization built a new site every few years. Today, it’s about dynamic design that is constantly evolving as we listen to the voice of the visitor.
To choose a website contractor, Visit Durango, along with the marketing committee, conducted a fair and competitive bid process that included a dozen potential vendors. Simpleview, one of the top U.S. companies specializing in tourism websites and marketing, was selected. It is a perfect fit and increases operational efficiencies as Visit Durango already subscribes to Simpleview for our customer relationship management program and mobile travel app.
Visit Durango’s final big initiative for 2019 is the redesign of the travel planner. This new design will reflect the look and feel of the new brand refresh and the website, as well as deliver content in the way our visitor wants to receive it.
Visit Durango distributes thousands of travel planners every year. Some are mailed and some are downloaded digitally. When we see increasing numbers in requests for travel planners, this indicates a strong “intent to travel” to the Durango area, and helps Visit Durango predict the strength of tourism months ahead of time, along with industry research.
Of course, Visit Durango’s staff works on the day-to-day aspects of creating demand for travelers to come to Durango. These efforts range from domestic and international advertising and social media campaigns to cultivating tour groups and meetings through tradeshows and events, as well as co-operative initiatives with the Colorado Tourism office and nearby destinations Silverton, Ouray and Pagosa Springs.
Working together, we can bring in high-value travelers who contribute to our vibrant local economy.
Suzanne Harrison is the Director of Marketing for Visit Durango. She can be reached at 828-1036 or firstname.lastname@example.org